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Eight MLB managers on the hot seat

The pressure for a manager to win in the big leagues is as high as it’s ever been (though it’s not yet at the level of the NFL). These eight are in danger of getting the boot by the end of the season (or perhaps even sooner).  In fact, you can practically bet on it.  And if you are going to bet, is a great place to do it.

8. Bob Melvin

His first three full seasons with the A’s were fabulous — earning 94, 96, and 88 wins, respectively. The last two seasons are a different story. Aside from a few standouts, hope continues to run thin for a club destined for obscurity. At last check, the “moneyball” concept doesn’t insist on letting a manager hang around longer than he should. Regardless of what talent the A’s have at this point (and it isn’t much), Melvin’s days on the Oakland bench must be numbered.

7. Walt Weiss

Weiss, managing his fourth year with the Rockies, is in the most precarious of positions. His power-hitting outfielder (Carlos Gonzalez) is the subject of trade rumors on a regular basis – which won’t cease until he’s gone from Denver. He has a pitching staff that – due to a combination of atmosphere and mediocre talent – has a 5.03 ERA in 2016. With the Giants and Dodgers running away with the NL West, there’s nothing much he can do to keep up — even if his team is scoring the fourth-most runs in the league.

6. Paul Molitor

It’s quite possible that Molitor accumulated plenty of good will (and, thus, a pass for whatever happens going forward) after a surprising 83-79 record in 2015 — his first year as a big league manager. Still, 2016 hasn’t just gone poorly. In fact, the Twins are on pace for one of their worst records ever since the franchise moved to Minnesota in 1961. Torii Hunter’s veteran presence now absent, the team is struggling for cohesion. It may seem harsh to have such a short leash on someone who’s just started on the job, but similar moves have occurred before.

5. Joe Girardi

Even as his Yankees creep over the .500 mark, Girardi still isn’t out of the woods. He’s probably getting the most out of this aging lineup, despite a payroll of $225 million. Yet when was the last time you heard of a manager in pinstripes who wasn’t on the hot seat with a team that was just slightly better than average (regardless of who was in charge)? Girardi has spent nine seasons as New York manager, made the playoffs five times and guided the Yanks to a World Series title in 2009. It’s fair to wonder if he’ll add to any of those totals.

4. Brad Ausmus

The longer the Tigers can remain in the AL Central race, the stronger his job security becomes. However, after being swept by the first place Cleveland Indians over the weekend, Ausmus can’t feel safe any more. Need additional proof? For starters, the general manager that hired him, Dave Dombrowski, is enjoying life in Boston. Their Triple-A skipper, Lloyd McClendon, is one with far more big league experience. And, of course, rumors have been abound dating back to last fall. It seems, though, that Ausmus understands the situation.

3. Mike Sciosa

No current manager in baseball has enjoyed a longer tenure with the same club. In his 16 seasons, Scioscia led the Angels to five AL West titles, three ALCS appearances, and a World Series triumph in 2002. But in the four years since Mike Trout has been in a Halos uniform, there has yet to be a single playoff victory. And in what was a very winnable division last year, L.A. came in third – just short of a Wild Card. As the Angels continue to underwhelm at a 31-43 clip through Saturday (16 games out of first), new GM Billy Eppler will have good reason to make a change and have his own hand-picked skipper in place.

2. Robin Ventura

Ventura entered his fifth year as manager on the South Side already under fire. Without a winning campaign since his initial season of 2012, a strong start was needed. That said, the first month-and-a-half went splendidly, as the White Sox jumped out to a five-game lead in the AL Central on May 13. But it’s been all sour since. Surging Cleveland and Kansas City, combined with his own club’s struggles, have relegated the Sox back to fourth place. It also has placed Ventura in the unenviable position of “waiting for the axe.”

1. Bryan Price

Fredi Gonzalez, let go by the hapless Braves last month, might have company before long. Nobody thought the Reds would contend with the likes of the Cubs or Cardinals. This past offseason, Cincinnati parted with their fireball closer, their slugging third baseman, and two key starting pitchers. Even with veterans Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto, an inexperienced pitching staff has contributed to the Reds’ cellar-dwelling. If there is such a thing as accelerating a rebuilding plan, then switching out the manager before year’s end could very well be part of that process.

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