Tap-In Question: Which American League East manager irks you the most, and why? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Tap-In Question: Which American League East manager irks you the most, and why?

The Boston Red Sox come to town today for four games. We all know what happened last time they did (if you don’t, well, Google is your friend).

And if you can’t remember, well, I’m cutting you off at the Tap Room today.

To recap briefly, the Orioles and Red Sox demonstrated that they didn’t like each other in late April in Baltimore or in early May in Boston.

Now, at the start of June, the assumption is that they still don’t like each other, but I doubt there will be a major carryover from those games. Then again, I’ve been wrong before.

The dustups between the Orioles and Red Sox basically led me to ask a question to all of you Monday: How would you rank the AL East teams in order of your dislike?

The electorate was fairly split among the Red Sox, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays. The Tampa Bay Rays were basically the Green Party in this vote.

In our comments section, it was interesting to me how many people mentioned one of the AL East managers as a reason to dislike the various teams: Boston’s John Farrell, Toronto’s John Gibbons and, on occasion, New York’s Joe Girardi, were the targets of vitriol. Tampa’s Kevin Cash got no love in the hate category.

It was a surprising development to me – the hatred of managers, not Cash being left out – but it makes a little sense. Farrell, Girardi and Gibbons have been in their respective uniforms longer than many of their players.

Besides, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and David Ortiz are all retired now, so there are fewer big-named players for Orioles’ fans to boo. So why not dislike the veteran managers, I suppose?


My guess here is that Farrell wins this contest – simply because he seemingly kept the bad blood between the Orioles and Red Sox churning. But then there’s Gibbons’ long, slow strolls to the mound and Girardi’s propensity for 19 pitching changes per game. And Girardi did turn down the Orioles’ managerial job years ago while he waited for the Yankees to come calling (hard to blame him for that, though).

And, hey, if you’re visiting from elsewhere and are new to this joint, Buck Showalter could be the answer. He’s not as beloved in the rest of the country as he is in Charm City.

So, maybe the answers will be as varied as when I asked about teams Monday. I’d like an explanation on why you chose the manager you did – if you’re feeling charitable.

Tap-In Question: Which AL East manager irks you the most?



  1. claudecat

    June 1, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Maybe it’s just because I’m fresh off three games, each unnecessarily longer than three hours, but I’m going Joe Girardi in a photo finish of managerial hatred. The insane number of (always mid-inning) pitching changes even in blowout games, the fact that even without so many of those the games tend to go long due to mound visits and assorted cry-babyism, and maybe most of all, the yearly hew and cry of “He deserves manager of the year! Just look at what he’s doing with those guys!” while he’s destroying the poor bullpen guys’ arms through overuse and burning through an array of plug-and-play reserves, the ones that clamor for one last shot at MLB action and suddenly find the fountain of youth for a month or so in the Bronx.

    It’s real close though. Both Farrell and Gibbons do many of the same things. They don’t seem to get the same degree of sportswriter lust however. I’ll put Farrell at second by a nose, Gibbons third by a whisker. A collision at the finish line wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world…

    • Dan Connolly

      June 1, 2017 at 11:04 am

      I get all your points. I do think he is a pretty good manager, though. Overall, anyway. Really tough place to manage.

  2. JoeFundo

    June 1, 2017 at 8:12 am

    1) Gibbons
    2) Farrell
    3) Girardi
    (No issues with Cash)

    • Dan Connolly

      June 1, 2017 at 11:05 am

      Curious: why Gibbons 1?

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    June 1, 2017 at 8:31 am

    John Farrell gets my vote. He’s just so smug after winning a world series with another man’s team … that and he banned fried chicken from the locker room.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 1, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Luckily for you Boog, live chickens are still permitted in MLB clubhouses.

  4. bigdaddydk

    June 1, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Going from dislike the least to the most:

    5. Kevin Cash – He’s just not a jerk. He manages a team that can be competitive and develops players well (only to have them move on to greener pastures).
    4. Buck Showalter – He’s my man, but he can vault himself to the top of the list whenever he puts Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, or Ubaldo Jimenez into a game in a high leverage situation or keeps a starter in one hitter too many. Since he has mobility on the list, I have to place him here, although he’s still my favorite O’s manager since Earl.
    3. Joe Girardi – It’s the franchise that I don’t like. I don’t really have anything against Girardi. He’s a very good manager and has done more with less with the Yankees than Torre ever did.

    The following two are subject to change at any time based on who the O’s play:

    2. John Gibbons – Gibbons is surrounded by obnoxious players Nd he keeps them competitive. I don’t like competitive teams full of douchebags. Therefore, Gibbons ranks high on this list. He also is worth an additional four to five warm up tosses for a reliever as he takes his leisurely stroll to the mound.
    1. John Farrell – I get that you have to support your players, but Farrell’s recent inability to acknowledge that throwing at O’s hitters is wrong, and stirring up the pot, puts him in this position. Plus, among all AL East managers, he’s about the whiniest of the bunch. I don’t have anyone on the Red Sox that I really despise — OK, Chris Sale and Matt Barnes won’t be getting Christmas cards from me — but Farrell alone makes them easy to dislike.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 1, 2017 at 11:07 am

      As I’ve said previously, I do think Farrell’s part in the bad blood episode was pronounced.

