Originally Posted by Lip Man 1
I'm certainly not advocating 'firing' Robin by any means but to the points raised about Sox collapses and firings, I can think of two right off the top of my head:
1967 = Stanky... fired in May of 1968.
2003 = Manuel... fired in the off season.
To build on Daver's point, Eddie Stanky's firing came in June of 1968, 79 games into the season with the White Sox 18.5 games out of first, ninth in the 10-team American League in the last year before divisional play. Stanky wasn't fired after the collapse of 1967, which involved losing the last five games. He wasn't fired in April after the Sox lost their first 10 games of 1968. It has been said that Stanky didn't relate well to black players. I don't know that that is documented. That may be an assumption people have made based on Stanky being one of the Dodgers who started a petition to keep Jackie Robinson off of the team.
The Sox never had a big lead in either 1967 or 2012. They never pulled away. The most notable collapses in baseball were the 1951 Dodgers (up 13 on August 11), 1969 Cubs (up 9 on August 16), 1964 Phillies (up 6.5 with 12 to play) and the 2012 Rangers (up 5 with 9 to play) did not fire their managers in the offseason.
Charlie Dressen went on to win pennants with the Dodgers in 1952 and 1953 after Leo Durocher's Giants beat him out in 1951. Durocher was midway through his 1972 season with before the his Cubs tenure reached critical mass (as with Guillen ifor the 2011 White Sox). Gene Mauch wasn't fired by the Phillies until 1968. And I don't see the Rangers firing Ron Washington anytime soon.
It's true that Washington went to the World Series for two straight years, and lost to teams the public underestimated. But Durocher and Mauch were managing long suffering teams that seemed to miss their window. Dressen was a rookie manager for a team that had never won a World Series.
There is no reason to blame Ventura for this year's White Sox collapse, blowing that three game lead with 15 to go.
And, really, I didn't see Ventura being outmaneauvered by other managers. There was a criticism from the start that he went too long with his starting pitchers, but I always believed that was to save the rookiie-heavy bullpen. I think he was good at getting the matchups he wanted. In the end, the players didn't execute. The wasted opportunities over the last two weeks was the result of players not executing. The problem wasn't with players bunting the go-ahead run to third where he could score on a fly ball, the problem was hitters striking out with the runner on third and not scoring him.
I don't think there is any problem with the manager and coaching staff, although the third-base coach did seem to be at the center of a lot of failures in September. I don't think there was anything Ventura could do differently with the pitching staff to keep pitching from running out of gas in late September. For example, the problem wasn't that Adam Dunn was hitting third, it was that he was in the lineup at all. If you have an offense that hits a lot of home runs, that strikes out a lot and doesn't hit for a high batting average, as opposed to an offense that makes solid, consistent line-drive contact, your offense is vulnerable to being shut down. Hitting isn't about OPS, its about hitting.