Monday, October 27, 2008

Ned Yost to Seattle?

I missed this the other day, but it appears that Jack Zduriencik has possibly telegraphed his first move as the Mariners' GM:

Zduriencik said he wants to choose a manager soon, but did not give a timeline. He received hundred of calls and e-mails from potential candidates and others offering recommendations after he got the Seattle job on Wednesday. He said Ned Yost, a "great friend" suddenly fired as the Brewers manager last month, and former Seattle interim manager Jim Riggleman are two candidates. "I have a great relationship with Ned. Ned did a nice job for us ... basically raising these young kids," Zduriencik said. "I've known him. I've worked with him. I know who he is. I will have conversations with him, yes."
Alrighty then. The book on Yost -- the charitable one, anyway -- was that he was a great guy when the talent was developing, but wasn't the right guy to take it over the top. I'm a little skeptical of that -- who's to say that the 2007 Brewers weren't destined to be the champs absent miscues from Yost? -- but let's let him have that characterization.

The question is whether Seattle even falls into that Yost-ready, young talent paradigm. Based on what Zumsteg is saying, there's still a lot of demolition work before you can even get that far. In light of that, it's possible that Yost won't make a difference either way (Zumsteg says as much in the same post).

By most accounts, Jim Riggleman did a pretty professional job after taking over the train wreck that was the Mariners last year. Given how little the manager is going to matter in Seattle for the foreseeable future, why not keep him on as caretaker/sanity infuser?


Daniel said...

I don't know about Riggleman - he gave an awful lot of at bats to Miguel Cairo that should have gone to someone else.

Check out this FJM piece on Riggleman from July.

There are a lot of managers guilty of that kind of thinking, so Riggleman isn't exactly the only guy like this out there. But the Mariners don't really want to perpetuate this kind of thing with their franchise at a turning point, do they?

tHeMARksMiTh said...

I like Yost, and I think he got a raw deal in Milwaukee. If anything, he can learn from his experience in Milwaukee. Torre wasn't real successful at first was he? What about Bobby Cox? Tony LaRussa? I guess managers are as hard to pick as prospects.

mkd said...

I can't say I'm particularly excited about bringing in a guy who was just fired in the midst of pennant race because of a perceived lack of leadership skills and tactical acumen. I agree with the old Bill James adage that a good manager probably doesn't do much to help you, but a bad manager can do a lot to hurt you and I fear Yost trends toward the latter. But then again, since Pinella left we've had (a) a manager who cried during a losing streak (Bob Melvin), (b) a manager who quit during a winning streak (Mike Hargrove)*, and (c) a manager who...God where do I even start? (John McLaren). So if Yost can competently fill out a lineup card and shows up to work every day we'll be in better shape than we've been in the last few years.

When I dare to dream, though, I dream of a Japanese Manager.

*Mike Hargorve says he'd like to give managing another shot- that "the passion is back". I now hate Mike Hargrove more than any other person I've ever hated in sports. F**K YOU, MIKE HARGROVE.

Daniel said...

mkd - So you want Trey Hillman? Cause he did a good job this year...
Or did you mean an actual Japanese dude?

Mark Runsvold said...

Though I'm a long-suffering M's fan and the prospect of Yost managing is certainly an interesting one, I write to tell you (Craig) to watch Jeopardy tomorrow and get a load of the current champ. I'll give you a hint: he has a definite Jack Zduriencik thing going on. Whether seeing this guy will make you feel empowered or hopelessly pigeon-holed is something about which I can only speculate.