If I’m honest, I lost my passion for baseball a bit over the last 12 months and I don’t really know why.
Sure, personal life gets in the way sometimes, but I also got lazy. I stopped following the news as closely as I had been for close to a decade and it turns out baseball is a bit of an ‘all-in’ or ‘all-out’ sport which probably has something to do with the fact that there are 30 teams and 162 games.
But I want to be back all-in. And I want to write more. And I want to feel like I know enough about the sport to be able to talk confidently about why the Rockies are going to lose 100 games without just assuming it because they’re the Rockies (they are losing 100 games btw).
That all has to start somewhere. So here it starts, with a silly little article that is very much designed to teach me who the MLB managers actually are these days.
So here you have it. Based on nothing more than gut instincts from their google images page and half-remembered facts about their management style, my official ratings for every MLB manager based on how much I would respect them as a teacher – starting with the American League.
Baltimore Orioles – Brandon Hyde
Google tells me that Brandon Hyde is 49 years of age but he gives me the vibe of an old P.E. teacher who was once in pretty good shape but has been slowly expanding outwards for the best part of a decade.
Generally a great teacher to have, you get a pretty long leash with Mr Hyde but he also has a total inability to use technology and a bit of a temper when he feels like he’s not being listened to so the class tends to stay in line pretty well.
Boston Red Sox – Alex Cora
A weary school veteran, Cora has seen more students than he’s had hot meals in his life, a completely made-up statistic that he is quick to relay to every class he covers.
Does a lot of voice-raising in the hope of keeping the kids under control but ultimately has no interest in actual disciplinary measures – a fact that students pick up on quickly and take advantage of.
Chicago White Sox – Pedro Grifol
New to the whole ‘teaching’ gig so the kids mercilessly exploit his lack of experience and general leniency. Especially given the miserable old codger that came before him. They learn six months in that Mr Grifol is actually a pretty good physics teacher who it would have behooved them to be a bit nicer to but by then it’s too late.
Cleveland Guardians – Terry Francona
Everyone’s favourite teacher. Weirdly online for a man of his age so actually understands a few of the kids references, plus tells hilarious stories about some of the other teachers. Not much of a disciplinarian so falls short of a perfect 10 but Mr Francona is just about supply teacher jackpot.
Detroit Tigers – A.J. Hinch
Massive stickler for the curriculum. Huge proponent of ‘silent study’. A close personal friend of the headteacher so you misbehave at your own risk but rumour has it he was a naughty boy himself back in the day so he rarely doles out punishment.
Houston Astros – Dusty Baker
Taught your older brother. And your dad. And your dad’s dad. Tells hilarious stories. Still thinks the kids are studying for their o-levels. Actually not a great teacher but the vibes in the classroom are awesome and the kids get the work done because they’d hate to disappoint ol’ Mr Baker.
Kansas City Royals – Matt Quatraro
A ‘rising star’ in the world of education, Quatraro unfortunately loses all classroom respect when he’s forced to write his name on the whiteboard in every lesson to show kids how to say his name. Still, he can’t be worse than the teacher he replaced.
Los Angeles Angels – Phil Nevin
Inexperienced and a bit out of his depth, the kids mercilessly taunt ‘Where’s Gary?’ because his name sounds a bit like Phil Neville. Class full of underachievers so even in his first full year as a teacher the pressure is on. Eyes are a bit too close together so you don’t trust him.
Minnesota Twins: Rocco Baldelli
Being a balding teacher named Mr Baldelli is pretty much a death sentence in the classroom. A geography teacher but his true passion lies with the band he formed with some school friends over two decades ago – and it shows. Unfortunately, his role as lead guitarist for ‘The Funky Munchers’ doesn’t pay the bills, yet.
New York Yankees: Aaron Boone
Strict. No-nonsense approach keeps the class in line but you can’t help but get the sense his proclivity for discipline masks the fact he’s a bit of a crap teacher. Also, you’re a bit worried your mum fancies him when she does a laugh you’ve never heard before whilst talking to him at parents evening.
Oakland Athletics: Mark Kotsay
Has the look of a friendly janitor, which endears him to the kids but does make you wonder how exactly he got the job. A rumour goes around that he lives at the school, and a few of the other teachers aren’t 100% sure it’s not true.
Seattle Mariners: Scott Servais
Scott Servais has the look of a friendly history teacher, the kind that tells captivating stories, is a little too lenient towards the classroom comedian and bumps you up a grade in the end of year exams. His grasp of the curriculum is a bit limited but there’s a reason history is such a popular subject in school.
Tampa Bay Rays: Kevin Cash
Oh good, the school bully became a teacher. Cash is the teacher who picks out his favourite students (the athletes) and treats everyone else horribly. Unironically says his name is Mr Cash because “his teaching is so money”. Gets a 3 because he brings the kids together in their dislike and provides ample ammunition for stories to disbelieving friends in future years.
Texas Rangers: Bruce Bochy
A once great teacher, Mr Bochy took a sabbatical three years ago to spend a year in the south of France and everyone assumed he’d never come back. But he did, grumbling that they spoke too much French there.
A gifted mathematician who is probably wasted on GCSE classes, Mr Bochy just loves the kids too much to let go. Either that, or he burned all of the pension money in the vineyards of Burgundy.
Toronto Blue Jays: John Schneider
Sweats right through his shirt every single day, even in the dead of winter. Finds his own jokes hilarious. Is an American actor and country music singer. The kids like Mr Schneider, so he gets a bump on that basis, but he’s not much of a teacher.