Philadelphia doesn’t get credit for much, but it should get credit for good nicknames. The 1950 Phillies were given the title the Whiz Kids, and the 1993 Phils had Macho Row, featuring the likes of Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk and Darren Daulton. There is still a week left in the season, but if those infamous Philly fans want to get creative again, they should start calling the 2008 edition of the Fightin’ Phils the Home Wreckers. Like everyone’s favorite hooded villain, Bill Belichick, they seem to have a propensity for destroying marriages.

Earlier this week, just hours removed from a four-game sweep at the hand of the Phillies, the Milwaukee Brewers organization fired manager Ned Yost with only 12 games left in the regular season as the Brew Crew is fighting to make the playoffs. Yost, as well as former Mets manager Willie Randolph – who was dismissed at 3 a.m. by Mets management this June thanks to the Phillies’ miraculous playoff run to end last season combined with this season’s lackluster start – upped the Phillies’ kill count to two couples this season.

While Philadelphia basks in another September run at the playoffs, one has to wonder what a coach or manager in the world of sports has to do to ensure job security. Sometimes it seems like being the president of the United States would be an enviable position compared to coaching. At least then you would need a majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate to get fired, and it would have to be because of high crimes, not falling into a wild card tie in September.

Yost took a franchise that had not seen a winning season since 1992 and gave it a .500 season in 2005 and a winning record last season, but after looking lifeless in a four-game sweep which left them tied with the Phillies for the wild card, the Brewers management decided his success just wasn’t enough. The same can be said for the Mets, who fired Randolph after a 97-win season and NLCS appearance in 2006, and what looked like a guaranteed divisional pennant last year before the Phillies stormed ahead in the last week of the season. Two coaches who had proven they were successful, and yet, were let go with yesterday’s trash.

Baseball isn’t the only place we see this happening. The NHL is littered with the tales of managers who haven’t even lasted an entire season, and the Raiders haven’t settled on a coach since Jon Gruden left in 2002. College football, however, may have the best example of a group of administrators making a snap and, frankly, moronic decision.

Case in point: Frank Solich. You may know him as the coach on the sidelines when Ohio gave older brother Ohio State an upset scare earlier this month. If you’re from the Plain States then you certainly know him as the man who led Nebraska to a 58-19 record from 1998-2003, including an appearance in the 2002 BCS national championship game, but was dismissed in 2003 following a 10-3 season. Why was a man who devised the play that literally won Eric Crouch the Heisman – it was a reverse throwback, which Crouch caught for a touchdown and a week’s worth of ESPN coverage – and kept the tradition of Tom Osborne alive fired after a 10-3 season?

In 2003, then-athletic director Steve Pederson told the media, “I refuse to let the program gravitate into mediocrity. We won’t surrender the Big 12 to Oklahoma and Texas.” If that press conference had been a scene in a movie we would have called it ironic foreshadowing, because not only did Nebraska slip into mediocrity – it’s only finished in the top 25 once since Solich’s firing – but Texas and Oklahoma have won all the Big 12 conference titles but one in that time.

If Tobey McGuire has taught us anything it’s that we should avoid spiders, and that with great power comes great responsibility. Professional coaches – and major college coaches – make more money than they probably deserve, and this is by no means a pity party for them. Sure they make millions of dollars because they know that any day they could be relieved, but at what point did it make sense to take the coach of a good team and fire him in hopes of making it a great team? Yes, the Buccaneers did it to Tony Dungy and won the Super Bowl, but they have also been an average to good team for rest of Jon Gruden’s tenure.

At some point, the managements of these teams need to look at the players that are being put on the field. It wasn’t Joe Torre’s fault that the Yankees roster, which was chosen by the Steinbrenner clan, lacked pitching and had more than a few players nearing social security, but he got sacked anyways. It’s not Lane Kiffin’s fault that the Raiders are still a few years off of being a contender, but that still probably won’t stop Al Davis from kicking him to the curb.

Ned Yost’s team was going through a rough patch, but, with 12 games to go, all that the Brewers management ensured is that they don’t have a fighting chance to make the playoffs. You don’t steady the ship by drowning the captain.

Ryan Travers is a junior in the College. He can be reached at ILLEGAL PROCEDURE appears in every other Friday issue of HOYA SPORTS.

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