Which MLB Manager Will Be Fired First in 2021?
In the grand scheme of things, three weeks of a 162-game season is not much of a sample size. On the other hand, it’s more than enough time for certain fanbases to start hitting the panic button.
While nothing substantial has been reported in terms of any changes in the dugout, whispers and grumbles can ultimately take their toll on a front office.
As things currently stand, there a handful of skippers who are starting to look over their shoulder.
Let’s take a look at the MLB managers on the hot seat in 2021.
Aaron Boone, New York Yankees
Following a five-game skid that left the Yankees in last place in the American League, gripes started pouring out in the Big Apple.
The early-season rough patch is exacerbated when you consider that New York has the highest payroll in the AL and opened as the betting favorite to win the pennant.
Asked Brian Cashman about Aaron Boone and his coaching staff: “We’re not reactive. I don’t see us reacting to not believing in the staff we have, and the players we have either.”April 19, 2021
The vote of confidence sounds nice on paper, but don’t assume that Aaron Boone is locked in no matter how bad the struggles get.
Boone is in the final year of his four-year contract and an extension isn’t something that Brian Cashman has been willing to commit to. Frankly, it hasn’t even been discussed.
This organization hasn’t canned a manager midseason since firing Bucky Dent 49 games into the 1990 campaign, so the natural assumption is that the Pinstripers would replace Boone at the end of the year if they choose to go in a different direction.
Nevertheless, the more time the Yankees spend residing in the cellar of the AL East standings, the more rumors you’ll hear about the team moving on from Boone sooner rather than later.
Dusty Baker, Houston Astros
Dusty Baker turns 72 in June and is inked into a contract that expires at the end of the season.
While the league is littered with young and hungry skippers intent on making their mark, Dusty spent his offseason telling the public he wasn’t even sure if wanted to manage the Astros in 2021.
Jim Crane wound up picking up Baker’s option to keep “Mr. Toothpick” in the dugout, although all evidence points toward it just being a temporary solution.
The ‘Stros need a new voice to lead the players day in and day out – that was before Houston entered Wednesday’s game in Colorado sitting in last place in the AL West.
Once the rest of the top MLB betting sites restore odds for which MLB manager will be fired first, expect to see Dusty’s name near the top of every list.
Bud Black, Colorado Rockies
The reference to the rest of the top MLB betting sites restoring odds for this market comes on the heels of Bovada beating everyone else to the punch.
And who did the oddsmakers at Bovada insert as favorite? None other than Bud Black.
Since winning 91 games and advancing to the NLDS in 2018, it has been all downhill for the Rockies.
Colorado finished 35 games back in the NL West in 2019. They won just 43.3% of their games in 2020 and are off to an MLB-worst 6-12 mark this season.
After the franchise was cornered into trading Nolan Arenado away, it seems fitting that making a change at the helm is the next item on the agenda.
Worth noting, Bud Black isn’t the only man in a position of power in Colorado whose days could be numbered. GM Jeff Bridich could be on his last straw as well after he mishandled the entire situation involving Arenado.
Torey Lovullo, Arizona Diamondbacks
Staying in the NL West for my MLB manager on the hot seat, Torey Lovullo can’t feel great about his situation in Arizona.
Sure, Lovullo was awarded the NL Manager of the Year in his first season with the Diamondbacks (2017), but this is a business that’s centered around the theme, “What have you done for me lately?”
Well, the D-Backs haven’t been back to the postseason since ’17, they finished last in the NL West in 2020, and they’re off to a miserable start in 2021.
Before the season started, team CEO Derrick Hall maneuvered around multiple questions about Lovullo’s contract status.
Not helping Torey’s cause is the fact that Ketel Marte is sidelined or that Madison Bumgarner has relinquished 18 earned runs in 18.2 innings.
The bottom line is with Lovullo’s contract up at the end of 2021, the D-Backs front office is likely already preparing the search for the team’s next skipper.
Whether or not Lovullo can get out of the current season unscathed – that remains to be seen.
Betting on Which MLB Manager Will Be Fired First
To be blunt, I do not think we see any of the four managers highlighted on this page will return to their current role in 2022.
Aaron Boone needs to do more than just revive the Yankees and elevate them into contention – he’ll likely need to clinch a berth to the World Series for his contract to be extended.
Having said that, my gut tells me Brian Cashman will at least afford Boone that opportunity. Houston and Arizona can also ride out the next five months and make a change at the end of the season.
The same can’t be said in Colorado where Bud Black is penciled in through 2022.
Forget about accepting mediocrity. The Rockies front office has to be content with being one of the laughing stocks in the league if they choose to hang on to Black until his contract runs its course.
I do not see it happening.
Peg me down for Bud Black being the first MLB manager fired. Of all the contenders, his seat is the hottest.