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When we discuss "Hall Watch" candidates here on Batter's Box, we tend to (understandably) focus on the players of today's game who might someday have plaques hanging in Cooperstown.

But what about the skippers, the captains of the ship, the bench jockeys and leaders of those very same players? There are 17 managers currently in the Hall of Fame. Are any active skippers bound to join them there someday?

To my reading, there are currently only eight legitimate candidates to consider ...

... half of who I think are slam-dunk locks to make it in right now, while the other half will at least bear some consideration down the road. Let's start with the latter group.

Will get some support:

  • Terry Francona: Curse-busting can take you a long way in a voter's mind!
  • Mike Scioscia: Maybe the best active manager, and managing in a major market to boot. Another couple of rings and he moves to the "slam dunk" category.
  • Lou Piniella: Lots of success, from his moderate winning ways early on in the Bronx to the remarkable 116-win season in Seattle and a World Series ring in Cincinnati, of all places; if he takes the Cubs to a title, they might have to establish a new wing in the HOF for him.
  • Dusty Baker: Four playoff appearances and a pennant; already more than 1300 career wins. But yes, he's an unlikely inductee.

Slam dunks:

  • Jim Leyland: A (barely) losing career record to date, but he wouldn't be the first such skipper enshrined. Leyland has a pennant in Detroit, which is awesome enough, but also three division titles in Pittsburgh and a won a ring in Florida. The three-time Manager of the Year can sit for his Hall bust any time.
  • Joe Torre: Very nearly a Hall of Fame quality player, Torre has spent the last 14 years managing in North America's two largest markets and made the playoffs every year. He's won six pennants and four titles (so far) and has spent 17 seasons managing in New York (five with the Mets), and another six in baseball's best -- and most scrutinous -- fan city, St. Louis. He even won the 1982 NL West with the pre-Glavine, pre-Smoltz Braves! But only two Manager of the Year awards, so he can't be THAT good ...
  • Bobby Cox: Heading into 2010, Bobby Cox has managed for 28 years, won more than 2400 games, five pennants, one title and four Manager of the Year awards -- the first of those with the 1985 Blue Jays. Think he'll wear a Toronto cap into the Hall? :-)
  • Tony LaRussa: Heading into 2010, TLR has managed for 31 years, won more than 2550 games, five pennants, two titles and four Manager of the Year awards -- including at least one for each of the three teams he's managed.

Those last four guys, we could do a full "Hall Watch" feature on each and leave plenty on the cutting room floor in telling the story (I almost wrote "making the case," but really, does the case need to be made?). The only one of those four who might have to wait through a debate is Leyland, and in my not-so-humble opinion, the native of tiny Perrysburg, Ohio should pretty much waltz into the Hall the first time his name appears on the ballot.

Of the first four listed, Scioscia could make a move into "lock" status, and Piniella will get enough support to perhaps make it in regardless of what comes next for him.

Do we really have six future Hall-of-Fame managers active right now? Has that ever happened before? Do you, Bauxites across the Web, disagree with any of these projections? Is anyone missing from the discussion?

Who's going to manage his way into Cooperstown? | 29 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
electric carrot - Saturday, March 13 2010 @ 08:53 PM EST (#212356) #
Hey Mick, the 2010 season is nearly upon us -- did you ever tabulate the results from your 2009 predictions question?

just curious.


Jimbag - Sunday, March 14 2010 @ 07:50 AM EDT (#212359) #
Torre's certainly come a long way since the "Clueless Joe" tag :) Funny, though, how a lot of people (writers included) seem to think he was an under-achiever with the Yankees, even with 4 WS titles under his belt. I think he is about as close a lock to the HOF as there is.

If Torre is thought of as an under-achiever, where does that leave Bobby Cox? With the Braves, he had one of the best staffs in baseball since the Drysdale/Koufax days to work with, and still managed only one WS title. Maybe I'm just bitter that he was the skipper during the Jays "almost" phase, and came back to haunt the Expos later, but I'm not sure he's a "slam-dunk" candidate for Cooperstown. Torre always found a way to win, both as a player and a manager, where Cox always found a way to be competitive.

