MS and I were talking yesterday about the difference between a manager in baseball vs. a coach in football. My assertion was that comparatively, being a baseball manager looks pretty easy. In any sport, the coach role involves making decisions about who starts, who to draft, developing team camaraderie, etc. So, I consider all of that a wash (pretty even no matter what sport you’re talking about).
In terms of the actual games, it seems like after the lineup is selected, the baseball manager has to make only a handful of decisions, and spends most of the time sitting on the bench doing nothing. In football (and basketball, and most other sports I can think of) the coach is constantly involved in the game, yelling at players, making play calls, etc. In baseball, he basically decides bunt/swing, when to put in a relief pitcher, when to steal, and when to sub people in and out (which isn’t nearly as frequent as it is in other sports due to baseball’s rules). The game mostly runs itself while he sits around. Ironically, baseball is the only sport [I know of] where the manager wears the same uniform as the players, as if he’s really involved and might jump in and play at any time (I believe historically the managers used to also play).
Am I underestimating the role of the baseball manager? I’m not saying they don’t do any work, just that it seems like they have to do an order of magnitude less work than their football counterparts.
Agreed, but baseball coaches do have to repeat the process for 162 games.
Basketball – 80ish?
Even if a baseball manager makes fewer decisions than his football or basketball counterparts, is his job easier? One of the hardest thing about coaching baseball is that you only get to make a few decisions, and you can’t screw up.