So it appears that many Red Sox fans, myself included, may get a wish granted with Grady Little out, possibly by Monday. I think this issue deserves a little bit of discussion, now that there is some distance from game 7, on the action of relieving GL (or any manager in a position like his) of his duties. First – if the majority of players want him back (and that’s been the tenor of players’ comments, on the whole), and the performance of those players was, for the most part, excellent, then should that be a major factor in considering his return? What is the starting point for this team with a new manager? Do they begin from a point behind where they are now, due to new management, new chemistry, resentment of upper management? How fragile is the Red Sox clubhouse and would releasing Little damage this makeup? How much did Little have to do with the good karma in the clubhouse this year, and the confidence level that took the Sox so far? How much did he have to do with the actual improvement of many players from a fundamental standpoint (or is that the coaches)? Second, is one (horrible, hall-of-shame-level, moronic) managerial non-move to the bullpen enought to shitcan a man from his job? This is a tougher question to answer – Bob Brenly survived multiple gaffes in the series against the Yankees. In fact, he made far more egregious gaffes than Grady’s (however tired Pedro may have been). Brenly’s team still won, his errors were for the most part buried, so it raises the issue of how much a manager should be held responsible for field execution. So, I ask you – what is a fireable offense from a manager? Does it have to be a pattern of decision-making? Or one decision? This post is a bit of a backtrack for me, because after reading about the players’ reaction to the call for Little’s head I wonder about the wisdom of the move, though I do not doubt it will happen. My take is that if Little would simply say that he might have made a mistake by leaving Pedro in (a no-brainer, they lost, it WAS a mistake), then he shows he can learn, and as he’s just a second-year Major League manager there’s lots of room to grow (managing for 17 years in the minors isn’t the same as the bigs), and therefore he leaves room for even higher expectations, not a bad thing, considering how well the team did this year, how the division looks to be evolving, etc. On the other hand, and this is the key issue, I think, Grady has continually and stubbornly said that he stands by his decision, he would do it again (whether he istrying to protect Pedro I don’t know, but Pedro has been forthright about his responsibility for the outcome and seems to be able to handle not being protected by his manager), and maybe therefore he can’t be trusted to evolve as a skipper. I don’t think the Sox top brass (and most fans) can live with (or trust) a manager who flatly says that he’d once again put the team in the position to blow an eighth inning lead against an arch-rival in a seventh game with a fresh and dominating bullpen ready, knowing what heartbreak his decision has caused. That, to me, is unacceptable, and what allows the top brass to say goodbye.