Is Your Manager Experienced?

January 4, 2013

Much ado has been made of the many managers recently hired without any managing experience. For instance, Walt Weiss and Bo Porter were recently hired by the Rockies and Astros, respectively. Another manager, Mike Redmond, was hired by the Marlins with only A-level experience.

Is this spate of hiring untested managers unprecedented? No. In 2001 four managers were hired without any minor or major league experience: Bob Brenly, Bob Melvin, Buck Martinez, and Lloyd McClendon were hired before the start of that season by the Diamondbacks, Mariners, Blue Jays, and Pirates, respectively. In 2012, completely inexperienced managers Robin Ventura and Mike Matheny were hired by the White Sox and Cardinals, while Dale Sveum was hired by the Cubs with only AA managing experience and 16 games as a major league manager. In 2011, the Blue Jays’ John Farrell and the Dodgers’ Don Mattingly were complete manager newbies, while Ron Roenicke took the helm of the Brewers with only minor league experience.

Are we in a trend? I think so, but it is a foggy trend. After 2001, excluding interim managers, a completely inexperienced manager was hired almost once a year for the next nine years, but never two in the same year. Some were successes. Brenly won the World Series in his first year. Ozzie Guillen won it in his second year. Joe Girardi was voted manager of the year with the Marlins–even though he barely lasted the season. Bud Black won a Manager of the Year award in his fourth year.

However, of the 11 managers hired without any experience during the ten years from 2000-2009, only three lasted as long as four full seasons: McClendon (didn’t make it all the way to five seasons), Guillen (eight), and Black (six, so far).

The success of Kirk Gibson with the D’backs in 2010 may have inspired the hiring of Mattingly and Farrell. The Dodgers seem happy with Donny Ballgame and the Red Sox lured Farrell back from the Blue Jays. Then Ventura and Matheny helped provide surprising success to their teams last year, so it would not be surprising if more newbies were hired this year. Of course, if Weiss and Porter are complete flops this trend will likely come to an abrupt halt.

Every new manager is carefully screened for his baseball strategy skills, player relation skills, public relation skills, and compatibility with directions coming from the front office. The amount of managing experience is almost irrelevant, but not completely. It was loudly rumored this fall that Toronto was looking for an experienced manager. Just for fun, I made a table to see if there was a specific amount of managerial experience that has worked out best.

Considering that running a baseball team has evolved significantly in recent years, my table only goes back to the year 2000. That happens to be just far enough to include every active manager. It crudely measures the success of every non-interim manager. Those who were hired after the start of a season, but did not start the next season as that team’s manager were not included–unless–and this happened to Dale Sveum in 2008–unless they made the play-offs. That year Ned Yost managed the Brewers all season as he had for the previous five until September, when his team suffered 11 losses in 14 games. Milwaukee had a 4 ½ game lead for the wild card spot on Aug. 31. That lead dwindled to zero. Yost was fired; Sveum was hired. The Brewers managed to regain the wild card spot over the Mets by a game.

Interpreting the Manager Success by Experience Table

Any line in bold indicates that hiring is still active. You can also tell by the two dots after the data in the "TSP" column.

A ".e" or ".l" after the year of hire indicates an in-season hire: "e" is for early in the season. If the manager started after the 81st game, he gets a ".l".

Exp.? asks if the manager had experience managing in organized baseball before he was hired.

PMLS stands for Previous Major League Stints. If the manager had two stints with the same team within less than a year, those count just as one major league stint. An "i" indicates that manager’s only major league experience was just an interim shot.

Yrs. is an abbreviation for the number of years that manager lasted after his hiring. A minus sign means he didn’t make it all the way through that Nth season. A plus sign means he made it just past that number of years. The squiggly equal sign "≈" means he more or less managed that number of years. More exactly, it means that if he was either hired in the 2nd half of a season and fired in the 2nd half of a season – or he was both hired and fired in the early part of a season. (By "fired", I am including "resigned" or "died". No one in this study died, but I will always remember when two managers from my favorite childhood team (Detroit’s Chuck Dressen and his replacement Bob Swift) left during the 1966 season for health reasons–and they both died within a few months of their departure.)

The numbers under "Post Season?" indicate the Nth  seasons in that manager’s tenure that the club earned a play-off spot. If that season is highlighted in blue, it represents a World Championship.  The number after the "MoY" indicates the Nth  season that manager won a Manager of the Year Award without making the play-offs. In the case of "SN MoY", it was just The Sporting News Manager of the Year award.

