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Firing Warzycha Won't Matter (Except That It Does)

There is a growing body of evidence that coaching changes don't change how a team performs. But sometimes that's not the reason to make the change.

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Crew are in eighth place and are likely to miss the playoffs for the second straight year. Robert Warzycha is in the last few months of his contract and likely won't be re-signed to a new contract for the 2014 season and the temperature is still rising on the figurative hot seat.

The calls to replace Warzycha have been strong since the first swoon of 2013 in April, however replacing Warzycha with a new coach was unlikely to make a difference earlier in the season. Evidence doesn't bear out that midseason coaching changes turn a team around. This appears to be true in football, baseball, and even soccer.

So with a few months remaining on his contract and even though it won't make a difference on the field, it's still is time to replace Warzycha.

To front office and ownership staff, it can hard to dismiss someone and have to pay two people to do the job of one person, but the Crew are going to pay Warzycha this year whether he coaches the team or not. He will get the final couple of paychecks whether he's on the field at Obetz, keeping a nice manicured lawn at home, going to Disney World, or hiking the Alps. His tenure has been mixed at best, but the 2013 season has been a disaster. This is the first move that focuses the team to 2014.

The payoff, while not on the field, is sizable. Cutting Warzycha loose sends a message. This isn't one for the players or staff, but for the fans. There are an ever growing number of people that are cutting up pink slips and printing out song sheets that say "Sack Warzycha". This would be a big signal that the team hears them. The face, fairly or unfairly, of the Crew's failures this season won't be around to distract from the job that lies ahead, positioning the team on and off the field for 2014 and beyond.

The ticket sales staff now face the task of securing renewals for next year. Warzycha won't be an excuse not to buy in. Additionally, even if it cuts his tenure short by a few months, there is a message of results matter and the name of the game is accountability. Anyone following the team will be able to see that.

These types of decisions resonate with fans and even if it doesn't change the course of the 2013 season, it does something more important. It's responsive to the people who pay for tickets and feel they haven't gotten fair value over the last couple years. It speeds up the process of finding a new coach by a couple of months. No knee jerk reactions or dangerous precedence set. Just sending a message to a group of people who desperately need to hear one.