Earlier today, Bob Nightengale posted an article about Ozzie Guillen and Dusty Baker and their inability to land managerial jobs. They've each had success at the major league level, as Baker captured three Manager of the Year awards, led the Giants to National League title, and the Cubs to an NLCS, while Guillen helped the White Sox win their first World Series championship since 1917.
Despite their accolades, neither has managed for the last two years, which has apparently raised some eyebrows.
"Now with a potential 11 managerial job openings this offseason, there's only one rational reason for every club to shun them:
If they are blackballed.
It's Guillen's mouth, his willingness to speak candidly rather than embrace the mundane, that could prevent him from managing.
It's Baker's health, suffering a mild stroke in 2012, that could frighten away teams.
The reasons are total cop-outs.
If they're no both each managing next year, there should be an investigation."
Those are strong words, as an investigation would only seem necessary if there was collusion going on, which not only is incredibly difficult to prove, as Barry Bonds recently found out, but also odd to say unless Nightengale knows something that we don't; which is possible.
However even so, Nightengale's story seems to ignore the trend that is sweeping across baseball, which is that former experience in a managerial capacity is no longer a prerequisite to being hired, and that organizations are going younger. While it used to be that coaches who'd paid their dues in the minor league system, or at the major league levels were the only ones considered for managerial positions, that's no longer the case.
Now former players who are fresh out of the game are the cream of the crop, and highly sought after as they are uniquely positioned to connect with those still playing.
It's undeniably true that each manager can boast a level of success that many in the game can't, but that alone doesn't make them must hire candidates, especially considering that each man has real faults.
While Nightengale doesn't think that Guillen's personality, and inability to "embrace the mundane" is enough of a reason to ignore him in the managerial hiring process, it is something that can be a distraction to a team, and take away from the on-field product.
For Baker, his long history of mismanaging the bullpen is a huge red flag in today's era where relief pitchers, and not just closers, are seemingly vital to the success of a team over the course of a season.
There are a lot of teams on the hunt for a new manager for 2016, but if Guillen and Baker don't find jobs, that doesn't inherently mean they've been blackballed. To advocate for an investigation -- which assumes guilt -- without stronger evidence seems extreme, and at worst, irresponsible.