Dave Till - Sunday, March 14 2010 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#212361) #
While Cito Gaston has not accomplished anywhere near enough in baseball to be Hall-worthy, I noticed that some of the people on the above list are being praised for making it to the post-season five or six times. In the third of a century that the Jays have been in existence, they have been to the post-season five times. Cito managed four of those teams, and was hitting coach for the fifth. He was also the first African-American manager to win a World Series, which is deserving of at least a significant footnote in baseball history.

Joe Morgan, among others, has wondered openly why no team tried to hire Cito after the Jays let him go the first time. Sure, he has flaws as a manager, but he is better than Jimy Williams, who managed to get re-hired twice. What kind of career could Cito have had if he had been given as many chances as, say, John McNamara?

Dave Till - Sunday, March 14 2010 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#212362) #
While I'm here:

With the Braves, [Cox] had one of the best staffs in baseball since the Drysdale/Koufax days to work with, and still managed only one WS title.

Cox deserves some credit for building one of the best staffs in baseball. He seems to be better at creating a stable starting rotation than many managers.

When he was in Toronto, the Jays' starting rotation was so stable that you could decide, weeks ahead of time, which starting pitcher you wanted to see on the next home stand.
92-93 - Sunday, March 14 2010 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#212366) #
"Joe Morgan, among others, has wondered openly why no team tried to hire Cito after the Jays let him go the first time."

Maybe because Cito's views on the game are similar to Morgan's - moronic. I wonder openly how that man retains his job on ESPN. If anybody wondered why Cito couldn't get a job all those years, they need look no further than Cito himself; the man has burned bridges with both his players and the media in both tenures, and is a horrendous tactical manager. I've yet to understand what Cito Gaston brings to the table for a non-competitive team like the Jays in 2010; it certainly can't be to help them develop, because we all know how he handles that, and the clubhouse had an UNDERSTATED mutiny on their hands at the end of the 2009 season revolving around the manager. The Blue Jays' love affair with Gaston (when clearly nobody else in baseball thinks the same) very likely cost the Jays the services of Roy Halladay, who I'm not convinced would still have been on his way out had Godfrey not forced JP to fire his own manager and bring in the living dinosaur.
Shane - Sunday, March 14 2010 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#212369) #

From George King of the NYPost:

BRADENTON, Fla. _ The Post has learned Adeinis Hechavarria is going to get more money than the $8 million Jose Iglesias Iglesias got from the Red Sox.

However, it wonít be from the Yankees. And it has nothing to do with the Yankees not wanting to spend the money on the Cuban refugee shortstop.

According to an industry source Hechavarria is close to signing a $10 million deal with the Blue Jays because he didnít envision himself playing short for the Yankees.

Hechavarria, 21, was leery of Derek Jeterís impending extension that will keep him at short for the foreseeable future.

Having seen Hechavarria work out often in the Dominican Republic, the Yankees were high on the 6-foot-1, 170-pounder with a body that resembled a young Alfonso Soriano. Some in the organization believed he could have made the switch to second base if the Yankees wanted to deal Robinson Cano when his contract expires following the 2011 season.

However, it appears that Hechavarria didnít want to wait until Jeter is no longer the Yankeesí shortstop.

The Tigers also had interest in Hechavarria, whose bat is considered stronger than Iglesias.

Shane - Sunday, March 14 2010 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#212370) #
...And now Jordan Bastian has the report up on the Jays website of Hechavarria nearing a deal. Nice.
Magpie - Monday, March 15 2010 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#212402) #
it certainly can't be to help them develop, because we all know how he handles that

True dat. What young player has ever developed under Cito Gaston's guidance? With the exceptions of Jesse Barfield, George Bell, Fred McGriff, John Olerud, Carlos Delgado, Adam Lind...

BTW, Piniella ranks ahead of Leyland on my own Hall shortlist.
AWeb - Monday, March 15 2010 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#212406) #
I think including guys like Leyland (nothing special overall record) is important to have manager seem like a legitimate HoF induction, otherwise you just end up with the managers of the best teams. There have been lots of HoF players on bad teams, where are the great managers on bad teams ending up? How can you even tell if a manager on a bad team would be able to handle a top-flight roster - the decisions and skills required are quite different.

