So begins the purest test ever of the current theory that managers really aren’t that consequential, now that Dan Jennings has stepped into the Miami Marlins’ position having had zero days of experience as a professional coach or manager, and zero days as major league player.
Everybody in the sport will be watching Jennings and the Marlins' situation closely. Everybody. And they are taking sides as if betting on Mayweather-Pacquiao.
A lot of executives around the game who generally view managers as well-dressed spokesmen believe that in the end, this will demonstrate that with the rare exception like Bruce Bochy, those in the position don’t make a difference.
At the same time, a lot of folks who wear the uniform for a living are appalled and believe it to be an insult to the profession, and hope for and expect this to be a complete disaster. Jennings is well-liked and well-respected for his work as a scout and front-office executive, but the old-school money is bet heavily on the likelihood that he will be overwhelmed by the challenges he faces. One person who knows Jennings and likes him a lot described the days ahead this way: “This is going to be like an episode of the Kardashians.”
As in, total drama.
The lines are drawn.