May 10, 2010

Manager Job Description: Part 5 of 5

Glass Joe wouldn't be much of a managerAt long last, I return to the final part in the series of requirements I would use to screen candidates for the Reds’ managerial position. It’s been a while, so in case you’ve forgotten what this is all about, here’s a recap:

Back on April 26th, the Reds were looking pretty sad and even Dusty Baker was wondering how much longer he’d be with the club. Since the Reds’ last manager search happened in the time it took to write “I don’t know what’s so great about on-base percentage” on the back of a place mat at the local Skyline, I thought I’d get ahead of the game and let the team know what I wanted from the next manager before they ordered their three-way with extra onions.

To this point, it’s gone a little like this:

Around this point, it was beginning to look like either this exercise was entirely unnecessary or Dusty Baker was actually tuning in to Red Hot Mama for some valuable tips, because the team was starting to win. And that being the case, I see no reason to stop now.

So now that you know the rest of the back story, I’ll wrap up my list with the job description line item about how a manager needs to be ready to stand up to and for his guys on the 25-man.

These requirements are generic and are not intended to endorse or condemn any particular candidate. Any resemblance to recent player-treatment inconsistencies are purely coincidental.

Requirement #5: Standing Up To and For Your Guys
In the great cosmic pre-game setup, during the part where you allocate your points to different player attributes, you can end up with guys who are more work-ethic-y and guys who are more flash and talent. Not to say that your flashy guys aren’t good fellas, but they may need a kick in the pants sometimes to keep their head in the game. It’s for their own good.

Not to say that you always want to come down on everybody who doesn’t have Aaron Holbert-style determination, but a manager’s got to know when to tell the media to back off and when to tell a guy to have a seat for failing to leg out a grounder.

Interview question to check for Standing Up To and For Your Guys:
Question: How do you help a player keep his concentration when the team is in a lull?
Good answer: I keep a close eye out for signs that someone’s losing their drive and align incentives with his desired outcomes.
Bad answer: If we lost the game, I’d hold a closed door meeting and then hint at it in the press. If we won, I’d shrug and forget about it.

So there you have it: my five simple requests for the next Reds manager. Hopefully no one in the front office will be needing to refer to them again till after the NLC is firmly in Cincy’s possession.

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