Saturday, July 2, 2022

Batting Around: Who will be the next MLB manager to get fired?

We are now two months into the 2022 MLB regular season. The sample sizes aren’t so small and fan bases are gaining and losing hope with each passing day. That said, there is still a lot — A LOT — of season to play, and plenty of teams are still vying for a spot in the new 12-team postseason format.

Throughout the season the CBS Sports MLB experts will bring you a weekly Batting Around roundtable breaking down pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we debated the best catcher in baseball. This week we’re going to discuss potential managerial changes.

Who will be the next manager to get fired?

R.J. Anderson: We’re going to find out soon about Dave Martinez’s fate with the Nationals, as the club has to decide on his option around the All-Star Break. Given that the Lerners are in the process of selling the team, it wouldn’t surprise me if they keep him and let the next owners install their own individual at the helm. At the same time, the Nationals are a putrid club, in terms of wins and losses and in terms of execution, and those teams are the ones who tend to make changes. Besides, maybe they’d view declining that option and severing ties with Martinez as a favor of sorts to him, that way he doesn’t have to worry about entering next season as a lame duck.

Dayn Perry: True, factual, accurate story: I submitted Joe Maddon’s name in response to this question about an hour before the Angels canned him. So instead, I’ll go with Scott Servais. The Mariners, who positioned themselves to contend this season, have been perhaps MLB’s most disappointing team thus far in 2022. This is also Servais’ seventh season on the job, and over that span he’s one game over .500 at this writing with zero postseason appearances. Yes, he’s close with GM Jerry Dipoto, but Dipoto is going to be in self-preservation mode very soon. That means the end of the line for Servais.

Mike Axisa: I can vouch for Dayn. He did send in a response with Maddon right before the Angels canned him, and he had to send in a new answer. That’s what he gets for not procrastinating.

Anyway, I’ll go with Mike Matheny. The Royals are terrible, worse than they should be after spending the last four years rebuilding, and clearly ownership and the front office are fed up, because they fired hitting coach Terry Bradshaw last month. Everyone gets hired to get fired, and these things tend to run uphill. First the coaches go, then the manager, then the general manager. I think we’re done with in-season firings for this year, so Matheny will go after the season, when his contract is up. (So, technically, he won’t get fired. The two sides will “part ways,” but we’ll know what’s up.)

Matt Snyder: I’ll go with Don Mattingly. Perhaps the Manager of the Year award and playoff berth in 2020 bought him some favor, but let’s be real: The Marlins were 10-4 in seven-inning games in a funky, 60-game season in which they were only two games over .500. Other than that, his best season was 79-82 and that was his first year. Then it was 77 wins in his second year. The Marlins went 67-95 last season and look primed for another non-contending season. This is his seventh year at the helm and we’re still waiting on a real breakthrough season, not a fluky one. Tie all this to Mattingly being in the final year of his deal (it was a mutual option for 2022) and Marlins GM Kim Ng surely being ready to make her first managerial hire. It all lines up for Mattingly being ripe for a firing if the Marlins go on an extended losing streak. They start a 10-game road trip to Houston, Philadelphia and New York (Mets) Friday. 

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