TSP stands for Total Success Points which is equal to the number of years he lasted plus a point for a Manager of the Year award earned without a playoff spot, plus two times the number of play-off spots, plus two times the number of World Championships. Two dots following the TSP is another indicator that managerial hiring is still active.

I’m sure you could fathom a more accurate way of measuring success, but to get a significantly better rating would require a lot more work. For example, you could get a more accurate managerial success rating if you take into account payroll, but I don’t buy that the relationship of wins to payroll is as linear as some more qualified researchers than I have maintained. At the high end, I think it takes more dollars to get those extra wins, but we are digressing.

The Age given is the manager’s age on the first game he managed after he was hired. The Age highlight colors are coded by age group. From youngest to oldest: clear, blue, green, yellow, red, magenta, gray. (For some reason, Word skips orange.)

The managers are colored coded thusly: blue: no experience; green: minor league experience only; yellow: managed at least one season for only one previous major league team; red: managed at least one season with multiple previous MLB teams.

Manager Success by Experience

Year   Team New Manager Exp.? PMLS Yrs? Post Season? TSP Age

2000   Ang. Mike Scioscia   Y  0   13   3,5,6,8,9    25.. 41

2000   Bal. Mike Hargrove   Y  1    4   N             4   50

2000   Ch.C Don Baylor      Y  1    3-  N             3-  50

2000   Col. Buddy Bell      Y  1    2+  N             2+  48

2000   Det. Phil Garner     Y  1    2+  N             2+  50

2000   Mil. Davey Lopes     N  0    2+  N             2+  54

 

2001   Ari. Bob Brenly      N  0    4-  1,2          10-  47

2001   Cin. Bob Boone       Y  1    3-  N             3-  53

2001   LA.D Jim Tracy       Y  1    5   4             7   45

2001   Phi. Larry Bowa      Y  1    4-  N (MoY.1)     5-  55

2001   Pit. Lloyd McClendon N  0    5-  N             5-  41

2001   Sea. Bob Melvin      N  0    2   N             2   41

2001   Tor. Buck Martinez   N  0    1+  N             1+  52

2001.e T.B. Hal McRae       Y  1    2-  N             2-  55

2001.e Tex. Jerry Narron    Y  0    2-  N             2-  45

 

2002   Bos. Grady Little    Y  0    2   2             4   52

2002   Hou. Jimy Williams   Y  2    3-  N             3-  58

2002   Mar. Jeff Torborg    Y  4    1+  N             1+  60

2002   Min. Ron Gardenhire  Y  0   11   1,2,3,5,8,9  24.. 44

2002   M/W. Frank Robinson  Y  3    5   N             5   66

2002.e Col. Clint Hurdle    Y  0    7≈  6             9   44

2002.e K.C. Tony Pena       Y  0    3≈  N (MoY.2)     4   44

2002.e Tor. Carlos Tosca    Y  0    2+  N             2+  48

 

2003   Ch.C Dusty Baker     Y  1    4   1             6   53

2003   Cle. Eric Wedge      Y  0    7   5             9   35

2003   Det. Alan Trammell   N  0    3   N             3   45

2003   Mil. Ned Yost        Y  0    6-  N (Sveum ’08) 6-  48

2003   Oak. Ken Macha       Y  0    4   1,4           8   52

2003   NY.M Art Howe        Y  2    2   N             2   56

2003   S.F. Felipe Alou     Y  1    4   1             6   67

2003   T.B. Lou Piniella    Y  3    3   N             3   59

2003   Tex. Buck Showalter  Y  2    4   N (MoY.2)     5   46

2003.e Ch.W Dave Miley      Y  0    2≈  N             2   40

2003.e Mar. Jack McKeon     Y  4    3-  1             7-  72

 

2004   Bal. Lee Mazzilli    Y  0    2-  N             2-  49

2004   Bos. Terry Francona  Y  1    8   1,2,4,5,6    22   44

2004   Ch.W Ozzie Guillen   N  0    8   2,5          12   40

2004.l Hou. Phil Garner     Y  2    3≈  0,1           7   54

2004.l Tor. John Gibbons    Y  0    4-  N             4-  42

 

