Six games into the season is way too early to be shelling out "hot seat" designations.
To further that point, Emilio Bonifacio would be the National League MVP right now if significant evaluations could be made in early April. They can't. Not really. Some things have become a little clearer for a few players, but for teams as a whole, it's way too early to make any meaningful observations. The NFL equivalent of this stage in the schedule would be the first two-minute warning in the opening Thursday night game.
Unfortunately for some, there is no tabula rasa reset button at the beginning of every year. The recent past, and in some cases the ancient past, matters very much.
Managers like Mike Scioscia and Ned Yost, who have managed in the majors for some time now, won't be judged on 2014 alone. Several managers around the game could find themselves out of work if their clubs struggle this year.
Bovada, an online Las Vegas oddsmaker, released a special list in which it broke down the odds for the managers most likely to lose their jobs this season. It's a little sadistic, but kind of fun to look at.
Here's a look at the top six on Bovada's list.
John Gibbons (2/1)
Wow, Vegas. That's harsh. Gibbons was named the Blue Jays manager before the 2013 season when John Farrell left for the Red Sox. He's only been on the job for 169 games, and Vegas is already predicting a change in Toronto. The Jays went 74-88 last season. It was a certainly a disappointment after general manager Alex Anthopoulos made the blockbuster trade with Miami to acquire Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and over $100 million in contractual baggage. They definitely brought in some talent, but they also set the bar very high.
It hardly seems as though the Blue Jays' struggles last year were Gibbons' fault -- at least not enough to spoil their playoff chances. He would have had to botch things pretty badly to cost them the 18 or 19 wins they would have needed to win a Wild Card spot. If he had, he wouldn't be managing the team right now.
Vegas' ominous evaluation of the situation might partially be an indictment on Anthopoulos. If he's fired, Gibbons will surely go with him.
Kirk Gibson (5/2)
Anthopoulos and Arizona GM Kevin Towers could be in a similar situation. The Diamondbacks have gone 162-162 over the last two seasons, and they're 2-7 to start this season, but Mark Trumbo leads the league in home runs!
Again, the team's record after nine games really doesn't matter much. It could be indicative of the Diamondbacks' hobbled pitching staff -- they lost Pat Corbin, Matt Reynolds and David Hernandez -- but Corbin himself is a good example of how a pitcher can surprise everyone and anchor a rotation for the better part of a season.
Before the frustration run of back-to-back .500 seasons, Towers and his inherited manager Kirk Gibson won the NL West with a 94-68 record -- Arizona lost to the Brewers in the Divisional Series. That might be enough for Towers to lean on if 2014 ends poorly, but Gibson could be the scapegoat even if the D-backs miss the playoffs.
Ned Yost (5/1)
Ned Yost and Royals general manager Dayton Moore go together like phonographs and vinyl -- apparently this is how people used to listen to music.
It seems as though one's fate is tethered to the other. Both of them earned extensions after the Royals posted their first winning season since 2003, but they still missed the playoffs. Some thought Moore's decision to trade Wil Myers for James Shields was a last-ditch effort to save his job. The Royals have not approached Shields about an extension, so that narrative is beginning to look more and more likely. But none of that will matter if the Royals make the postseason in 2014.
Yost makes his decisions with a mulish adherence to traditional -- or "old school" -- baseball dictums. That somewhat archaic ethos could cost him his job if the organization decides to move in a more forward-thinking direction at the general manager position should Moore get the axe. Then again, it's Kansas City. So maybe not.
Terry Collins (5/1)
A theme is developing. Several of these managers could be in line for the guillotine with their bosses. Sandy Alderson has actually done a decent job of putting together some solid young pitching, and he kept David Wright in town, but the Mets aren't going to keep him around forever just because you can find his name in Moneyball.
Collins himself, like most managers, might not really be that big of a factor in the Mets' recent misfortune. Sure, they fill out the lineup card and make pitching changes, but many baseball theorists have posited that those decisions don't make an enormous impact on the outcome of actual games.
However, that's not really how most people view the situation, and Collins has not managed an 80-win in three seasons before 2014, so he could be on his way out based on conventional wisdom.
Bo Porter (7/1)
Not cool, Houston. If Bo Porter was just a patsy to get this team through its not-tanking-but-kind-of-tanking-because-we-spent-less-than-everyone-and-not-by-a-little-bit-never-mind-definitely-tanking, then hopefully the Astros told him that from the outset. I don't know about you, but I'd still take that job. A major league-sized salary with absolutely no expectations? I could probably cruise through that for a few years and get back to my real career after it fizzled out.
That might not be the case, but come on, could anyone have done much better? The team has a few more talented players this season, but it's still not actually trying to win yet. Even so, Porter might get fired for the sake of appearances.
Mike Scioscia (12/1)
It's actually a little surprising that Vegas was so conservative with Scioscia. He's managed the Angels since 2000. They won the World Series in 2002 and made the playoffs five more times through 2009.
However, the team hasn't played a postseason game since -- despite adding massive financial commitments with Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson in recent years. Missing the postseason five times in a row with one of the league's most extravagant rosters might be enough for the Angels to send Scioscia on his way.