Sparky Anderson, one of the greatest baseball managers of alltime passed away yesterday. He managed my favorite team the Detroit Tigers through my whole childhood. Everything I have read indicates he was a good guy.
In tribute to him two economic related things about Spark Anderson.
First, Anderson was one of the only managers to refuse to manage with replacement players during the 1994-1995 strike. In some sense it is hard to pick sides between players and owners as a fan during a strike and I wish 1994 would have finished as it seems like one of the great seasons that could have been. But I think you have to admire a manager who will stand up for his players.
Second, relating to the shiny objects posts. Every year Sparky would say that all of the Tigers rookies were going to be the next Micky Mantle and Tom Seaver. After years of the rookies flopping people started to ignore Sparky's praise. I think it shows that overpraising can get people to not trust someones opinion. But, a manager isn't trying to maximize what people think about his ability to rate players. He's trying to win ball games. I wonder if by praising people he got more out of them then he would have with a more honest answer. Although Sparky didn't have a great history of developing young talent with the Tigers in the second half of his career. I'm not sure the Tigers gave him much to work with. His teams records suggest his was doing something right.
Rest is peace Sparky.