We polled fans on Twitter about what they believe is most important for their Los Angeles Dodgers to take care of. Their options: Re-signing Zack Greinke or hiring the right manager.
A whopping 1,393 people voted, making this as good as almost any sports poll you’ll find on Twitter. The results are as follows.
You spoke, so we figured why not analyze each side of the issue.
Finding The Right Dodgers Manager
Here’s the thing: It’s been statistically shown over the last few years that managers make nowhere near the impact on games as we previously thought. It’s why the Washington Nationals were perfectly comfortable lowballing Bud Black in their negotiations.
Why overspend on a manager when in terms of how aspects of the organization actually affect wins and losses, managers probably come after the front office and the actual talent on the field.
All that said, while the on-field moves have been marginalized, there is something to be said about the next Dodgers manager starting on the same page as the front office.
Does this mean the “puppet” narrative is fitting? Nope. But it does mean the front office is perfectly within its own right to prioritize how well the next manager work with them over whichever moves said manager might make during the course of a game and, by extension, the season.
Find a manager is obviously important and the Dodgers are right to take their time and find the right fit. Compared to whatever talent they acquire or bring back this offseason at the top of the rotation, though, whoever is hired pales in comparison.
Finding Or Replacing A High-Caliber Starter
The easiest move here is to simply bring back Greinke and try to win a World series with his and Clayton Kershaw’s dominance Here’s the thing, though: it just doesn’t feel like that’s how teams are winning the nowadays.
Look at the New York Mets’ rotation. Jason legroom and Noah Syndergaard for example. Both guys throw incredible stuff at batter simply hope to make contact. Once those guys get out of the game, though, momentum can shift a lot more easily than teams would like to admit.
When the Mets played to Dodgers, it didn’t matter nearly as much seeing as there were gaping holes throughout the batter order.
Against the insanely contact-happy Kansas City Royals, those Mets pitchers who got batters to miss almost whenever they desperately needed became slightly marginalized as the game got to the later innings and the they could only watch from the dugout.
It’s why the Dodgers might be wondering how this plays out if they pass on the super-expensive pitchers they could sign for the type of pitcher who simply gets the game to the bullpen consistently.
No matter what, though, it is going to be fun to see how Friedman and his team make a flawed roster work before they head into Spring Training.
I, for one, though, will be paying more attention to how the pitching situation works out over whoever stands atop the dugouts steps next year. The game has changed, ever so slightly. It’ll be interesting to see if the Dodgers can keep up.