Baltimore Orioles: Youth movement in the dugout

The Baltimore Orioles are set at manager for 2018. As I wrote yesterday, it’s what comes after that which is in question. But there were two very high profile names who formerly were with two very high profile teams on the market this off season in Joe Girardi and John Farrell. Neither appear to be destined to manage in 2018.

This is shocking to me, as both of these men have won world championships. Farrell was actually fired, and Girardi’s contract wasn’t renewed. So obviously someone in those organizations wanted to go in a different direction for some reason. You can also throw Dusty Baker‘s name into this discussion, formerly of the Washington Nationals.

All three of those men are proven managers. And they’re all unemployed. Yet teams opted to go with younger managers in their searches this year, as I wrote yesterday. Washington and Boston both have rookie managers, and New York is yet to name a new skipper. But it appears that they’re going with the youth movement also.

Some might question why this is a surprise to me. I’ve always believed in veteran leadership in all aspects of life. I prefer the swift and sure arms of experience as opposed to someone who’s never proven himself at that level. And that’s not a sports thing for me, it’s a life thing. I recognize that at some point someone has to take a risk on a guy – I’d just rather it be someone else.

I just find it interesting that the movement in baseball seems to be that it’s fashionable to hire guys like A.J. Hinch, who are young and inexperienced. Now obviously in that case Hinch won the World Series. He wasn’t a rookie manager this past year, but he was a few years ago when they hired him. But why is this happening?

Anyone who works in the business world nowadays knows that many big companies are looking at ways that different generations can work together. You know, Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Gen Xers (such as myself). Baseball may not be much different in that regard. Most players at this point are Millennials, with a few younger Gen Xers still in the mix.

And I suspect that front offices are now seeing things from the perspective of how a manager relates to his players. That’s important for sure, but is it the single most important thing? I would argue that it isn’t. X’s and O’s are, which is why I say that I prefer experienced managers.

Ultimately, I’m not in charge of who manages any team. I’m just a writer. But it just seems to me that the steady arm of experience should mean more in some of these managerial searches. But what do I know?!


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