Joe Torre's all but fired. The Boss will just not accept his team not making the playoffs, no matter how many Torre has led them to nor what dreckJaret Wright and Carl Pavano in one year? And let's not go into Kevin Brownteam management handed him in the guise of a starting rotation.
Jim Tracy's gone too, given the Dodgers' swoon. And Dusty Baker given the Cubs' underachieving ways. Lou Piniella will somehow shuffle off his D-Ray coil before next season. Oh, and Jack McKeon has worn out his welcome in Miami.
Did I forget anybody?
Lloyd McClendon (perennial losers in Pittsburgh)?
Buddy Bell (Can't fire the team)?
Frank Robinson? (New management in DC?)
Then there are established managers whose team's inability to advance in the postseason may not bode well (Bobby Cox? Terry Francona? Mike Scioscia? Bruce Bochy? Guillen? Showalter?)
Anybody left? (Actually, the one thing I am sure of is that Charlie Manuel will have a job in Philly next year so long as his codependent, GM Ed Wade, remains in power, and wild card slot would all but assure that.)
Speculation is wont to swirl especially when it's a slow news day. However, can we do more than speculate on the number of late or offseason firings that we can expect?
Well, can the past shed any light on this. Let's see
I took a look at the year-to-year retention rates throughout baseball history, and of course generated a table from it. I summarized per decade taking the total number of managers who were the same for that franchise in the next season, the ones who were different, and the percent retained (year indicates the first year in the equation. For example, 2004 pertains to the managers from 2004 retained to start this year):
The average retention rate is about two-thirds (66.21%). However, baseball's held pretty close to retaining three-quarters of its managers over the last decade and a half. Here's a breakdown for that period:
So far this season, three of the original managers (Tony Pena, Dave Miley, and Lee Mazzilli) have already lost their jobs. That means that even if all of the managers remaining somehow keep their jobs, the 2005-06 retention rate could be no higher than 90%.
The all-time high retention rate was 93.75%, which occurred numerous times during the pre-expansion era (i.e., 15 of 16 managers retained).The all-time low, 25%, happened once (in 1878). However, the lowest percent of managers retained since baseball settled on the "original" 16 teams was 50% (which last happened in 1991).
So if we use the 75% thumb rule, one would expect 4.5 more managers to get canned before 2006 season starts. We'll need Solomon to take care of that final .5 manager, but can hope that Lloyd McClendon is one of the other four.
If we use the historical range (50% to 93.75%) as a guide, it's conceivable that no other manager will lose his (or her, in the case of an offseason sex change) job. But it's also conceivable that another 12 men will get the axe, if not the venerable Sir Charlie.
So there you have it. It is all as speculative as the headlines make it seem. But at least I hope it was a bit more fun than a blanket ESPN poll on the next guy to walk the gangplank.