Managers aren't quite like Jenga blocks in which one's fall necessarily precipitates the demise of more, but the Royals' firing of
That Hillman received a vote of confidence from Kansas City general manager
The same way a manager will sometimes argue with an umpire just to get ejected and provide a spark for the club, some teams seem to fire a skipper in the hopes it will serve as a midseason catalyst toward October. Yet only four times since 1990 has a team that changed managers during the year made the playoffs. In 2003, the Marlins replaced
Those are the exceptions, but that won't stop some clubs from making a change in the hopes they find similar success. And May seems to be a popular month to do it -- it's deep enough in the year for a sufficient sample size of the season yet early enough where a new manager can change the course of the team.
Here are five managers who appear to be on the hot seat, unless their clubs start winning.
When Trembley was named interim manager in June 2007, the charge was simple: Develop the young players now, win later. Trembley had managed 20 years in the minors and was entrusted with preparing Baltimore's young core to compete in the AL East. This spring, however, president of baseball operations
Trembley gave a similar assessment before the season started, saying, "We've turned the corner. Now it's time to step it up and win more games. There have been drafts, there's been patience that's been exhibited by management and myself to allow the younger players to go through some ups and downs at the major-league level."
Instead, Baltimore's only had more downs to this point of the season and has continued on a downward trajectory since Trembley took over. The Orioles went 40-53 (.430) under his watch to finish 2007, but then have regressed with each passing year: 68-93 (.422) in 2008; 64-98 (.395) in '09; 11-24 (.314) so far in '10. After having weathered a 2-16 start, Trembley has guided the O's to a 9-8 mark over the last 17 games. Such success will need to continue to keep him in the Camden Yards dugout.
Outside of center fielder
Obviously the Marlins and owner
Florida leads the majors with 33 errors, and when Loria met with reporters recently, he asked, "Who could be thrilled with being two games under .500?" Loria noted that the team lacked intensity and added, "This team is better than that. There is a lot of room to get better. We came out of spring a little flat and are working our way out of it now."
But Loria also said, "Fredi and the Marlins are just fine," and Gonzalez did lead Florida to 87 wins last season. Barring a monumental collapse, Gonzalez shouldn't be in danger for a while, at least into the beginning of the
Manuel's name has been churned through the hot seat rumor mill seemingly from the moment he took over the reigns as a midseason replacement himself for the fired
The Mets' recent stretch of 10 wins in 11 games has certainly bought Manuel some time, but their style of play has been uninspiring. Until a six-run eighth inning against the Nationals on Tuesday, the Mets had proven incapable of rallying from any lead of more than two runs. In consecutive games against the Phillies, for instance, they failed to even get a hit after falling behind early. Without the offensive firepower need for comebacks, the Mets -- and Manuel -- will only go as far as their starting pitching takes them.
Meanwhile, three of baseball's cellar-dwellers are led by managers who nevertheless seem safe. Houston's