View From the Center: A.L. West Managers
Welcome to "View From the Center", where our resident pseudo-expert slash Cincinnati Reds fan Jeff Gentil takes a regular rundown of the topics of interest within baseball's divisional landscape. Last week, contenders and pretenders. This week, managers.
Texas Rangers: Ron Washington was on the hot seat earlier this year for admitting his cocaine use while on the job. Without a good start from his team, he could have been out of a job and soon. But, he owned up to his mistakes and his team has rallied around him, grabbing a two game lead over the Angels and are in the process of exploring trades to bolster their run at the postseason.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Mike Scioscia played his entire career for the Dodgers. His manager, Tommy Lasorda, was also with the Dodgers his entire career. The way things are going, Scioscia is going to manage the Angels his entire managerial career. Now in year 11 at the helm, Scioscia has had nine winning seasons including one World Championship and his Angels are once again in the thick of the A.L. West race despite losing Chone Figgins, John Lackey, and Vladimir Guerrero this past off-season.
Oakland A's: Bob Geren has the third lowest payroll with the A's yet he has managed to keep his team within range of the top. When you have a $51 million payroll, and haven't been to the postseason in a few years there aren't many expectations. The fact that the A's are just one game under .500 and five games behind the Rangers is evidence of a fine managerial job.
Seattle Mariners: With the ninth highest payroll in the game, the Mariners' performance to date has been far below expectations and could lead to Don Wakamatsu being shown the door. The Mariners' $98 million investment has resulted in a team 16 games below .500 and 12.5 games out of first place. This from a team who traded for Cliff Lee to have a one-two punch with Felix Hernandez. So far, it hasn't worked and Wakamatsu could be the fall guy.