2005   Ari. Bob Melvin      Y  1    4+  3             6+  43

2005   NY.M Willie Randolph N  0    3+  2             5+  50

2005   Phi. Charlie Manuel  Y  1    8   3,4,5,6,7    20.. 61

2005   K.C. Buddy Bell      Y  2    3-  N             3-  53

2005   Sea. Mike Hargrove   Y  2    2+  N             2+  55

2005.e Cin. Jerry Narron    Y  1    2+  N             2+  45

 

2006   Det. Jim Leyland     Y  3    7   1,6,7        13.. 61

2006   LA.D Gray Little     Y  1    2   N             2   56

2006   Mar. Joe Girardi     N  0    1   N (MoY.1)     1   41

2006   Pit. Jim Tracy       Y  1    2   N             2   50

2006   T.B. Joe Maddon      Y  i    7   3,5,6        13.. 52

 

2007   Ch.C Lou Piniella    Y  4    4-  1,2           8-  63

2007   Mar. Fredi Gonzalez  Y  0    3-  N (SN MoY.2)  4-  43

2007   Oak. Bob Geren       Y  0    4+  N             4+  45

2007   S.D. Bud Black       N  0    6   N (MoY.4)     7.. 49

2007   S.F. Bruce Bochy     Y  1    6   4,6          14.. 51

2007   Tex. Ron Washington  Y  0    6   4,5,6        12.. 54

2007   Was. Manny Acta      Y  0    3-  N             3-  38

2007.e Sea. John McLaren    Y  0    1≈  N             1   55

2007.l Hou. Cecil Cooper    Y  0    2≈  N             2   57

 

2008   Cin. Dusty Baker     Y  2    5   3,5           9.. 58

2008   K.C. Trey Hillman    Y  0    2+  N             2+  45

2008   LA.D Joe Torre       Y  4    3   1,2           7   67

2008   NY.Y Joe Girardi     Y  1    5   2,3,4,5      15.. 43

2008   Pit. John Russell    Y  0    3   N             3   47

2008.e Tor. Cito Gaston     Y  1    3-  N             3-  64

2008.l Mil. Dale Sveum      Y  0    0+  0 (12 g.)     2+  44

2008.l NY.M Jerry Manuel    Y  1    3-  N             3-  54

 

2009   Mil. Ken Macha       Y  1    2   N             2   58

2009   Sea. Don Wakamatsu   Y  0    2-  N             2-  46

2009.e Ari. A.J. Hinch      N  0    1+  N             1+  34

2009.e Col. Jim Tracy       Y  2    4-  N (MoY.1)     5-  53

2009.l Was. Jim Riggleman   Y  3    2-  N             2-  56

 

2010.e Ari. Kirk Gibson     N  0    3-  2             5-..52

2010.e K.C. Ned Yost        Y  1    3-  N             3-..55

2010.e Mar. Edwin Rodriguez Y  0    1≈  N             1   49

2010.l Ch.C Mike Quade      Y  0    1+  N             1+  53

2010   Cle. Manny Acta      Y  1    3-  N             3-  41

2010   Hou. Brad Mills      Y  0    3-  N             3-  53

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------

 

2011   Atl. Fredi Gonzalez  Y  1    2   2             4.. 47

2011   Bal. Buck Showalter  Y  3    2+  2             4+..53

2011   LA.D Don Mattingly   N  0    2   N             2.. 49

2011   Mil. Ron Roenicke    Y  0    2   1             4.. 54

2011   NY.M Terry Collins   Y  2    2   N             2.. 62

2011   Pit. Clint Hurdle    Y  1    2   N             2.. 53

2011   Sea. Eric Wedge      Y  1    2   N             2.. 43

2011   Tor. John Farrell    N  0    2   N             2   48

2011.e Oak. Bob Melvin      Y  2    2-  2             4-..49

2011.e Was. Davey Johnson   Y  4    2-  2             4-..68

 

2012   Bos. Bobby Valentine Y  2    1   N             1   62

2012   Ch.C Dale Sveum      Y  i    1   N             1.. 48

2012   Ch.W Robin Ventura   N  0    1   almost        1.. 44

2012   Mar. Ozzie Guillen   Y  1    1   N             1   48

2012   StL. Mike Matheny    N  0    1   1             3.. 41

 

 

Do you spot any trends? In 2000, there was a run on managers who were exactly 50 years old and had just one previous stint as a manager. That description fit three hires plus one other who was close at age 48. Then in 2001, as mentioned above, there was a run on managers with no experience at all.

