Among managers who will be expected back in 2015 are Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and the Royals Ned Yost. Gardenhire has the backing of the entire Minnesota organization and it is completely understood that they are rebuilding from the ground up. Even if the Braves miss the playoffs this season, it will be difficult to fault Gonzalez- though he is not considered one of the game's top managers. And though Yost has had his issues, he is about to lead the Royals into the playoffs for the first time since 1985.
As far as the longest tenured MLB managers are, there seems to be a lot more turnover in the National League than in the American League. Just after the 2006 season, longtime Padres manager Bruce Bochy left his position to go to the San Francisco Giants. The Padres immediately hired pitching coach Bud Black to take over their reigns. Those are the two longest tenured managers in the NL. While Ron Washington taking over the Rangers happened at about the same time as Bochy and Black, there are three managers in the American League who have been in their position longer. Joe Maddon took over the Tampa Bay Rays before the 2006 season, Gardenhire with the Twins before 2002 and Mike Scioscia with the Angels before the 2000 season. Ironically, both the manager of the 1999 Angels, who was dismissed during that season- and his interim replacement for the rest of that season- are both currently managing a MLB team right now. Of course, I am referring to Mets manager Terry Collins and Rays manager Maddon. Odds are I have mentioned some of the guys who could be out after this season ends.
6. Ron Washington: Texas Rangers- I honestly think Washington's job is safe for this off season. Mainly because they have clearly seen their entire team get hurt this 2014. The same thing that happened to the Yankees last season and the Mets in 2009. They have not had Jurickson Profar or Derek Holland all season and throughout this year they have lost Prince Fielder, Matt Harrison, Martin Perez, Mitch Moreland, Alexei Ogando, Tanner Scheppers and most recently, Yu Darvish. I think the Rangers should bounce back in 2015. However, the one reason the dismissal could be a possibility is the talk from last off season about whether Washington was going to be replaced when they lost in the one game playoff in 2014.
5. Walt Weiss: Colorado Rockies- Weiss should be nervous after the firing of Porter since he was hired at the same time by the Rockies. There have been expectations this season even though the starting pitching was not expected to be very good. The bullpen has been a disappointment for the exception of LaTroy Hawkins and Adam Ottavino. Rex Brothers has struggled and Boone Logan has not pitched well when he has been healthy. Offensively, you can put the blame on injuries to Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer as all three have been hurt for most of the season and we've likely seen the last of all three in 2014. The question is how much of the blame for the bullpen and underachieving is put on Weiss and how much of it is placed on the front office, Dan O'Dowd and the injuries. The team will not start moving forward until they address their starting rotation situation and build themselves a rotation of starters that would be 3s, 2s, or 1s on other team's rosters. Though I feel Weiss is safe, there is a chance he could be sacrificed to save O'Dowd's job or his job could be in jeopardy if O'Dowd himself is fired.
4. Terry Collins: New York Mets- Mets fans want to know why I don't have Terry Collins ranked higher. If he returns in 2015, it would be for his 5th season. Generally, managers do not go into their 5th season without a winning record. Collins is not the greatest in game manager and his use of the Mets bullpen has been criticized. I do not have an issue if the Mets choose to bring in a new manager but I do not think it is necessary. I have said all along that I believe a manager should get the opportunity, albeit small, to manage a team that is expected to be postseason bound. Not a team that is rebuilding and their goal is to just get better. Terry Collins has not been the reason the Mets are not a postseason team. The farm system does look better but they do not have a veteran presence on that team for the exception of David Wright, Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon- the latter of whom will likely not be back next season. If Sandy Alderson raises the bar for competition in 2015 by spending on the two power bats the team needs in its lineup, I won't give Collins any slack for 2015. If not, I can't expect the man to win with only a certain proportion of major league players.
3. John Gibbons: Toronto Blue Jays- Gibbons was brought back before the 2013 season by GM Alex Anthopoulos after John Farrell left for Boston. Toronto disappointed in 2013 but has hung around to be a couple games over .500 this late into this season. They have been good this year, but they have not played consistently enough to be considered a playoff team. Whether Gibbons comes back next season depends on how much Anthopoulos felt this team could achieve. If he brought Gibbons back, I wouldn't be shocked but I think a change mixed with an aggressive off season could be the recipe for a turnaround.
2. Kirk Gibson: Arizona Diamondbacks- Kirk Gibson will get another manger job in the big leagues. While I think there is a small chance he stays, he also stands to lose his job if GM Kevin Towers is let go after the season. Tony LaRussa has been brought in as a consultant and is evaluating everything he sees. Usually, things like this do not end well for the GM and manager that are incumbents. Walt Jocketty came in as a consultant for the Cincinnati Reds and they later fired GM Wayne Krivsky. Jocketty was a consultant for three months when Krivsky was fired. Gibson's best chance to stay is for LaRussa to be curious enough to see what both he and Towers can do to improve this off season while assisting in the decision making. Maybe they can all be on the same page. However, I think it is unlikely.
1. Bud Black: San Diego Padres- I mentioned earlier that Black was the second longest tenured manager in the National League (by a couple days behind Bochy). Black has done a good job managing a sub par team who has struggled to bring in very good players from the minor leagues. I feel that his 2010 season gave him some time. And I know the Padres could have given him a little more to work with. They made some progress with Jed Hoyer, but digressed under Josh Byrnes. AJ Preller is now the GM, coming over from Texas where he worked with Jon Daniels. A new GM is always likely to want his own manager, though Black has been known as an easy guy to work with. It is interesting to see what Preller wants to do as it seems like he wants to turn over some players. More was certainly expected out of this team in 2014 but I think a Wild Card would have been a surprise. Black's situation was discussed in detail prior to the dismissal of Byrnes. I would be surprised to see Black managing the Padres in 2015.
Overall, I do feel there will not be as many manager changes as in past years, mainly because so many have been made over the course of the last two calendar years. But it is true that the patience has shrunk in the overall time given for a team to win. Though it isn't always his fault, the manager has to take the responsibility for whatever happens on the field in regards to wins and losses. Even in cases of full rebuild mode- see Bo Porter vs Houston Astros. Even with the Mets, a team that has not tried to make the playoffs in five years. Among the managers I just mentioned, I think 4 could get the ax. One will always go as there is always an example of a team that wants to go through that change. My gut tells me both Black and Gibson will be gone, but I would not be shocked to see Gibbons and Collins replaced as well.