Ah, the good old game of armchair managing. A manager can't win. Any decision he makes that goes bad (name one of a zillion), he gets the blame, when in fact maybe every possible decision would have gone bad. (Maybe in a parallel universe Dye strikes out in the 9th in Game 5.) Any move that goes well, he doesn't get the credit; either the players or Billy gets it, or no one notices.
Okay Macha bashers. Here's your chance to put up or shut up.
I am not a Macha hater, though I am not a fan either. I have screamed my share at the field for him to pull Zito. But I think he's a competent guy who chugs along and lets the team do its thing. In fact I'd be more worried about some fiery motivator. They mostly seem to wear out their welcome in a couple of years (see Larry Bowa).
A challenge: What level of team performance would satisfy the Macha haters this year?
Be fair and put up now. Otherwise, if the team surprises everyone and lands just short of the playoffs, you might backseat-manage again and say, oh that team really should have won more if it weren't for Macha.
My answer: I think anything between 80 and 90 wins would be acceptable and 90+ would be a nice surprise. I think a good manager should be able to get this team to a winning record.