A minor league baseball team is letting fans make some of the managerial decisions — for better or for worse. And mostly, it seems, for worse.
To promote his club, the owner of the Northern League’s Schaumburg Flyers decided to have cameras follow the Flyers through a half-season of baseball — 48 games. He also agreed to let fans, voting online, decide the team’s starting lineup each night.
So how’s it all working out so far?
The team won the division title in the first half of the split season, going 31-17. But since “Fan Club” began to start the second half, the team has gone 14-31, good for last place, with three games remaining. They just recently snapped a 14-game skid.
Of course, the team’s manager hates the experiment. But the owner is getting results. Even though his team is far less competative than it was in the first half of the season, attendance is way up.
So maybe there’s something to be said for interactive managing. But where does it all end?
According to the L.A. Times, in future seasons of “Fan Club,” LivePlanet, Microsoft and the Flyers want to let fans trade and release players via online voting and use real-time software to swap in another pitcher or hitter during a game.
It’s the part about letting fans trade and release players that sounds a little scary. Can you imagine getting fired from your job because you a bunch of people who don’t (directly) pay your salary don’t like you? I thought that could only happen to the governor of California.