Correlation vs. causation and Rick Renteria

A quick note on former Cubs, and now former White Sox manager Rick Renteria:

Rick was hired by the Cubs in 2014, and was handed a crap roster that won 66 games in 2013. With essentially the same players, the Cubs improved by seven games in ’14 under Renteria. Then Theo Epstein stacked the Cubs’ roster with talent and hired Joe Maddon to replace Renteria. The Cubs won the World Series and Joe Maddon became a genius.

A few years later, Renteria moved to the south side and was given a AA level pitching staff for three seasons. Then, when given an average MLB staff with an ace in front of it, and lineup filled with talent, he went on a pace that would win 94 games over a 162 game season.

At this point, any reasonable baseball person would be thinking: “Let’s add another frontline pitcher and some depth and with this lineup we could win in the neighborhood of 100 games and have a real shot at something big in 2021.”

Nope. Not only are the Chi-Sox and Rick parting ways, reportedly Chicago has its sights set on Tony LaRussa, Alex Cora, and A.J. Hinch as possible replacements.

If 2020 isn’t a parody yet, a team looking to hire any of that triumvirate will do until the parody gets here.

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know dear reader and friend, that when/if the White Sox succeed, any of those three will be hailed as a “winner” and a “leader”…

…and we will all put our fingers in throats. Renteria will be cast as a washed up has been and labeled a retread when he’s hired again.

Leave the windy city Rick, you deserve better.

Is Renteria the only manager to be treated unfairly? Of course not. Not the first, not the last.

But it is something to remember when the sports radio crowd yells “But durrr, no rings durrr…!” when condescendingly evaluating managers (and players). Many great MLB managers and players don’t have rings and it is not due to a deficiency on their part.

Did I miss something? Let me know.


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