Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
September 15, 2008 4:12 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
This is actually a real world update, and yes, Ned Yost has been fired as manager of the wild-card leading Milwaukee Brewers. This is a surprising development, but not unprecedented in baseball. I remember vividly living in Montreal back in 1981, when the Expos fired Dick Williams in early September. The Expos under interim manager Jim Fanning then rallied to win the "second half" of a strike-shortened season, took the Phillies in the full five games of the divisional playoff, then went the full five against the Dodgers in the NLCS, losing on a Rick Monday homer in the ninth.
You can be sure that Brewers GM Doug Melvin and assistant GM Gord Ash -- both Canadian-born and raised -- remembered all about that little piece of history when today's firing was decided upon. The final straw may have been Yost's bullpen usage in yesterday's series sweep at the hands of the Phillies. But truthfully, it looks a lot like the Williams situation. A manager who just couldn't get his team to win when it had to. Sometimes, any change at all can fix that. It did the Expos. Fanning turned out to be not much of a full-time manager. But he was enough for those final weeks of 1981 and the post-season.
It's a desperate move, yes. At a desperate time. But sometimes, teams will try anything to shake players out of a losing malaise.