In a span of roughly 24 hours, two teams — Texas and Florida — fired their hitting coaches, and Oakland dismissed manager Bob Geren, whose A's were a trendy pick to rise up in the American League West, but instead enter play Thursday at 27-36 and losers of nine straight.
The spate of dismissals has plenty to do with some failures on the parts of those clubs, or perhaps some fractured relationships, but it also serves to amplify the stability that exists in other cities — Boston being one of them.
Under an ownership group that is nearly a decade old, Terry Francona and Theo Epstein have been afforded the ability to toil together, and Francona's staff usually only sees changes when one rises up to a managerial post elsewhere, as was the case with Brad Mills two years ago and John Farrell this year. There have been slight alterations from time to time, but they are the exception rather than the rule for the Red Sox.
Winning helps, but that didn't seem to matter much for the Rangers, who lead the AL West and rank as one of the top offenses in the league. Hitting coach Thad Bosley was reportedly a casualty of the clubhouse, where he just did not mesh with his charges.
Being a real back-slappin' fella didn't help John Mallee, who was ousted as the Marlins' hitting coach amid a seven-game skid. Seemingly, the players liked Mallee and wanted to point the blame at themselves. His case may have been more of a results-oriented firing for an organization that has often jettisoned respected individuals who are unable to take a team with a meager payroll to the promised land.
Even after its seven-game losing streak, Florida — which has the 24th-highest payroll in the majors — is 31-29. That leaves them five games behind the high-powered Philadelphia Phillies and just three back of the wild-card leader.
In Oakland, where injuries have decimated the starting rotation and a handful of offensive imports have been slow to get going, it was a little of both. Nine consecutive losses, coupled with some contentious relationships with a few players, forced out Geren, a good friend of general manager Billy Beane.
It proves that there really is no formula. Good guys not getting results, "bad" guys getting some and best buddies of GMs; all are targets in places that continue to search for stability.
Such strength in the foundation will not lead to a title every year. However, it spares the Red Sox and teams like them from awkward moments such as those that have hit three other organizations in the past day.