Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501
The one interesting thing about baseball is that you see quite a few managers move from team to team and become extremely successful. Pinella, Leyland, Charlie Manuel, Tony LaRussa, Jack McKeon repeat success on several different teams and, in each of these cases, take bad teams and make them good. That's something you don't really see a whole lot in the NFL.
It's a double-edged sword. Baseball is the one sport where clubhouse chemistry can make a huge impact, if teammates respect (not like, but respect) each other and everyone tries 100% and the manager actually manages. But with their guaranteed contracts and no salary cap it's also the sport where a manager is most hamstrung by the organization. Francona may have lost his clubhouse, but it wasn't because HE sucks, it's because the PLAYERS suck, and they run the asylum. The next manager will still be stuck with a fat Beckett and a useless Lackey and an underperforming Crawford and all the other baggage. Until and unless management holds the players accountable (and not the manager), things will not change. It's typical of giant mismanaged businesses that they blame the "little guy" (in thie case, Francona) instead of addressing the real issue (their own incompetence). I think the Red Sox have had more "dead money" on their payroll than many teams have for an ENTIRE payroll, and yet they'd rather fire Francona than fire the players responsible for the biggest collapse in baseball history. Makes no sense to me.
There's always a question about whether a coach should be a hard-ass vs. a softie. Maybe Francona WAS too nice early on and, thus, his hard-ass act fell on deaf ears. But I still blame the players for not playing. No matter how well (or how poorly) Bill Belichick coaches the Patriots, the players still have to go play; if they play poorly, the team will lose no matter how he coaches. So I find it hard to put real fault on Francona when you have closers blowing saves and starting pitchers sucking balls and outfielders not making plays on playable balls and baserunners making bad decisions compounded by bad positional coaches waving them home and errors in the infield and and and...