The managerial fashion for 2002 was rookie major league managers with minor league experience ranging in age from 44 to 52. Five teams tried that. 2003 achieved a peak (until last year) in manager hires with previous multi-team experience. That was matched by the number of hires from the minor-league-team-only level of experience: four each.

The next three years produced no specific hiring preferences, then 2007 bested 2002’s penchant for managers with just minor league managing experience – only a wider range of ages 38 to 57. Then again there was no prevailing managerial type hired until 2011 when another slew of multi-team veterans began new stints – mixed with teams willing to try inexperienced managers.

If teams are copying the success of Mattingly, Matheny, and Ventura, why aren’t there just as many teams copying the success of multi-team hires: the A’s Bob Melvin, the Orioles’ Buck Showalter and the Nationals’ Davey Johnson? They have been even more successful this time around, so far. There may be more qualified inexperienced managerial candidates available than multi-time ex-managers who are willing to come out of retirement. I also think it is more exciting for the fans to try someone fresh than someone who had to be fired several times before.

It is even more difficult to find a pattern in the age of the manager hired. It looks like a random distribution. In fact, the year we had the youngest managerial hire of the millennium (Eric Wedge at 35 in 2003) was the same year the oldest manager was hired (Jack McKeon at 72) Yes, he was hired on an interim basis, but he came back the following season. If you don’t count him – the next oldest manager of the study was also hired in 2003: Felipe Alou.

Initially, I defined success as either: a) managing for four full years, b) winning a play-off berth, or c) winning a Manager of the Year award. Combining the manager types we come to these success rates:

Completely inexperienced managers: 8 successes, 6 failures, 2 undetermined excluding this year’s hires

Managers with only minor league experience: 15 successes, 14 failures, 1 undetermined

Managers with just one previous stint in Majors: 10 successes, 14 failures, 3 undetermined

Managers with multi-team previous experience: 12 successes, 8 failures, 1 undetermined

Hmm. You all could probably come up with a better explanation as to why a manager who has been fired once is a worse bet than a manager who has been fired multiple times or a manager who has never been fired as a manager. There probably isn’t a large enough sample size to know if one group is really a better bet than the other.

 

What if instead of the binary success or failure, we grade the level of success as Years + MoY Awards + 2* play-offs + 2* World Championships? With this method, it doesn’t seem right to include managerial hires of 2011 or later, because the vast majority of them are still working. Yet, very few of the 2010 hires are still with their team, so that seems like a natural ending point. So, a Total Success Point tally of all the managers hired from 2000-2010 divided by the number of those managers in each category comes to:

 

No managing experience: 4.53

minor league experience: 5.52

1 previous stint in Majors: 5.61

Multi-team experience: 5.04

Besides the issue of a flawed success indicator, there is also the issue that some managers may be better for team building, while others are better at putting teams in the post season. They may be equally good managers, but the latter would fare far better under TSP.

However, my study gets more fun (but not necessarily more relevant), if you look at the success rate by age of hire. Below are the total number of managers hired in each age group, the number who achieved success based on the criteria above and the number of times they did not (if they are no longer managing). The numbers in the rightmost column are the tallies of all the managers’ Total Success Points in each age group divided by the number of managers in each group. Managers hired in the last two years are not included in that last figure.

Age     No. Suc. – Fail TSP/pre-2011 N

30s:      3   1 -  2    4.33

40-44:   19  12 -  5    8.58

45-49:   22   8 – 12    3.75

50-54:   24  11 – 12    4.74

55-59:   13   2 – 11    2.85

60-64:    7   3 -  3    8.94

65+:      4   4 -  0    5.90

 

Taking a stab at an explanation that is supported by this data: it is best for a manager to be young enough to relate to his players (under 45), but not so young as to not command their respect (under 40). Once a manager is over 50, though, he becomes wise enough to handle his players, although newly hired managers are so out of touch by 55, that even that extra wisdom doesn’t help them. However, by 60, they are well respected in a grandfatherly way.

 

Of course, not all managers achieved all of their success the year they were hired, but they set a standard at the start of their tenures. This is probably all just random distribution due to small sample sizes. You are supposed to come up with these types of hypotheses before you look at the data, so take it for what it is worth – probably not much.

