Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dan Jennings Hire Reminds Many of the Final Billy Martin Hire

The Miami Marlins made news this week when the team fired their manager Mike Redmond less than 50 games into the season. Replacing Redmond is the team’s general manager Dan Jennings who will remain in both jobs at least until the end of the season according to Jeffrey Loria. Now I admit that I was barely alive and definitely not watching the Yankees when they hired Billy Martin to manage the team again in 1988 but I am a historian of the game and of my favorite team in New York and these two hiring’s are both, for the lack of a better word, interesting.

Before Martin was hired for the 1988 George Steinbrenner had already hired and fired Martin four times as the Yankees manager despite the two not exactly getting along. In fact Martin didn’t get along with many people during his Yankees tenure just ask Reggie Jackson in 1978 and that marshmallow salesman in 1979 who both cost Martin his jobs in separate instances. To make a long story short the Yankees manager lost his job once again after an altercation in the bathroom of a Texas topless bar, you can use your imagination or Google to find out the details if you would like, after being hired for the final time in the Bronx. Martin was reportedly being considered for a sixth go-around with the team when he died in a car accident in 1989 which begs the question that many Yankees fans had on the tip of their tongues each and every time he was hired, why?

I am pretty confident that the same can be said for the Jennings hire in Miami, minus the clubhouse altercations, the topless bars, the marshmallow man and the Bronx is Burning, why? Jennings has never coached, managed or played a professional game before in his life leaving many to wonder what made him more suitable then the plethora of candidates that are available for the job. Redmond was fired because of the lack of on-the-field success with a team that he, the GM, built and assembled this offseason.

The Jennings hiring was not the 1951 St. Louis Browns who hired the fans (literally) to manage, the 1961 Chicago Cubs who hired a College of Coaches to manage or the 1977 Atlanta Braves who hired Ted Turner to be their manager on paper but it may turn out in the end to be a lot like the disaster that Pete Rose hiring was to the Cincinnati Reds in 1984 (before the gambling and the banishment from the game and all that). 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)