TV Experience Is the New Requirement for MLB Managers

MLB teams want candidates who know about fielding questions rather than fielding infield hits

TV Experience Is the New Requirement for MLB Managers
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone. (Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty)
MLB Photos via Getty Images
By Evan Bleier / December 12, 2019 7:10 am

The new must-have requirement for new hires in MLB dugouts isn’t the ability to juggle a pitching staff, handle rookies or knowing when to call a hit-and-run, it’s being able to manage the media like a champ.

According to The Wall Street Journalmajor league teams are becoming more and more interested in hiring managers who have experience talking on camera and fielding questions from media members even if they have little to no baseball managerial experience.

Current big league managers such as Aaron Boone (Yankees), David Ross (Cubs) and Alex Cora (Red Sox), all had experience working for ESPN before they were hired for their respective positions and that experience was a key component of why they were given jobs, The Journal reports.

In fact, nearly 33 percent of MLB’s 30 teams currently have a manager who has worked on TV at some point.

The biggest reason for this is that the primary responsibility for managers in today’s game is to act as communicators with their players as well as with the media during press conferences before and after games. Considering that’s a minimum of 324 pressers, not counting spring training, the postseason or off days, that’s nothing to sneeze at.

According to Cubs GM Jed Hoyer being media savvy “is a prerequisite in this day and age” for managerial candidates.

“Who are ESPN and MLB Network going to gravitate toward? They’re going to gravitate toward a big personality with a good reputation,” Hoyer told The Journal. “We’re looking for the same things.”

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