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TuesdoLinks: The Buck Stops Down There

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Skipper Brad takes the fall for a fractured franchise

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

I have been in corporate America long enough to know that the buck actually stops in more than one place, and those places are always one or two steps below the levels of the true culprits. (Ignore the proclamations of Padres owner Ron Fowler. Ain’t gonna happen.)

By all outwardly appearances, managing the modern MLB franchise means being more relatable to today’s younger players, surrendering a significant portion of the roster/strategic/tactical decision making to Front Office analytical data culled and collated by analysts and empowered by the General Manager, and handing over more progressive training and development techniques into the hands of a trusted new wave coaching staff.

The measurement of a manager’s success is now their ability to meld those things with what remains of the more traditional managerial duties, and hope that those work well enough with the talent level and roster health (over roster depth) handed to him by the GM. Well, well enough to satisfy the franchise owner. There is some selling that needs to go on there, mostly selling the promise of just-around-the-corner.

Skipper Brad may, indeed, be a ways out from being seasoned enough to master all of that. I don’t know. I think we can say for sure that he is not good enough to sell the just-around-the-corner. Had he been, no matter what Arte Moreno, John Carpino and Billy Eppler had decided to do, he would have been able to talk them out of it. Sometimes that is a monumental task, but it does happen.

And Skip had a monumental task. Eppler knows that his band-aid approach to a broken arm while he waits for things to heal resulted in a mess. Arte knows that he might allow Billy to chase Big Splash free agents but he still has a budget that will not allow a Dodger-like restore while rebuild. And Carpino knows that his staffing decisions over the past 2 decades does wonders for Arte’s operating expenses but can’t keep up with the big boy ball clubs. They all know it, but they also know that they ain’t gonna take the fall. But the Angels needed to act quickly, therefore somebody had to.

I am going to surmise that the reason this would have been a monumental challenge for Brad to sell himself not getting stuck with the 72-win season was because of timing. There are far more marketable names suddenly available and interested in coaching in Southern California and the fan base needs reinvigorating. The marketing department sold only 19,012 seats more than Arte’s 3 million mantra and the trend on that is nasty. Floppy hats and lucha libre masks ain’t going to fix this. The Angels need new brand names in place before the season ticket selling kicks in.

So here we are. USC went up to Washington and lost a game that they could have won. Now it’s obvious that Clay Helton needs to go, so Arte needed to jump ahead of the Trojans immediately if he hopes to land Urban Meyer. Nice and handsome though he may be, Skipper Brad had to go.

Because I got home so late last night, these are The-Abbreviated-Links


The playoffs start tonight, with the National League Play-In game between the Nationals and Brewers. I’m really looking forward to Friday, though, when we are guaranteed 4 games. It’s kind of a playoff frenzy..........

Starting times as far out as they are known..............

Oh, please, let’s have some umpire shenanigans! MLB is doing their part to set the stage...........

The Day of Reckoning is upon them, as the Red Sox are on the verge of a tear-down..............

The Nationals are trying to lock up my favorite third baseman, Anthony Rendon................

Lots of managers have gotten the pink slip, and that means that lots of coaches are cutting back their Christmas shopping budgets. The Arizona Diamondbacks, though, they do things differently. Manager Torey Lovullo is still at the helm, but Halo fans will recognize this one: his pitching coach, Mike Butcher, is the one who got canned..............Trader Jerry is also flipping the script on coaching changes. They are clearly the reason why Jer’s empty shell failed, and clearly had nothing to do with that early season phenom that same roster shell put forth. But, then, Jerry really really likes his buddy Scott Servais...........

We knew this was coming. MLB had its worst attendance in 16 years. Well deserved, if you ask me............

Home runs erased by history, and the rule books.............

($$) - Mark Langston is lucky to be alive..............

We losers who are not in the playoffs can now start thinking about the June Draft. Detroit Tigers, losiest of all losers, you are on the clock............

Lots of outlets want to predict the playoffs. I don’t know why. The point is to watch them and see what really happens. What I do know is that I need a team to root for. The Tampa Bay Rays will do quite nicely............