The Blue Jays are 73-49 since Cito Gaston returned to the helm last season, which is the best record in baseball in that stretch. Some insight into why that may be can be found in this Gaston profile from the Toronto Star over the weekend. Money quote:
"He came back and resurrected this team,'' said Paul Beeston, Gaston's boss as team president both then and now, but his friend constantly. "I put it down to his presence and to his ability to communicate with the players, to never have them be surprised. As good as he was at communicating back then, I'd say he's even better at it now. I don't know how he does it. I don't think there's anybody who can say a negative word about John Gibbons. To know him is to like him. But Cito somehow gets through.''
Gaston's example is a pretty good argument for simply finding a guy with the right temperament and sticking with him. Managers get all of the heat when things go bad and, like Gaston a decade ago, they get fired for it. It probably happens too often, however. Unless a guy has simply lost his team like Willie Randolph had last season, it's probably best not to rock the boat too much. As long as the guy filling out the lineup card is steady, grounded and trustworthy, he's likely to do about as well with the talent he is provided as can be done and unlikely to have a team that radically under-performs. With so many other moving parts of a ballclub, one would think that a GM could make his life so much easier by simply installing a guy as manager and leaving him be.