In baseball, the field manager (commonly referred to as the manager) is the equivalent of a head coach who is responsible for overseeing and making final decisions on all aspects of on-field team strategy, lineup selection, training and instruction. Managers are typically assisted by a staff of assistant coaches whose responsibilities are specialized. Field managers are typically not involved in off-field personnel decisions or long-term club planning, responsibilities that are instead held by a team's general manager.
The manager chooses the batting order and starting pitcher before each game, and makes substitutions throughout the game – among the most significant being those decisions regarding when to bring in a relief pitcher. How much control a manager takes in a game's strategy varies from manager to manager and from game to game. Some managers control pitch selection, defensive positioning, decisions to bunt, steal, pitch out, etc., while others designate an assistant coach or a player (often the catcher) to make some or all of these decisions.
Some managers choose to act as their team's first base or third base coach while their team is batting in order to more closely communicate with baserunners, but most managers delegate this responsibility to an assistant. Managers are typically assisted by two or more coaches.
In many cases, a manager is a former professional, semi-professional or college player. A high proportion of current and former managers played the central position of catcher during their playing days, including Yogi Berra, Bruce Bochy, Wilbert Robinson, Joe Girardi, Mike Scioscia, Joe Torre, Connie Mack, Ralph Houk, and Ned Yost.
The manager's responsibilities normally are limited to in-game decisions, with off-field roster management and personnel decisions falling to the team's general manager. The term manager used without qualification almost always refers to the field manager (essentially equivalent to the head coach in other North American professional sports leagues), while the general manager is often called the GM. This usage dates back to the early days of professional baseball when it was common practice for teams to have just one "manager" on their staff, and where GM duties were performed either by the field manager or (more commonly) by the owner of the team. Some owners (most famously, Connie Mack of the Philadelphia Athletics) carried out both GM and field managerial duties themselves.
Major League Baseball managers differ from the head coaches of most other professional sports in that they dress in the same uniform as the players and are assigned a jersey number. The wearing of a matching uniform is frequently practiced at other levels of play, as well. The manager may be called "skipper" or "skip" informally by his players.
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each, taking turns batting and fielding. The game is in play when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball that a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objective of the offensive team is to hit the ball into the field of play, away from the other team's players, allowing its players to run the bases, having them advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate.
Softball is a game similar to baseball played with a larger ball on a field that has base lengths of 60 feet, a pitcher's mound that ranges from 35 to 43 feet away from home plate, and a home run fence that is 220–300 feet away from home plate, depending on the type of softball being played. Softball is played competitively at club levels, the college level, and the professional level.
Gordon Stanley "Mickey" Cochrane, nicknamed "Black Mike", was an American professional baseball player, manager and coach. He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers. Cochrane was considered one of the best catchers in baseball history and is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. In his first season as manager, he led the Tigers to 101 wins, which was the most for a rookie manager for 27 years.
The designated hitter (DH) is a baseball player who bats in place of another position player, most commonly the pitcher. The position is authorized by Major League Baseball Rule 5.11. It was adopted by the American League in 1973 and later by the National League in 2022, making it universal in MLB. Within that time frame, nearly all amateur, collegiate, and professional leagues have adopted the rule or some variant with the notable exception of Nippon Professional Baseball's Central League.
In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throws ("pitches") the baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the pitcher is assigned the number 1. The pitcher is often considered the most important player on the defensive side of the game, and as such is situated at the right end of the defensive spectrum. There are many different types of pitchers, such as the starting pitcher, relief pitcher, middle reliever, lefty specialist, setup man, and the closer.
Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes their turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the (home) umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. In addition to this primary duty, the catcher is also called upon to master many other skills in order to field the position well. The role of the catcher is similar to that of the wicket-keeper in cricket, but in cricket, wicketkeepers are increasingly known for their batting abilities.
A batting helmet is worn by batters in the game of baseball or softball. It is meant to protect the batter's head from errant pitches thrown by the pitcher. A batter who is "hit by pitch," due to an inadvertent wild pitch or by intent, may be seriously, even fatally, injured.
In Major League Baseball, the general manager (GM) of a team typically controls player transactions and bears the primary responsibility on behalf of the ballclub during contract discussions with players.
Cornelius McGillicuddy, better known as Connie Mack, was an American professional baseball catcher, manager, and team owner. The longest-serving manager in Major League Baseball history, he holds records for wins (3,731), losses (3,948), and games managed (7,755), with his victory total being over 800 more than any other manager. His loss total is also more than 1,000 higher than any other manager.
The rules of baseball differ slightly from league to league, but in general share the same basic game play.
Paul Rapier Richards was an American professional baseball player, manager, scout and executive in Major League Baseball. During his playing career, he was a catcher and right-handed batter with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1932), New York Giants (1933–1935), Philadelphia Athletics (1935) and Detroit Tigers (1943–1946). After retiring, he became the manager of the Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles (1955–1961). He also served as the general manager for the Orioles, the Houston Colt .45s / Astros and the Atlanta Braves.
August Rodney Mancuso, nicknamed "Blackie", was an American professional baseball player, coach, scout and radio sports commentator. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants, Chicago Cubs (1939), Brooklyn Dodgers (1940) and Philadelphia Phillies (1945).
James Wren "Zack" Taylor was an American professional baseball player, coach, scout and manager. He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher with the Brooklyn Robins, Boston Braves, New York Giants, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, and again with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Although Taylor was not a powerful hitter, he sustained a lengthy career in the major leagues due to his valuable defensive abilities as a catcher. After his playing career, he became better known as the manager for the St. Louis Browns owned by Bill Veeck. His baseball career spanned 58 years.
James Edward Hegan was an American professional baseball player, coach, and scout. He played for 17 seasons as a catcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1941 to 1942 and 1946 to 1960, most notably for the Cleveland Indians with whom he won a World Series in 1948. Although Hegan was a light-hitting player, he was notable for being one of the best defensive catchers of his era and a capable handler of pitching staffs, earning five All-Star selections. After retiring as a player, he continued to serve as a major league coach in a baseball career that spanned almost 40 years.
This is an alphabetical list of selected unofficial and specialized terms, phrases, and other jargon used in baseball, along with their definitions, including illustrative examples for many entries.
In baseball, a number of coaches assist in the smooth functioning of a team. They are assistants to the manager, who determines the lineup and decides how to substitute players during the game. Beyond the manager, more than a half dozen coaches may assist the manager in running the team. Essentially, baseball coaches are analogous to assistant coaches in other sports, as the baseball manager is to the head coach.
The Philadelphia Athletics were a Major League Baseball team that played in Philadelphia from 1901 to 1954, when they moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and became the Kansas City Athletics. Following another move in 1967, the team became the Oakland Athletics, their current identity and location.