Game On…with Rob Kriete! – OCTOBER 20

“Not it!” has been exclaimed by my friends and me many times throughout our lives.  Most people know how this works.  Usually, something unappealing needs to be done, and someone initially calls it out, “Not it!” Of course, the last person to call it out is always “it.”

Similarly,  professional sports teams have to play this same game when they are unsuccessful.  How do they figure out who “it” is?  Well, the person making the least amount of money typically is the last one to call out, “Not it.”  So, coaches and managers take the fall when a team comes up short in the expectation department.  Right or wrong, (mostly wrong), they take the blame.  To me, it seems as reasonable as calling out a certain phrase to avoid doing something.

The New York Yankees wisely chose to keep their manager, Aaron Boone, after pausing on giving him an extension once they lost to the Red Sox in a one-game playoff.  Boone had just won 92 games managing the club and posted 100-win seasons in two of his four years in the Bronx, including the 60-game 2020 season.  This guy is a very good manager, and dismissing him would have been as illogical as calling out, “Not It.”

But, this is the exception to the rule.  Most teams have a quick hook.  It usually starts with the coaches but ultimately ends with a manager being let go. Despite the quality of the in-game decisions, ability to connect with the players, or the charisma to deal with the media, firing a coach or manager is easier and cheaper than firing the players, as they say.

I imagine the counterpoint would be to stay the course with a team leader who has proven unsuccessful. But, ultimately, I guess, it is about appeasing the fan base.  Impatient fans would never tolerate someone keeping their job after a disappointing year.

“Not it,” for unnecessary firings!

Be safe, everyone!