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  1. This is the main reason that I think Charlie Manuel is a good manager. He manages players well. He’s willing to bench players for not playing hard, but also to do it in a way that doesn’t anger the players. Compare this to Larry Bowa, who just pissed off players–eventually running Scott Rolen out of town. They both had the “You gotta play hard” mentality, but Manuel seems to be much better at it.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — May 20, 2010 @ 10:42 am

  2. The ‘massaging egos’ part is pretty important, but you still need to not fail in other important aspects. Case in point: Joe Torre, Bullpen Arsonist. For years, he was praised for how he handled his veterans, and it’s a great credit to him, but there are other aspects of the job he just flat-out sucks in.

    Comment by Kevin S. — May 20, 2010 @ 10:44 am

  3. Bobby Cox is the same way, he absolutely wears out the bullpen and babies his starters. He’s a good clubhouse manager though.

    Comment by azimdamani — May 20, 2010 @ 11:00 am

  4. The best thing for the manager to say is that

    I’m not going to get into a personal feud. Hanley was benched for not sprinting after the ball. He’s our best player and will be back in the lineup tomorrow.

    Then he’s not dependant on Hanley apologizing. It seems to have worked out anyway, but Hanley is likely to be slightly more disgruntled as a result.

    Comment by joeiq — May 20, 2010 @ 11:18 am

  5. Good article, but in this case I’m not sure how well he actually handled it. Dawson and Perez appear to be the ones that got Hanley to “back down”, while Gonzalez was taking (polite) shots at Ramirez in the media.

    But you’re dead on that the nitpicking of managers for minor things like where someone hits in the lineup or how often they bunt is pretty silly.

    Comment by Mark — May 20, 2010 @ 11:41 am

  6. Minor pet peeve that I have to share: why do some fangraphs writers (mainly Carson Cistulli) write as if this were McSweeney’s? Jack, this is actually a great article with a nice, casual style – why start it with that pretentious title “ON hanley’s return…”. You can just say “Hanley’s return…” Cistulli’s articles are particularly egregious – he seems to go out of his way with every word to prove some kind of sophisticated, pompous intelligence. I love the analysis at fangraphs but I get frustrated by the occasional puffed-up writing style.

    Anyone with me?

    Comment by Ellis — May 20, 2010 @ 11:52 am

  7. I blame Michel Montaigne for the “On…” thing.

    Comment by Bill — May 20, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

  8. I think Fredi knows he better not piss off the golden goose. Because if ownership sees a problem with Hanley v. Fredi…. it’s ADIOS Gonzalez!!!

    Comment by Billy — May 20, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

  9. I think you’re missing the balance you need to strike as a manager there. You have to both keep your star player in the game while also encouraging a culture of hustle, teamwork, and all-around non-prima-donna-ism. The latter stuff requires some amount of punishment and example setting, which is necessarily going to conflict with the first goal of keeping Hanley in the game. Gonzalez accomplished both goals, but only because Hanley eventually came around. Would Gonzalez have been any less of a manager if Hanley had extended his tantrum and taken the situation nuclear? I’d think Hanley would be to blame in that situation, not Gonzalez.

    Comment by Dave — May 20, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

  10. i’m totally with you, i can’t stand carson. by far the worst writer on this site. he’s not funny, either.

    Comment by kamikaze80 — May 20, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  11. Kinda along the lines of what Dave said, by not handling a situation correctly, the *other* players on the team may be affected, and not produce as many runs as they could. It’s not just a balance between benching Hanley and keeping Hanley productive, it’s also a (very hard to measure, if measurable at all) balance between the positive runs created by playing your best player and the negative runs created through the 24 other players on the team down the line .

    Comment by Simon — May 20, 2010 @ 5:15 pm

  12. do that, and there is no closure.. no way “to put it behind you”. You have to have the final act somewhere, adn as the player was the one who was out of line, his is the act that has to be done. Do that act, and move ahead. He did, and the Marlins are moving ahead.

    Same with kids. They apologize for their misdeed, and you two (parent and kid) put it behind you and move on.

    Comment by Cidron — May 20, 2010 @ 11:34 pm

  13. Nope, not with you. I never understand why people fixate on headlines at all. They either briefly give some sense of the topic (which is fine, no matter how brief, since all the length and nuance and complexity belongs in the article) or they don’t (which is bad, and the only real reason for criticism, however muted by the relative unimportance).

    I had a bigger objection to the headlines when the writers were obviously straining to make every one a pun.

    Comment by joser — May 21, 2010 @ 4:54 am

  14. Though I will add, I generally skip Carson’s articles. But there’s a lot I skip here.

    Comment by joser — May 21, 2010 @ 4:56 am

  15. I called it! LOL

    “ADIOS Gonzalez!”

    Comment by Billy — June 23, 2010 @ 11:14 am

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