 
 

COMMENTS (16 Comments, most recent shown first)

hotstatrat
Sure, major league baseball players are professionals with a focus on their work, we cannot comprehend. However, they are still complicated human beings. Surely, some managers are better at keeping everyone optimally focused on winning games than others. It is my opinion, based on nothing more than my decades of baseball nut-hood, that managing the players to play their best is the most important component of a manager's job. Hiring the right coaches and having a good mix of wise veterans and hungry younger players might be important, too. It is difficult to separate all those inputs in order to measure what effect is the manager's. However, knowing what a good manager can do in an office setting makes me think it is not insignificant. Boy, at the Little League level from personal experience, I feel strongly that instilling team spirit is more important than all the things a manager can do combined - and the teaching skill levels of Little League managers can be vast, so that's saying a lot. Yes, LL is not MLB, but you can consider it a matter of degree.

Perhaps, the next biggest difference maker among managers is knowing the right time to bring in the right reliever. Certainly choosing the best regulars is important, too, but apparently managers are having less and less control over that. Managing the bullpen, though, is extremely important - and surely some managers do that better than others.

All the other managerial strategies combined surely make up the difference of another win or two, so all told, I would estimate the best managers routinely make of difference of 6 or 7 wins over a season - making a .500 club a .540 club. That is about the same as a superstar. Based on what I have noticed that teams have done after they have hired an outstanding manager, that seems about right. Admittedly, my observations are not scientific. They may be skewed by viewing successful managers defined by the team W-L improvements. I've read other respected sabermaticians claim that a great manager's effect is less than that - far less than that of a star player.

I don't know how he measured that. I think it is true that some managers are better for certain types of teams. Some managers are better at building a contender, some might be better with a predominantly veteran team. (I recall a comment to that effect a long time ago from Bill James.) Teams change while they are being led by the same manager. Furthermore, just as some people get sloppy or relatively indifferent, if they have been at the same job a long time, some baseball managers might fall into the same problem. Hence, measuring a manager's effectiveness is very difficult. So, we have to extrapolate our experiences and apply them to the world of MLB as best we can.​
9:52 AM Jan 8th
 
metsfan17
The fact that I got Bill James to comment even if he disagrees with me makes me happy. Even though I've read pretty much everything he has ever written and he has changed the way I think about baseball, I still just don't think the manager makes that much difference in baseball. Not like in football, college basketball and hockey where I think the coach has much more control of the car.
1:52 PM Jan 7th
 
bjames
The logic used by Metsfan to invalidate the contribution of the manager can be used to invalidate almost anyone's contribution to anything. I think it must be the most common logical fallacy. Regarding some player we were discussing in another context, I commented that he looked like he had been lifting weights since he was 15 years old, rather than like a testosterone guy. In fact, he HAD been lifting weights since he was 15 years old, but some smartass chimes in "did you know about Bartolo Colon, too?" Colon, of course, failed a drug test, although he doesn't have a chemical-muscle type body. The implication was that because one can't make that observation with 100% accuracy, the observation is useless.

Well, but OF COURSE one can see the difference between an athlete who has been lifting weights for a long time and a steroid guy. You can't do it 100% of the time, true, but that doesn't mean you can't do it or that the observation doesn't have value. If a scout is wrong about a player, does that mean that the scout's observations don't have value? No, of course not; it just means that there is not an absolute, 100%, 1-to-1 relationship between the observation and the fact.

The same with managers, or drinking and driving; the fact that the cause and effect doesn't ALWAYS work, or that it works only a fairly small percentage of the time even, is not any kind of evidence that there isn't an effect. It's like saying, "If Steve Carlton was such a great pitcher, how come he lost 19 games in 1970? How come he lost 20 games in 1973? If he was such a great pitcher in 1972, how come his team lost 97 games?"

But we KNOW that Carlton was a great pitcher, and we know that he had immense value in 1972, despite the fact that his team lost 97 games. Why then should it be difficult to accept that a MANAGER may have had immense value, even though his team may have lost 97 games?
12:56 AM Jan 7th
 
bjames
No offense given the amount of work people have done, but drinking alcohol before driving makes very little difference except in a very extreme case where you are so drunk you just can’t see the road. In driving, it’s all pretty much all about the automobile. The driver sits in the driver’s seat, holds onto the wheel, and the car does all the real work. My neighbor Joe T. Vapors has driven drunk a dozen times and nothing ever happened. Then, all of a sudden he has one car wreck, and they make a huge deal out of the fact that he had had a few drinks. No, it’s only because he had the car wreck; otherwise they would never even know he was drunk. Tony LaRussian was such a terrible drinker that he has a car wreck even though he hadn’t had ANYTHING to drink. Terry F. Conehead gets arrested twice for drunken driving, and he’s never even had a car accident. What, he all of a sudden became sober? No. It’s because it’s all about the automobile.

