The Ax Falls as Offseason Starts
The baseball postseason begins Wednesday, but there’s already plenty of action taking place off the field. Disappointing teams started unloading personnel on Monday, starting with the New York Mets. Fresh off a 79-83 season, the Mets dismissed manager Jerry Manuel and General Manager Omar Minaya. Manuel posted a record of 204-213 after taking over for Willie Randolph midway through the 2008 season. Minaya had been GM since 2005. Elsewhere, the Milwaukee Brewers relieved manager Ken Macha of his duties. Macha was 157-167 in two seasons, including a third place, 77-85 finish this year. And the Pittsburgh Pirates fired manager John Russell after three seasons. Russell was 186-299 with the Pirates, including a major league worst 57-105 mark in 2010. The Pirates also matched the all-time record for worst road record this year by going 17-64 away from home.
The news wasn’t all bad for managers though, as the Cincinnati Reds rewarded Dusty Baker with a contract extension through the 2012 season. The Reds won the NL Central with a record of 91-71 this season and will make their first playoff appearance since 1995. Also, the Arizona Diamondbacks retained manager Kirk Gibson. Gibson, who began the year as Arizona’s bench coach, took over as interim manager on July 1st when A.J. Hinch and general manager Josh Byrnes were fired.