  5. Bancells Moustache

    June 1, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I keep looking at the above lists of names and between Girardi, Cash, Farrell and Gibbons I don’t see a single guy who left Zach Britton in the bullpen in a win or go home playoff game.

    • bigdaddydk

      June 1, 2017 at 9:38 am

      Precisely why I cited Showalter as #4 with mobility on the list. My UJ in a high leverage situation reference was noted with that in mind. I see my list as more fluid, but on the average day it’s as I posted it.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      June 1, 2017 at 10:01 am

      Sorry Richie … I know you’ve been a BIG proponent of the “don’t settle … expect championships” mentality around here for the past year …. and there is MUCH to be said for that … but the memories of 1998 thru 2011 are still too fresh in my mind. Buck gets a pass for a few more years in my book. Now if you could only find me another Weaver.

      • Bancells Moustache

        June 1, 2017 at 1:05 pm

        Put it this way: the Orioles have the best record in the American League since 2012. You are what your record says you are. So the best team in the league for 5 years now has one playoff series win to its credit. If this were Boston, New York or even Toronto the coach would be feeling the heat right now, not planning what pose he wants to strike for his centerfield statue

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          June 1, 2017 at 1:14 pm

          Even Buck must realize he won’t be posing in center field unless he brings home a world championship or 2. Heck let’s make it 3!

    • Dan Connolly

      June 1, 2017 at 11:07 am

      This is an interesting take. Drink chips all around.

  6. ComeBack2Camden

    June 1, 2017 at 10:15 am

    John Gibbons, King of the Failed Challenge. MLB data indicate that Gibbons challenges more often than the average manager but is almost certainly the least successful. I love replay, but he makes unnecessary use of it. Success rates in challenging:
    Year. Jays. Others
    2014. 33.3%. 48.2%
    2015. 42.3%. 49.5%
    2016. 36.4%. 49.0%
    2017. 29.4%. 49.9%

    • Dan Connolly

      June 1, 2017 at 11:11 am

      Yep. That is one of the annoyances of watching the Jays play. He takes his hacks, much like his players.

  7. Wade Warren

    June 1, 2017 at 10:28 am

    John Farrell should have been suspended with his pitcher.He illustrated throwing at Manny.
    Joe Girardi with the bs of Orioles stealing their signs.
    John Gibbons he is a Blue Jay and is a jerk.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 1, 2017 at 11:15 am

      Just a personal aside. Gibbons is one of my favorite managers to interview. He thinks about the question. Always makes time for you, has a good sense of humor and is self-deprecating. That doesn’t really matter in this venue, but figured I’d share. Ive also found Girardi to be accommodating and professional at all times during our interactions. I’ve had limited interaction with the other 2.


    June 1, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Most disliked?
    1. John Gibbons. The man is a whiner and he has no control of his team. Do you think Joey Bats would tone things down if his manager told him to? Of course. I think the man gets paid for each replay problem.
    2. John Farrell. He thinks he is Connie Mack and he isn’t even Terry Francona. His immaturity shows up almost daily. He did a terrible job in the playoffs last year against Cleveland. He wont be there much longer.
    3. Joe Girardi. He doesn’t bother me too much. He has the toughest job in baseball and he should be admired for keeping it so long. I am sure he doesn’t get along with Buck but that’s OK.
    4. Kevin Cash. A breath of fresh air after Maddon.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 1, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      Would have been an interesting list for many if Maddon had stayed in Tampa.

  9. Liamandcarolinesdad

    June 1, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Farrell probably wouldn’t have been at the top of my list if this question was posed in the offseason. With the shenanigans that transpired thus far though, he has to be at the top of my list. I can not play out a scenario in my head where he didn’t have something to do with the nonstop retaliation. At best, all he has is plausible deniability and that just screams lack of leadership. I do absolutely hate the Red Sox though, maybe even more than the Yankees. Every time there’s an injury to a player, they go into panic mode because they don’t have some superstar riding the bench as a backup.

    Gibbons just irks me. There’s nobody in baseball I detest more than Jose Bautista (no I won’t acknowledge his moronic nickname). If AJ even thought about pulling the same stunts that he does, Buck would have him by the grapefruits. Gibbons just plays along. And holy replays…

    Girardi I can tolerate about 50% of the time. He does seem like a hothead and a bit of a prick, but I think that if he wasn’t that way with that market, he’d be eaten alive. I must say that I am glad to see the Yankees actually developing some players and keeping them around, rather than continuing a bidding war with the Red Sox for i producing, overly-hyped has beens. I’m looking at you, Hong Kong Phooey – or Kung Fu Panda…whatever.

    Cash just seems like a guy I’d enjoy having a beer with. He screams that scrappiness of a David Eckstein and the machismo of Deion Sanders. I like the guy and I wish him success…just less success than us.

    And then there’s Buck. He’s our guy, and he’s done more with the reigns since the Earl of Baltimore. His refusal to play Kim and bench underperformers, despite their salaries, absolutely enrages me. He has made multiple covfefe with the bullpen, but he’s still our guy. I’d rather have him than…well just about anyone

    • Dan Connolly

      June 2, 2017 at 1:07 am

      Excellent post. Drink chip

  10. Liss

    June 1, 2017 at 8:08 pm


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