Not long after the Yankees named Aaron Boone their new manager, we heard from some Orioles fans here that Buck Showalter would “school” the rookie skipper next year.
No doubt hiring Boone was a risk. He has never managed in the pro ranks - in the minors or majors. He has never coached in the majors. His most recent experience in the game came in the ESPN broadcast booth.
He could certainly make mistakes due to a lack of experience. But before we assume the Orioles will take advantage of Boone’s lack of time as a big league skipper, we should understand that players make managerial decisions look both good and bad. A move that looks crazy can work and an obvious move can still produce awful results. Once a manager makes a decision, it is up to the players to come through or not.
Boone is no doubt going to surround himself with some experience and he won’t be the only decision-maker on the New York bench.
Plus, a manager’s real strength may be as a leader and tone setter for a team as much as it is about decisions made game to game. We hear so much about managers relating to players and someone with a long big league career as a player like Boone will know what players like and need coming from the skipper’s office. I also liked Boone’s take on analytics - he said basically that a manager needs to know which players might want big use of the analytics/stats and which players may not want any or only little input from the analytics department at all.
Five of six new managers hired this offseason have no previous major league managing experience. It is clear the industry doesn’t see it as critical anymore.
Showalter has managed 2,907 major league games to zero for Boone. Showalter has skippered four teams over 19 seasons, with a winning a percentage of .517 and making the playoffs five times. He has seen a lot that Boone hasn’t yet from the dugout. A whole lot. But will that truly make a difference when the Orioles and Yankees play in 2018?
The top 10 prospects: Baseball America announced a new and updated listing of the Orioles’ top 10 prospects on Wednesday. After a year as the No. 1 prospect, catcher Chance Sisco is No. 1 no longer.
My personal list is very close to that one and I published that here earlier.
For five straight years, Dylan Bundy was the Orioles’ No. 1 prospect. He held the top spot from Baseball America from 2011 through 2015 and Sisco was No. 1 last year. Now Hays moves up from No. 7 to No. 1. He had a great 2017 season, one that ended with him as a finalist for Baseball America’s minor league Player of the Year award and one that ended for him in the majors.