Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Big News 

... is that Richie Sexson has declined the Diamondbacks' new-and-improved contract offer (Now With A Third Guaranteed Year?)

What, you thought I was going to mention the hiring of Wally Backman as Diamondbacks manager?

Seriously, Dan Bickley's column this morning echoed what I'd been thinking about yesterday afternoon's hiring. Maybe Wally Backman will be a very good major league manager (the man was named Baseball America's Minor League Manager of the Year this year, which I believe was his second such award). Or maybe his hard-charging style will wear thin on veterans on a club struggling to get to .500 in 2005.

But it really doesn't matter if Sexson walks and Johnson decides he wants to play for a team shooting for 100 wins, not 100 losses.

The truth is, nobody really knows what makes a good or a bad minor league manager. (And, frankly, even if they did, it would vary from team to team.) U.S.S. Mariner's reaction (thanks to Rob at 6-4-2 for the link) makes one think that Wally stiffed the blog on a bar bet or maybe dumped the blog's younger sister as his boyfriend. The optimist in me says that the younger D-Backs seemed to pick up their play in late August and September when Pedrique started benching players and that with another year of experience and a more hard-nosed attitude, they'll thrive. Perhaps Backman will coach them well, too. Or perhaps Backman will wear out his welcome by July, and we'll have nothing but harangues to look forward to in the morning newspaper. Either way, I don't think Backman's presence will give or cost the Diamondbacks more than maybe 5 wins. And that's a pure guess on my part.

But Sexson's increasingly likely departure from the D-Backs worries me much more. And Sexson's departure would cost more than 5 wins a year.

Comments: Post a Comment