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Trent Jewett Not a "Yes Man"

Here are some interesting comments on the end of Trent Jewett's tenure as the manager of the Indianapolis Indians.

What will be most telling, probably, will be who the Pirates hire to replace Jewett. If it is another 23-year-old recently retired pitcher, such as Brian Tracy getting the pitching coach's job in State College despite having no experience, you will have your answer about the "yes men." If it is a qualified -- and strong and respected -- manager fit to run a Class AAA franchise, then you will have a different answer.

A couple of quick points:

There's a big difference between hiring a 24-year-old (and Tracy is 24, not 23) to be a pitching coach in short-season ball and hiring a 24-year-old to manage in AAA, and it's bizarre to compare the two. Coaches in short-season leagues are often very young--not usually as young as Tracy, but many are in their 20s. Managers at AAA are not. I just glanced through all the Class AAA rosters and only found two managers under 40; one of those was 36 and the other will be 40 in two days. (So happy early birthday, Pat Listach.) Suggesting that the Pirates might hire a 23-year-old is, frankly, unfair, especially since the Spikes' actual manager, Brad Fischer, is absurdly overqualified for the job and was also hired by the Pirates' new braintrust.

Also, I suppose reasonable people can disagree about what a "yes man" is, but to me the term has negative connotations and essentially means being a suck-up. Think of Ed Helms' "Andy Bernard" character on The Office, for example. Some choice suck-up moments are here:

There's no particular reason to characterize someone who merely does what the Pirates ask as a "yes man." In fact, a willingness to follow directions from one's bosses is generally regarded as a good attribute for an employee.

Beyond what's been reported, I don't know the real reasons for Jewett's departure, but the Post-Gazette says that a possible part of the problem is that he didn't want to follow directions from the Pirates' front office about players to use. That, it seems to me, is something the front office, who acquires the players, should have some say in.