Charlie Manuel is keeping faith despite the Phillies' numerous injuries, along with notes from around the major leagues.
Charlie Manuel has been called many different things during his time as the Phillies' manager. The always-tough Philadelphia fans, jumping on his easy-going manner and heavy Virginia drawl, derisively called him "Jolly Charlie" and "Good-Time Charlie" until he won them over with a World Series championship in 2008. The Phillies players good-naturedly call their likeable skipper "Big Chuck."
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Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch made the wrong decision in allowing Edwin Jackson to throw 149 pitches during his no-hitter last week.
Evaluating managers from a quantitative standpoint is no small feat. There have certainly been attempts and discussions in the past, but no such framework has ever taken hold of the analytical community and forced its way into our vernacular. It can be easy to suggest that the job consists of little more than penciling names onto a card to hand the umpires or lift tired starting pitchers to insert more effective relievers. These are areas that could potentially be quantified, but they're not the sole responsibilities of a skipper. Even so, sometimes the second of those two aspects of managing can become tricky and less clear-cut.
A look at 10 men who should be considered to run a baseball operations department.
Welcome to Top 10 Week. All week long, various BP authors will be revealing their Top 10s in various categories. Today we start off with Will Carroll ranking the 10 best general manager candidates.
A couple years back, I did a list of the "next GM" crop. It's one of those innocuous exercises that nonetheless tells us a lot about what's going on inside of the front offices. We hear about GMs, about trades, about drafts, but even in Moneyball and earlier in Dollar Sign on the Muscle, we seldom hear about the day-to-day operations carried out by a group of people that is overworked, underpaid, and most importantly, vastly overqualified. This is a group that years ago would be more likely to be putting together a hedge fund, working for the State Department, or something a bit more "important" than the game of baseball. With the money of the modern era, teams got smarter, fast.
Stephen Strasburg is too focused to enjoy the limelight, along with other notes from around the majors.
CLEVELAND – Deep down, Stephen Strasburg had to enjoy the past week. He made a dazzling major-league debut with the Nationals, then won his second start as well while becoming the talk of baseball. The 21-year-old right-hander even read the Top 10 list on Late Night with David Letterman.
The Giants take steps to try to improve their lackluster offense, plus other MLB notes.
Bruce Bochy has been a major-league manager for 16 seasons, ranking him fourth among big-league skippers in continuous service behind Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox, and Joe Torre. Thus, Bochy has been around long enough to know what his Giants need to put themselves among the major leagues' elite teams.
Rookie Jaime Garcia and retread Brad Penny are keeping the Cardinals on top of the NL Central.
That the Cardinals have a very good pitching staff certainly isn't a surprise. After all, Chris Carpenter finished second in the National League Cy Young Award voting last year and Adam Wainwright was third, helping the Cardinals finish third in the National League in runs allowed with an average of 3.95 per game.
Talking to catchers can help us understand what might improve defensive metrics for the position.
Let me start out by saying that I am fascinated by catchers, players who garner a great deal of value simply by playing a certain position. One of the major spurs of my interest is the lack of a definitive measure quantifying their defensive contributions. It might be on the easy side of the spectrum to note which catchers excel at their position as well as which could use some work, but those are vague and qualitative attributes. There have certainly been attempts to quantify what a catcher adds or subtracts with his non-offensive responsibilities but nothing has really caught on with any force, concretely convincing fans through points of difference, or by being offered on a website.