The Necessary Attributes to be a Major League Manager

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There are numerous schools of thought on effective leadership. One could spend hours upon hours at Amazon.com in this section. Because the Major League Baseball season is such a grind at around ten times the length of the NFL season, the necessary traits are somewhat unique compared with other professional sports. There are the old school supporters who would back the likes of Charlie Manuel and Jim Leyland, while opponents may cite the Braves Fredi Gonzalez and the White Sox Ozzie Guillen as models.

As the baseball season gets under way, fans brace themselves for disappointment from their teams. Even supporters in Philadelphia are sitting by with bated breath that their players stay healthy and perform up to expectations. A primary role of any leader is to put his personnel in positions where they can achieve the most success.

This is why the National League is a more attractive platform for the sharpest minds in the game. There is more strategy involved in pitching changes, pinch hitters, and defensive placement. It is true that one cannot engage in paralysis by analysis during the game because it is happening too quickly; the great managers see things before they happen. These men notice possible scenarios a half inning before they transpire. The ability to make predictions and put people in roles that maximize their potential are essential for managers.

The aforementioned length of the season means that a manager must preserve the bodies of his players. This dictates that the occasional day off for an afternoon start after a night game is the right move-especially at the catcher position. It also calls for not burning out one’s bullpen. If the club is up or down by numerous runs in the middle to late innings, it is time for someone to bite the bullet and pitch for a substantial period of time.

This is for future games and the good of the team so options can remain open for the manager in close games. On a related note, the same can be said for position players and their freshness. Joe Girardi has a skilled and elderly line-up in New York. Therefore, utilizing his bench in the late innings of games is important. It also improves the morale of the reserves because they feel more of a part of the day to day operations with increased playing time.

The ability to stand up for your players obtains credibility for managers. Men like Bobby Cox and Ron Gardenhire have fiery reputations.

While it may be true that this is occasionally an act, it rallies the troops behind them. Pitchers can’t argue balls and strikes, so the skipper has to take the onus upon himself to make sure that the strike zone doesn’t become a distraction from his quality of pitches. This is the most important call in the game because it happens hundreds of times. Only a few athletes throughout history can be preoccupied with officiating while maximizing their potential on the field.

–Patrick Herbert

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