Obvious darkhorse early is his career right now is Girardi - he's set up in a sweet job, and if things go well in the next decade they could win 2-3 more titles (best guess, could be more or less obviously). If the franchise remains stable and an annual powerhouse (ie, he doesn't get fired for poor team performance), he could be there until he's 60 and be pushing 2000 wins. Assuming this continues to be an accurate summary of that job though - should managing one of the best 2 or 3 teams in the majors every year on paper and having success be something to get a lot of credit for?

The HoF manager list is essentially just a list of those with the most wins, with Gene Mauch (too many bad teams? perhaps not thought highly of?) being the first non-active manager to not make it. Is there anything else to use for managers though...
Magpie - Monday, March 15 2010 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#212410) #
Historical context!

Of the hundreds of men who have managed major league teams, there are exactly eight who have won more than Gaston's two championships. Seven of those eight men - Joe McCarthy (7 championships), Casey Stengel (7), Connie Mack (5), Walter Alston (4), Miller Huggins (3), John McGraw (3), Sparky Anderson (3) - are already in the Hall. Joe Torre is the eighth man, and he's obviously a slam dunk.

Gaston is in the next group, 13 men who won two titles. Three of those guys - Gaston, Tony LaRussa, and Terry Francona - are still active. LaRussa seems certain to make it, and another championship would surely clinch the deal for Francona. Three more - Tom Kelly, Bill Carrigan, and Bucky Harris - actually have losing records. Harris is in the HoF anyway, yet another dubious selection by the Veterans Committe in the 1970s. 

Of the other seven men with two titles, four have made it into the Hall: Frank Chance, Tommy Lasorda, Billy Southworth, and Bill McKechnie. Chance seems a no-brainer to me - he managed one of the most dominant teams in history and was an outstanding player as well. Southworth seems eminently worthy as well. I'm not nearly so sure about Lasorda and McKechnie.

The other three are Jim Mutrie, Danny Murtaugh, and Ralph Houk. I wrote about Mutrie last year. He had a career winning percentage of .611, which is awfully good. The only manager in history who can beat that is Joe McCarthy himself. Being a 19th century guy, Mutrie's not exactly forgotten - after all, no one who saw him work is even alive anymore - but he's certainly been overlooked.

The best historical comp for Gaston might be Ralph Houk - both won two championships at the beginning of their managerial careers when they took over top flight teams, and neither ever came close afterwards. Houk's carer winning percentage is .514; Gaston is at .516. For no apparent reason, Houk's managerial career was almost twice as long - oddly enough, he was never fired, he resigned four times - but otherwise there are some similarities.

Another 46 men have managed one World Series winner. Fifteen of those men are in the Hall, but ten of them really gained entrance as players - Tris Speaker, Bill Terry, Frank Frisch, Mickey Cochrane, Rogers Hornsby, Bob Lemon, Lou Boudreau, Jimmy Collins, Red Schoendienst, Fred Clarke. Two more are really in the Hall as executives - Charles Comiskey and Ed Barrow. Which leaves Whitey Herzog, Leo Durocher, and Earl Weaver as the HoF managers with one title. Bobby Cox will definitely join this crowd, and Leyland, Scioscia, and Piniella are in this group (for now) as well.

Of the almost 600 men who managed in the majors without winning a championship, we find Ned Hanlon and Frank Selee, who (like Jim Mutrie) won league championships before there was a World Series. There are only a few men without a World Series win who can reasonably be called Hall of Fame managers, and in each case their accomplishments as players had a great deal to do with them ending up in the Hall - Al Lopez, Hugh Jennings, Wilbert Robinson, Clark Griffith.

Connie Mack and Bucky Harris are the only HoF managers with losing records. Mack is obviously over-qualified despite that, and Harris seems to be a mistake. Gene Mauch (.483) has the most wins of any manager without making the HoF (so far). This is where we find guys like Leyland, Jimmie Dykes, Chuck Tanner,  Bill Rigney.

