=== Prereq Dept. ===
In order to understand the below post, understand the definition of "loser."
A loser is a man who talks big and walks big, until that moment of the contest when it looks like he's going to lose. At that moment, he stops thinking, he stops playing tough, and he folds.
He still runs around as hard, probably, and because he's ticked off he might actually look like he's trying harder. But he isn't. He's gone from "focused" to "what's the point, I'll whale at it and hope for the best."
A quarterback is in a fold, if he goes down 20-10 in the third and then forces two interceptons. (Couple bombs, if they hit fine, at least it's over either way, right?)
A chess player is in a fold, if the other guy gets a great position and then he refuses to find a rawhide-tough defense, choosing rather to gamble on a quick all-or-nothing combinational trap. (At least it's over either way, right?)
A golfer is in a fold, if he bogeys, goes three down and then hits five "quit" shots with poor concentration. (If I rip a few down the middle, I'm back on track, and if I don't, at least "it's just not my day" and the suffering is over either way, right?)
Write it down. The way you judge a ballplayer's makeup, is by watching him very closely at the moment the game turns against him.
=== Competition 101 Dept. ===
It ain't about what the manager SAYS that ultimately determines his (and the team's) fate. It's about what he DOES.
To this instant, I don't believe I've heard anyone complain about anything Wak said - (except perhaps Figgins in response to Wak saying - "You're batting 9th."). The Wak adjectives were: smart, classy, stuidious, unflappable, etc., etc. They described EXCLUSIVELY how he carried himself - how he presented himself to the public (and press). Precious little was written - (one way or the other) - on what he actually DID, (batting Griffey 5th for 7 weeks - benching Sweeney out of ST while Byrnes got more PT - pinch-hitting for Figgins with Griffey when Junior was hitting 200 points worse - etc., etc., etc.).
... SAYING "I don't care what your paycheck says" is indeed a money quote. But actually benching (for instance), a healthy, slumping Bradley, to put a (say) in-the-zone Langerhans into the lineup is easier to allude to than to actually do.
Dr. D himself was alarmed at the blizzard of quotes that told us, at bottom, "He's a fine man and people respect him. They really respond to him." Dr. D himself has been hearing this about new Mariners managers since approximately 1977.
One thing to tell a demoted fringe major leaguer, in AAA, that he'll now have to earn playing time. Another thing to try to pull that off in a luxurious ML clubhouse when speaking to Ken Griffey Jr. or Chone Figgins. If Daren Brown's key skill is supposed to be that 25 men do as he asks, his key skill is going to evaporate in a puff of smoke once he hits The Show.