As we get close to the All-Star break, teams start to assess their seasons. Some decide to trade for a key player for the stretch drive and others decided that they're out of it and sell off their assets. Of course others start to think the problem and/or convenient scapegoat is their manager and decide to make a change there.
We haven't had a managerial firing so far this season, but if history is any guide, that's about to change. So how secure is the job status of these managers?
Terry Collins, Mets: The Mets have been bad this season. At 32-43, they're 11 games out of both the division and a wild card spot. But the Mets were supposed to be bad this season. So why is Terry Collins in danger of losing his job?
Because this is New York and they're the Mets. Although Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that "people need to be a little more patient" and the Daily News reports that it would be "highly unlikely" that Collins gets fired during the season, we've heard that tune from front offices before.
Additionally, there have been loud calls for the Mets Triple-A affiliate Las Vegas 51s Manager (and Mets fan favorite) Wally Backman to take over managing the team. Reportedly that won't happen because Backman has upset the Mets front office with his perceived angling for the job, the Mets could decide to temporarily put an end to the chaos by firing Collins and hiring anyone to take his place
Collins probably saved his job by sweeping the Yankees in May. That will only buy him so much time.
Chance of Firing: Extremely High
Eric Wedge, Mariners: Eric Wedge has been the Mariners manager for two and a half years now and the Mariners have yet to be over .500. The Mariners have had several highly-touted young players in recent years: Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak, Jesus Montero -- all of whom have disappointed. Wedge caused a kerfuffle when he seemingly blamed sabermetrics and bloggers for Ackley's troubles.
The Mariners have had a losing record every month this season. They've lost seven of their last 10 games. If the Cubs come in to Seattle and sweep the Mariners, the end could come sooner rather than later.
Chance of Firing: Extremely High
Charlie Manuel, Phillies: Manuel's contract runs out at the end of the season and the Phillies have made no move to extend him. Everyone knows that Ryne Sandberg is waiting in the wings to take his job. The Phillies record stands at 38-42 and the team is debating whether to sell off their high-priced talent.
But Manuel is likely gone at the end of the season anyway. It seems extremely unlikely that the Phillies make a run for the post-season. Since firing him now wouldn't likely make any difference, the Phillies may, in deference to his World Series title with the team, allow him to finish out the season and his contract.
Chance of Firing: High
Don Mattingly, Dodgers: Just last month I was posting an article from Ken Rosenthal saying the the Managerial Grim Reaper was at Don Mattingly's door. Since then, the Dodgers have called up Yasiel Puig and the team has had a slight turn-around. The Dodgers have a winning record, barely, in June so far at 13-12. They're still in last place, but only six game back and the NL West lacks a dominating team.
The fact that the Dodgers are still in the race cuts both ways for Mattingly. On the one hand, he's kept them in the race despite a lot of injuries and adversity. On the other hand, they're close enough to the post-season that making a change could be the difference. Many people have questioned whether Mattingly was ready for a job like managing the Dodgers, but the new ownership kept him on when they took over. Also, Team President Stan Kasten wasn't known for an itchy trigger finger during his time in Atlanta.
Mattingly seems safe for the time being, but if the Dodgers fortunes turn south in July . . .
Chance of Firing: Medium, for now.
Ned Yost, Royals: Here's another manager whose obituary Ken Rosenthal was writing in May. The Royals announced in the off-season they were going for the playoffs this year when they traded the top prospect in baseball, Wil Myers, to Tampa for James Shields. While Shields has been fabulous, the rest of the team has not. Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas haven't lived up to the promises of their rookie years. On June 4, the Royals were mired in last place, nine games under .500 and 7½ games out of first.
But Yost bought himself some time by convincing local legend George Brett to take over as temporary hitting coach. Then the Royals started to play better. Hosmer has responded positively to Brett's instructions. As of today, they've gotten to within four games of .500. While they're still 5½ games out of first place, a playoff spot is still a long-shot, but it now seems at least possible.
Yost has no room for error. The Royals have a 14-10 record in June so far. As long as they keep winning more than they're losing, he'll keep his job.
Chance of Firing: Medium for now, but this could change quickly.
Notes on other managers: The White Sox are having a disappointing season under Robin Ventura and the questions about his experience have started. But as many who argued against the Cubs hiring Ryne Sandberg, it's hard to fire a local legend. There was talk about Mike Scioscia taking the fall for the Angels poor season, but he has a long-term contract and a great relationship with the owner. Also, the front office knows that if they fire him, he'll end up managing the Dodgers sooner rather than later, and that's a potential PR disaster they'd rather avoid. More like GM Jerry DiPoto takes the fall in Anaheim. The Brewers are having an awful season under Ron Roenicke, but the team seems to be blaming injuries for that, at least for now. The Nationals are having a disappointing season under Davey Johnson, but they've already announced that he won't be managing the team in 2014 and canning him now doesn't seem to serve any purpose. Finally, the Twins haven't fired a manager since 1986, which is before a lot of you were even born. Ron Gardenhire is safe.