So yeah, I think Leyland's still got some work to do. He's got to win another title and get above .500. Otherwise, he's Chuck Tanner....
Mike Green - Monday, March 15 2010 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#212411) #
I have no idea what the Hall of Fame qualifications for a manager ought to be.   There are very few managers, in my opinion, who have consistently won more games than the talent available suggest they ought to have, and a good part of that seems to be managing the pitching staff well.  Joe McCarthy, Earl Weaver and Bobby Cox would be examples of that. 

Anyways, Cito Gaston reminds me of a better version of Sparky Anderson.  If you give him good resources to work with, he will make the most of it, despite game strategies that will sometimes make you scratch your head.  If you don't, he is probably not the best manager to have.  Sparky won two World Series championships with the Big Red Machine and a couple of other pennants; that was probably an equivalent or lesser qualification than Cito's 89-93 record.  Anderson then moved on to the Tigers of the 80s- one WS championship and one divisional title was pretty much par for the course, as far as I am concerned.  The Tigers' drafts of the mid-late 70s were historically good- Trammell, Whitaker, Morris, Gibson, Ozzie Smith...If Cito had moved on to a promising NL team after the strike (let's say the Mets), I would guess that he could have posted a similar record to Anderson's, albeit not as long because Anderson got an earlier start.

AWeb - Monday, March 15 2010 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#212412) #
So yeah, I think Leyland's still got some work to do. He's got to win another title and get above .500.

That might be true from a practical standpoint, given past voting histories, but should it be that way? Does being a HoF quality manager mean that your teams can't be on the whole below average? Leyland in particular had two possible juggernauts (Pirates 1992, Marlins 1997) taken completely apart due to money issues, which really hurt his overall record (take away Florida 1998 and he's 29 games over .500). I would think he could use a few first place finishes at the least (only WC wins for him since the Pirates), but it seems like he may have been unlucky to some extent.

Evaluating managers is almost impossible, since perceived talent depends mostly on actual performance - getting the most out of the talent available ends up being indistinguishable from actual talent. For instance, Alex Gonzalez, the longtime Jay SS in the 1990's - let's say a different manager was there and for whatever reason he had a multiple all-star career like it seemed he should have. There's no way to credit the manager in that reality with his success unless you know about the other reality where only glimpses of talent came through. Maybe Joe Torre helped Derek Jeter become a HoF shoo-in, and Tony LaRussa would have somehow caused his career to fail (maybe he's the Alex Gonzales of that reality).
Mike Green - Monday, March 15 2010 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#212418) #
It is very difficult to look at one player and comment on the effect of the manager on a player's development, but if you look at several young players, you can make some tentative judgments.  The young talent Cito had in the early 90s would include primarily Olerud, Alomar, Sprague, Guzman, Stottlemyre, Timlin, Ward, Delgado, Gonzalez, Green, Hentgen and Cruz Jr. (for one season only).  Did this talent develop on the whole as one would expect, better or worse?  The answer certainly is not worse, and arguably would be better.

If you do the same thing with Joe Torre and the Yankees, the key young players would be Jeter, Pettitte, Rivera and Posada (Bernie Williams having emerged at age 26 before Torre arrived).  He was 4-4, and you can easily see things he did which may have helped, at least for Rivera and Posada (controlling the workload of Mo and working Posada in slowly). 

AWeb - Monday, March 15 2010 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#212423) #
My response to that would be that you've only listed the players who actually became useful players and/or stars. What of the dozens of other young players that are long forgotten during those eras, who didn't become "key" young players for reasons that are typically impossible to be sure of? How do you decide whether, say, Rob Ducey or Steve Cummings (from 1990) were well managed and just weren't good enough, or poorly managed and no one could have done better? Prospect ratings could be looked at for those players making it to the majors over the course of years, but given the extremely high turnover in managers, it's not clear if you could figure anything out at a managerial level (now on a franchise level...).

controlling the workload of Mo and working Posada in slowly  - if things had turned out differently with those players, would anyone remember them? Posada was a good (great?) catching prospect, but did anyone expect his career to turn out this well?  If it had gone poorly, maybe Posada is remembered as "that catching prospect Torre wouldn't give a fulltime job to behind Joe Girardi for two years", and Rivera is "that pitcher who blew out his arm throwing 30 pitches a game in the 1996 playoffs". Rivera could have turned out to be the yankee version of Duane Ward pretty easily (I'm aware Ward's pitches were more likely to lead to injury, but they didn't have to. And a cutter has screwed up more than a few forearms over the years on the Jays alone). That would be an interesting parallel baseball universe - Ward stays awesome, Rivera flames out.

