by Mike Moffett
Weirs Times Columnist
JOHN FARRELL ….
… is gone as Boston Red Sox manager—despite two straight first-place finishes and a memorable 2013 World Series title. His sin? Failing to advance in the post-season.
Red Sox Nation has high expectations.
Consider Bobby Cox. He managed the Atlanta Braves to 14 first place finishes in 15 years, between 1991 and 2005. But, like Farrell, he won but one World Series. If Cox had to work for current BoSox General Manager Dave Dombrowski, would he have lasted?
I doubt it.
Imagine firing someone who usually finishes first.
I’m reminded of San Diego Charger football coach Marty Schottenheimer. The long-time NFL mentor led the Chargers to league’s best record in 2006 (14-2). But when San Diego lost its first playoff game that year—to the Patriots, in a game I attended in San Diego—Schottenheimer was fired.
It’s about expectations.
Speaking of the Chargers, this NFL team which abandoned San Diego for Los Angeles has been struggling, on and off the field. They’ve been drawing around 20,000 fans per game to the StubHub Center, while they await a new L.A. stadium which they’ll share with the Rams in 2019.
Shame on Charger owner Alex Spanos. Unlike New England’s Bob Kraft, Spanos took his team away from San Diego when the locals wouldn’t pony up a billion bucks for a new stadium. So now his lousy team is losing before sparse crowds in La-La Land. While San Diego may not have been the sports town that Boston is, the Chargers had a loyal following. Spanos could have counted on more than 20,000 fans showing up at Qualcomm Stadium—for a preseason, intra-squad scrimmage.
Sports loyalty has value, which Spanos and his advisors apparently failed to factor in to the equation which led them to decide to move to L.A.
Also sad—really sad—is the fact that the USA men’s soccer team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. A 2-1 USA loss to Trinidad-Tobago sealed the Americans’ fate.
If John Farrell and Marty Schottenheimer deserved to be fired, then what fate should await USA men’s soccer coach Bruce Arena?
Trinidad-Tobago??? (Did I say “Ay Carumba!” ???)
Following a headline stating that the USA soccer team would not be appearing in the World Cup Tournament, a soccer fan asked a very fair question.
“Men’s or women’s team?”
The USA women have won several World Cup and Olympic titles.
Sports editors should make sure the headlines state that it was the MEN’S team that failed to qualify.
What manager was fired after taking his team to the World Series during his first year in charge? (Answer follows)
Born Today …
That is to say, sports standouts born on October 19 include former NBA star—and Kobe’s dad—Joe Bryant (1954) as well as former boxing champion Evander Holyfield (1962).
“Being fired has some of the advantages of dying without its supreme disadvantages. People say extra-nice things about you, and you get to hear them.” ― Howard Zinn
Yogi Berra’s 1964 New York Yankees won 99 games and the American League pennant. Berra was fired after losing a seven-game World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals.
State Representative Michael Moffett was a Professor of Sports Management for Plymouth State University and NHTI-Concord and currently teaches on-line for New England College. He co-authored the critically-acclaimed and award-winning “FAHIM SPEAKS: A Warrior-Actor’s Odyssey from Afghanistan to Hollywood and Back” (with the Marines)—which is available through Amazon.com. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.