Thursday, March 27, 2008

Joe Torre on Managerial Decision-making

Joe Torre talks about the difference between managing in the AL vs. the NL:
How many games can a manager win by his decision-making in a 162-game season?

I think there’s more of opportunity to win games in the National League than the American League because there are more decisions to make. A lot of times the managing decisions that you make are based on what you know about your player at a particular time of year. I think that’s a talent that a manager has to have, a feel he has to have.

Given that Joe Torre's record managing in the NL is 894-1003, it would seems there's a pretty big opportunity to lose games based on those decisions too. Maybe that's a bit harsh, but if Joe is unwilling to say that talent distribution has way, way, way more to do with winning than managerial decisions, he's walking right into such a criticism.


thekindlingwood said...

I agree, Joe is walking into that kind of criticism with that comment. And in general, over the course of the season, it's impossible to evaluate the influence of in-the-game managerial decisions - I don't know of anything comparible to win-shares for managers, and I'd be skeptical of such a metric - so taking a manager's win-loss record is fair to a certain extent. But the talent he manages greatly impacts that record, of course. This is entering into the fluff / "intangible" arena, but I think the manager's greatest impact on the team is not how he manages individual games but how he manages the individuals who make up his team. That is what made him valuable in NY - managing the big personalities in his clubhouse, and in the front office - and it's possible those talents will be valuable to the Dodgers. LA reportedly had personality problems last season between veterans (Kent) and the youngsters. While it will be difficult to know how many wins Torre was worth over the course of the season, if I were a Dodger fan, I'd be confident that the talent in his clubhouse will function better than it did under Grady Little. That said, it will be interesting to see how he manages a team with less talent than the NY Yankees. If he fails, it will certainly add credence to the argument that anyone could have succeeded with the Yanks over his tenure.

Anonymous said...

Given Torre's "feel" currently involves Juan Pierre leading off, I'd say criticism of his decision-making is the least of his worries.