Mike Green - Monday, March 15 2010 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#212425) #
No, I attempted to list young players who would be projected reasonably as good regular players or stars.  Ducey had hit pretty poorly in Syracuse in 1988 and 1989, and by the time 1990 rolled around was 25 years old.  Cummings was a right-hander with good ERAs but poor W/Ks in the high minors; you could add him to the list if you want, but it really doesn't change much.  There may be a few other marginal choices one way or the other, but as long as you look at it prospectively from the time the manager took over rather than in hindsight, you're OK.

Who would be the young players you would look at from 2009-10 (so far)?  Cecil, Zep, Romero, Marcum, Morrow (assuming he's in the rotation), Lind, Snider, maybe Accardo and Purcey.  It ought to be understood that the drop-our rate is higher for pitchers, no matter what the manager does. 

It's not a perfect way of looking at things, but the development record on the whole does tell you something.

vw_fan17 - Monday, March 15 2010 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#212427) #
Perhaps the only way to evaluate managers is to see the performance of players under manager X who also played a significant amount of time for another manager (same team or not).

If players consistently perform better (or worse) for manager X than any other manager, then perhaps manager X is a good (bad) manager?

For example: Scott Rolen appeared to revive his career somewhat here. If he goes on to not be so great again with the Reds, then you probably have to give Cito a + for Rolen. Probably a + for Scutaro as well. - for Accardo? etc..

Then you see which coaches have significantly more + than -.

Of course, injuries will also be a factor, as will be park, etc. But, might be a starting point?

This is something that can probably only be done now, with the help of computers, as there's a TON of data to crunch..

92-93 - Monday, March 15 2010 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#212431) #
True dat. What young player has ever developed under Cito Gaston's guidance? With the exceptions of Jesse Barfield, George Bell, Fred McGriff, John Olerud, Carlos Delgado, Adam Lind...

Since I don't give Cito any credit for giving every day playing time to a 26 year old OF with a career .318/.380/.509 line in the minors, what I notice from this list is that there's nobody there that has broken into the league in the last 15 years, and Shawn Green is noticeably absent. The Blue Jays don't have the luxury of having Cito burn Snider's service time treating him in a manner similar to Green, and it makes no sense taking that approach when you have an under .500 team, like the 95-97 Jays. Also, the point was that Cito isn't the greatest manager for a young team, not that there aren't examples out there of young players who grew up under Cito and went on to productive careers...because if those players DIDN'T exist, there'd be a SERIOUS problem on our hands.
Mike Green - Monday, March 15 2010 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#212432) #
I count Posada and Green as successes despite the fact that they were worked in slowly. 
Magpie - Tuesday, March 16 2010 @ 01:35 AM EDT (#212442) #
Since I don't give Cito any credit...

That seems a little arbitrary, unless you already know the answer before you're asking the question. If you insist on dinging Gaston for Shawn Green (which is itself debatable - after all, Gaston did give Green more chances than Earl Weaver gave his first wife), surely you have to credit him for Lind. Who, let us remember, accomplished absolutely nothing in the majors under John Gibbons.

It would also be pretty hard for there to be a lot of guys from the last 15 years, Delgado and Lind notwithstanding, i view of the fact that the man wasn't managing in the majors for 12 of those 15 years.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, March 16 2010 @ 04:31 AM EDT (#212446) #
There's another dark horse candidate who hasn't been mentioned in this thread. There is an active manager with a .528 winning percentage in six seasons, all with the same team. He's won a World Series for a non-traditional powerhouse in a big market. He's not quite the best active manager. But he has many intangibles in his favor: He was an everyday starter for 13 years on the team he currently manages. It's impossible to picture him managing any other team. The Series he won broke a curse that lasted more than 90 years. He Plays the Game the Way the Game Was Meant to Be Played. He's certainly one of the most quotable people in baseball. And he seems bulletproof. In short, it's taken him only six years to become arguably the most iconic manager in the majors. He has a long way to go. But as long as he doesn't shove his foot too far down his throat, I think Ozzie has a chance.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, March 16 2010 @ 04:37 AM EDT (#212447) #
Correction. Ozzie's record is .526. The last digit of his winning percentage in '09 was 8, and I'm exhausted.
Magpie - Tuesday, March 16 2010 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#212452) #
There's an induction speech I would watch. They might need a seven second delay, of course...
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 16 2010 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#212453) #
His mouth inspired fear, and that seems to be valuable currency. 

