Hot and cold metaphors thrive in sports writing mainly because sports writers are a lazy lot. In most cases, heat refers to something positive. Players get on hot streaks and good teams are always heating up. However, when high temperatures are used in reference to front office types, it usually has the opposite meaning.

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has compiled a list of Major League Baseball general managers that find themselves on the hot seat, or could find themselves there as the season draws to a close. The names he mentions are no surprise:

  • Ed Wade, Houston Astros
  • Jim Hendry, Chicago Cubs
  • Jack Zduriencik, Seattle Mariners
  • Tony Reagins, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • Dave Dombrowski, Detroit Tigers
  • Brian Cashman, New York Yankees
  • Andy MacPhail, Baltimore Orioles
  • Andrew Friedman, Tampa Bay Rays
  • Ned Colletti, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Kenny Williams, Chicago White Sox
  • Doug Melvin, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Bill Smith, Minnesota Twins

This isn’t a list of sure firings, or anything like that.

A dozen GMs will not lose their jobs this offseason. But as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, a dozen clubs face some form of uncertainty in the position.

Looking at the top of that list, I can’t help but wonder why it’s so rare for a general manager to lose his job mid season. Teams like the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros are in obvious rebuild mode, and yet they put the beginning stages of that period in the hands of the people who put them in the position in which they need to rebuild.

If Hendry and Wade have done such a terrible job with their organizations, why should anyone trust their approach during the upcoming trade deadline, which if played properly, could be an important part of their respective teams’ futures.

For the Astros, players such as Wandy Rodriguez, Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn are all rumoured to be available, while the Cubs are listening to offers on Kerry Wood, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena.

And The Rest

After Miguel Tejada was placed on the Disabled List with an abdominal strain, the San Francisco Giants acquired Jeff Keppinger from the Houston Astros for minor-league right-handers Henry Sosa and Jason Stoffel, and then called up Brandon Belt, who made an immediate impact last night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Willie Mays was a purveyor of romance.

Meanwhile, on the heels of their big Juan Rivera acquisition, the Dodgers have released Marcus Thames.

Joe Maddon appreciates Tropicana Field almost as much as a prostate exam.

Are the Houston Astros still American League bound?

The Texas Rangers are intending to raise the rail heights around the stadium after the death of a fan before the All-Star break.

Ten former stars who ended up back in the Minor Leagues.

This is a serious article seriously suggesting that the 600 Home Run Club isn’t what it used to be.

It’s almost a foregone conclusion that this will be Jonathan Papelbon’s last season in a Boston Red Sox uniform, but what Brian MacPherson presupposes is: maybe it isn’t.

If Matt Cain is this generation’s Bert Blyleven, who gets to be this generation’s Rich Lederer?

As everyone continues to point out that Carlos Beltran’s contract precludes him from being offered arbitration at the end of the season, Craig Calcaterra wonders why anyone would ever consider offering him arbitration even without the contract stipulation.

Koji Uehara is the right handed reliever that we can all believe in, so of course, the Baltimore Orioles should place him on the trading block.

With the Tampa Bay Rays playoff hopes dwindling despite last night’s win, the Cincinnati Reds have emerged as candidates to acquire Big Game James Shields.

Are baseball teams adjusting strategy based on the quality of pitching?

Comments (16)

  1. in what universe is andrew friedman on a hot seat?

  2. is that because they can’t spring for air conditioning at the trop?

  3. If you read the link, it explains that Friedman and Cashman could both end up leaving their current teams. Not so much a typical hot seat situation.

  4. This has nothing to do with anything, but its been driving me crazy all year: this type B free agent business makes NO SENSE. AA built some temporary PoS back end of the bullpen on the premise that if all the pieces fall right we’ll be rewarded with an effing SECOND ROUND PICK. In the baseball draft!
    We’ve taken an idea Tampa was forced to adopt because of lack of cash, and brought it to some comedic absurdity where our major league team is built in part to stock our minor league system. And this ‘market inefficiency’ has yielded ZERO major leaguers for the Rays.
    But um…. some game last night wasn’t it!?

  5. And as a less hysterical aside, James Shields is on the market? The Jays have some future type B free agents that could be just up Tampa’s alley…

  6. I’m getting the impression that the Jays may not give or take anything with this trade deadline. But then again, maybe AA is just being really good at keeping everything hush until something is actually done?

  7. Somebody better talk Ray off the ledge. It wouldn’t matter if the Jays had the Padres bullpen with Mariano Rivera closing, they weren’t making the playoffs this year. By the way, Type B free agents net you a pick in the supplementary portion of the first round. Draft picks also take a few years so you have to be patient. If you think it’s a worthless strategy, check out all the supplemental picks the Red Sox have made in the last few years and note the guys that are playing for the Red Sox, traded for top players, or are top prospects in their system.

  8. @Daniel – I’m still not totally convinced this couldn’t have been a competitive year. The Jays have 15 blown saves which would have been enough wins to put the Jays at the top of the AL East right now. While that wouldn’t necessarily pan out until the end of the season, people sure would be more excited about the Jays than they currently are.

  9. @Canuckistani – The Jays would have a few more wins, but you can’t assume that all 15 blown saves would become 15 wins with a better bullpen. No matter how good the bullpen is, there will still be blown saves.

  10. I’d be interested in knowing exactly how many losses were blown saves. Because even with 7 or 8 not being blown makes a big difference in how this team is perceived. I’m just not sure how to readily look up that information.

  11. Very fair points, and I may have stepped up the crazy there a little. I don’t doubt that some players from supplemental and second rounds pan out very well. I just don’t buy the idea that this is somehow some market inefficiency. The Jays sacrifced a lot to be in a position to acquire these three second round picks. The Red Sox acquired the picks through the process of building a team, and they were lucky to have drafted so well. The Jays built their 2011 bullpen expressly to acquire these picks. That strategy is disingenuous to fans and detrimental to the long term development of the bullpen, which is in no better shape at the end of this season than it was at the end of last.
    Hopefully that was more coherent…

  12. The Jays have 15 blown saves in 13 games.

    They won 4 of those games.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/share.cgi?id=I7Zd9

  13. I think Adam Lind was a supplemental round pick. He’s pretty good. I’d take one Adam Lind per year out of the draft. It would go a long way towards building a contender.

  14. @Ray, I think I understand your frustration, nobody wants to see mediocre year after mediocre year. However, I don’t think it’s disingenuous of the Jays front office to load up on a bullpen of potential Type B free agents in a non-contending year. Unfortunately, the Jays live in a division where both the Red Sox and Rays work the compensation system in order to gain the most picks. If the Jays don’t compete with them in playing these games, they ultimately become the Orioles and nobody wants that. If it helps, the free agent compensation system probably gets revised with a new CBA next year and these loopholes will be closed.

  15. Thanks James. That’s nine games they lost because of the bullpen. I’d have to look at other teams, but I don’t imagine that being too horrible of a ratio.

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