- There have been no MLB managerial firings so far in 2023.
- Dave Martinez, A.J. Hinch, and Aaron Boone top the list of who may be the first to go.
Four MLB managers were relieved of their duties mid-season in 2022, and the offseason brought its own slew of firings, retirements, and general partings of ways. Tony La Russa (Chicago White Sox), Don Mattingly (Miami Marlins), and Mike Matheny (Kansas City Royals) all exited their roles, and with the 2023 season now well underway, there are plenty of other managers whose days could be numbered.
As MLB playoff odds continue to dominate news, rumors, and everything in between, who could be the first manager of 2023 to find himself packing his bags?
MLB Managers on the Hot Seat
Dave Martinez — Washington Nationals
The sale of the Nationals has been paused, but that doesn’t make Martinez’s future as manager any less murky. Washington won the World Series in 2019 under his leadership, which has to hold some weight, but considering the Nationals went 26-34 in 2020, 65-97 in 2021, and 55-107 in 2022, there’s a good case to be made that a change is needed.
Phillies score two runs after umpires rule that the shortstop interfered with the runner who was thrown out at home
Nationals manager Dave Martinez was ejected and lost his mind on the umps
Phillies ended up winning 8-7 pic.twitter.com/tt3xgzbTSK
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) June 18, 2022
Washington is still stuck in the early stages of a complete rebuild, and the eventual new owners, whoever they may be, are likely to want to appoint their own GM and manager to start fresh. Honestly, I would do the same — Martinez has had incredible career highs with the Nationals, and I’m sure Washington will be forever grateful for his service, but the time has come to move forward.
The fact that the sale has been paused may be the only thing buying Martinez some time before his inevitable firing. As of May 25, the Nationals are last in the NL East with a record of 21-28, so it’s really just up to the current owners as to whether they want to pull the plug now, or make it the next guy’s problem.
A.J. Hinch — Detroit Tigers
As of May 25, the Tigers are second in the AL Central, but that’s undeniably a reflection on how bad the rest of the division is playing rather than any indication of success on the part of Detroit. With a record of 22-25, the Tigers are flailing, and all fingers are pointing squarely at Hinch.
Hinch joined the Tigers in December 2020, and his first season in the dugout saw the team finish third in the AL Central with a record of 77-85. In 2022, Detroit finished fourth in the division with a 66-96 record, and now in his third season as manager, the excuses for the team’s continuous losing records are wearing very thin.
Admittedly, the Tigers have been playing slightly better in the last couple of weeks after a truly abysmal start (they were 2-8 after their first 10 games), but is it really enough to convince owners that Hinch should be kept around? I’d say it’s very likely Detroit will have a new manager in the dugout by the All-Star break.
Aaron Boone — New York Yankees
The Yankees had a strong start to the 2022 season, but being knocked out in the ALCS was a long way from how they hoped it would end. New York has not made a World Series appearance since 2009, and while that isn’t the longest drought the franchise has ever experienced, it’s also not the culture of winning that the Yankees pride themselves on.
With Houston winning the ALCS in 2022, it has now been 13 years since the Yankees won an AL pennant. Boone took over as manager in 2018, and to his credit, the team has advanced to the playoffs in all five seasons that he’s been at the helm. Still, when it comes to the Yankees, just appearing in the postseason doesn’t quite cut it.
As of May 25, New York is third in the AL East with a record of 30-21. The Yankees are a very expensive franchise with a very demanding fan base, and no matter how you look at it, the team’s start to 2023 has been underwhelming, even if they have recently started coming back. Thirteen years without a World Series appearance just isn’t good enough, and when you add in underperformance this season, it’s not looking good for Boone.
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