From a purely Canadian perspective, his record given the team budget and the division has been no better than slightly above par. 

John Northey - Tuesday, March 16 2010 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#212455) #
Managers to the HOF is a crapshoot as there is no easy way to separate a manager from his team unlike with hitters and pitchers.

One way is to check their expected W-L via runs for/against to see if in-game strategies helped/hurt the team. Lets see what Cito's numbers are...
1989: -1 (but that includes Jimy's 12-24 record)
1990: -6
1991: +3 (including Tenace's 19-14 record)
1992: +5
1993: +4
1994: -1
1995: -4
1996: -3
1997: -1 (including Queen's 4-1 record)
2008: -7 (including Gibbon's 35-39 record)
2009: -9
Total: -20 (-14 ignoring mixed seasons)

Ugh. Kind of makes sense given how people see Cito as not being an active in-game manager.

Next question is what kids got their first chance at regular play (200+ PA, 50+ IP) under Cito?
Junior Felix (21 supposedly)
Pat Borders (160 PA before Cito, 26 yrs old)
John Olerud (21)
Glenallen Hill (25)
Greg Myers (24)
Willie Blair (24)
Ed Sprague (25, but lots of time at 23 with 183 PA)
Mark Whiten (23/24 - 260 PA net before traded part way into age 24 season)
Mike Timlin (25)
Juan Guzman (24)
Bob Macdonald (26)
Jeff Kent (24)
Derek Bell almost (184 PA age 23)
Pat Hentgen (23)
That gets us through 1989 to 1993. 12-14 players (depending how you count Whiten and Bell) given significant playing time on a contending team over 5 seasons, 2-3 a year. Doesn't sound bad, but would have to check other teams to know if it is or not.

For comparison, 2009's Yankee team had Brett Gardner (284 PA), Phil Coke (60 IP in the pen), and Alfredo Aceves (84 mainly in relief) qualify under these rules (first time to 50 IP or 200 PA). A couple of other players came close in David Robertson (43 IP) and Ramiro Pena (121 PA). Joba and Hughes cracked 50 IP in a previous season.
robertdudek - Tuesday, March 16 2010 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#212456) #
Unless you lay out a detailed rational criteria IN ADVANCE as a baseline of development, it is FOOLISH to even try to judge the development skills of any manager.

And though I am a card-carrying member of "Stathead inc.", I would not go so far as to characterize Joe Morgan's and Cito Gaston's view of baseball as "moronic". There are certainly many points of disagreement between my view and theirs, but it would be the height of hubris for me to suggest that the points on which we differ are due to their views being moronic.

In general I don't see the need to use such pejorative descriptors of people who have achieved so much in the baseball world.

92-93 - Tuesday, March 16 2010 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#212457) #
Achieving as a player has nothing to do with one's skills as an analyst, and Joe Morgan is as poor as they get. Just ask KenTremendous.
robertdudek - Tuesday, March 16 2010 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#212460) #
Joe Morgan was not paid to be an analyst - he was paid to talk about baseball - bit of a difference there.
92-93 - Tuesday, March 16 2010 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#212461) #
His ESPN page begs to differ.

"Two-time Sports Emmy Award winner Joe Morgan, former Reds great and Hall of Fame 2B, serves as the analyst for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball telecasts."
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 16 2010 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#212462) #
There are different types of analysis.  Joe Morgan has a fabulous understanding of the small details of the game- fielder positioning, pitching patterns, the cat and mouse of pitcher and baserunner...I do not put as much stock in his opinions about a player's Hall of Fame qualifications.  "Moronic" is way too harsh.
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