Monday, April 18, 2005
April 18th, 2001
Larry Rothschild Fired
Larry Rotshchild had been Jim Leyland's pitching coach with the Marlins in 1997 and was hired after that season to manage the new Devil Rays franchise. Rothschild's talents as a manager as somewhat debatable. On the one hand, his career record was just two hundred five wins aganist two hundred ninety four losses. On the other, I doubt even Billy Martin could've made the early Devil Rays teams respectable, let alone contenders. The question I ask however, is why bother firing Rothschild at this point the season. The Rays were off to a bad start (4-10, .286) but they were unlikely to play at that pace for the rest of the season--it puts them awful close to 1962 Mets/2003 Tigers zone--and if they did, well, at least that would be something that might draw some fans and national media attention. Rothschild's replacement was Hal McRae, and took over and lead the team to fifty-eight and ninety (.392) record the rest of 2001 and then managed the worst D-Rays team ever in 2002 when they lost one hundred and six games.
Firing Rothschild is, along with a thousand other things, emblamatic of the problem of the Devil Rays franchise, one that has been appallingly bad for years now: namely, action for action's sake. Of course, they aren't the only franchise guilty of this, on this very date in 2002, after a 3-12 start, the Brewers fired Davey Lopes and replaced him with Jerry Royster. Naturally, the move didn't "shake up" the team and they went on to lose one hundred six games. Changing managers is fine, and teams do sometimes require it, but to do so less than thirty (at least) games into the season is a purely aestichic exercise.