Approval from players shouldn't be enough for Phil Nevin to stick around

Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels
Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

Following the firing of Joe Maddon, the Los Angeles Angels decided to make Phil Nevin the team's interim manager. Nevin guided the Angels to a 46-60 record to finish the season, not showing much more promise than the recently fired Maddon.

With the Angels ownership situation in flux, the organization didn't have the chance to even really consider bringing another manager in, instead keeping Nevin around for another year at the helm.

The Angels having yet another disappointing year isn't all on Nevin, and the players clearly agree as they backed their guy. Guys like Mike Trout, Reid Detmers, and Griffin Canning all expressed their appreciation for Nevin and the joy they have playing for him. While that's great to see, it shouldn't be enough to keep him around.

LA Angels firing Phil Nevin should still be an obvious decision despite player approval

From poor bullpen management to inexcusable lineup decisions, there hasn't been much Phil Nevin has shown. How many times this season have we said the Angels won this game because of the decisions made by Phil Nevin? Rarely, if ever. On the flip side, we can certainly think of games they've lost thanks to poor decision making.

Being the manager is a thankless job that comes with no credit when you do something right and all the blame when you do something wrong. I definitely do get that. Still, this team that was supposed to be competing for a playoff spot at the bare minimum is 72-88 and just trying to avoid 90 losses at this point.

“I love Phil, I love playing for Phil,” Trout said. “He takes care of his guys. You know he wants the best for the team. And that was another thing about not being out there, because I know how much he cares about us.” Trout points out how great of a guy Nevin is, but notice how he says nothing about his baseball decisions. Canning and Detmers had similar sentiments.

“Is that stuff nice to hear? Sure,” Nevin said. “I'm not here to make friends or anything like that. I'm here to make those guys better and run a game. But I love being here. I love everything about it. Even coming and sitting with you guys every day. And you guys know how I feel about the players and my staff and the relationships I build every day with everybody.” 

Nevin acknowledges that he's not here to make friends, he's here to win ballgames and make these players better. Neither has happened. The players really like him, but it's fair to say more have regressed than progressed and the team hasn't improved whatsoever despite an infusion of talent.

Again, it's not all Nevin's fault. The Angels have played much of the season, especially down the stretch, extremely short-handed. Right now the Angels are without each of their four highest-paid players and have seven of their ten highest-paid players on the IL. It's extremely hard to win that way. I get it. He still hasn't shown anything to prove he should be here.

The Angels would benefit bringing in a new voice for the 2024 season as they attempt to get back on track as a franchise.