Do you see the problem with the logic?

12:33 AM Jan 7th
 
craigjolley
After Bobby Cox retired I hoped Chipper would be hired as player-manager. Cox could have helped him choose/retain coaches whom he'd delegate most of the job to but retain final say on which players to keep. Chipper knows the game, remains even keel, inspires younger players, communicates well one-on-one and with the media. His challenge might have been dealing with underperforming players. He's such a loyal Braves guy--seems unlikely he'd manage another team. Maybe he'll be considered after Fredi is done.
2:09 PM Jan 5th
 
ChitownRon
Metsfan17

You are right about the Cubs example...

It is just when Cox/Larussa do have the talent,
they get the job done.

A lot of mangers have the talent but dont get the job done. That is what makes Cox/LaRussa great Managers
12:50 PM Jan 5th
 
ChitownRon
You are right about the Cubs example...

It is just when Cox/Larussa do have the talent,
they get the job done. A lot of mangers have the talent but dont get the job done. That is what makes them great
12:48 PM Jan 5th
 
metsfan17
Give Bobby Cox or Tony LaRussa today's Cubs and they are going to win 70 games, just like any other manager.
10:08 AM Jan 5th
 
metsfan17
I completely disagree that "great managers" make any difference but that's what makes sports fun. The arguing.
10:05 AM Jan 5th
 
ChitownRon
It's nearly impossible to judge managers on a level playing field.

Some teams dont expect to win with a young team for a while (previous the Nationals now the Cubs). On the other hand, a great manager finds a way to keep his team in the hunt.

Managers like Cox and Larussa are like great chess players. Very seldom do they make a mistake in strategy. Players are motivated by successful managers like LaRussa, Cox, etc. etc.

I remember when Dale Svuem interviewed for the Cubs job.
It was said he had the correct and best answers to a baseball type quiz that the Cubs gave all of the applicants.
Svuem was the quickest to respond, and had exceptional results compared to the other manager applicants.

However, with the team he was given, he has no real expectations for success for quite a while. It makes judging managers very difficult. For the teams that are in the playoff hunt, It is easier to judge the managers capabilities the last 6 weeks of the season.. When the pressure is on, is when great managers shine.



9:52 AM Jan 5th
 
metsfan17
I definitely respect everybody's opinion and of course it is very difficult to measure the effects of managers. But after watching baseball now for 45 years, I just don't see that one manager is much better than another. I just don't think they make much difference in baseball which is such a reaction game. If you have a good team you will win and if you have a bad team, you will lose. In football, college basketball and hockey, a coach can make a huge difference. But in baseball, I just don't see it. I'm a Met fan. Everyone said Jerry Manuel was a terrible manager. They said Terry Collins is really making a difference. Collins still hasn't won as many games in a season as Manuel. Art Howe won 100 games twice with the A's. Then he suddenly became the worst manager in history. I don't blame them but I don't think there's much difference between managers. They all have 8th inning guys, they bring in the closer only in the 9th with nobody on, they all bunt when they shouldn't. They're all basically interchangeable it seems
9:20 AM Jan 5th
 
shthar
I'm waiting for the return of the player-manager.
3:17 AM Jan 5th
 
MWeddell
John,
I think there is something new (or at least new in recent years but likely not new in the whole history of MLB) the past two seasons. It's not just that there are rookie managers but that they have so little experience either as minor league managers or major league coaches. Kirk Gibson was a major league bench coach, so (by the standards of rookie managers) he had some related experience. In contrast, Robin Ventura was not just a rookie manager but a guy who didn't seem to be on the career path of becoming a manager other than he was a respected former player.
11:38 PM Jan 4th
 
MWeddell
I don't think it's all about the players. Chris Jaffe's book on evaluating baseball managers is pretty persuasive at arguing that over an entire career, we can see statistical effects of successful and unsuccessful managers as well as many distinctive traits. I don't agree with all of Jaffe's analysis (for example, he tends to credit career-long effects to the manager instead of a combination of randomness and the manager), but I think it's much closer to the truth than "it's all about the players."​
11:35 PM Jan 4th
 
hotstatrat
Perhaps, but I'm not convinced by those few anecdotes, you've sited. It seems that teams perked up generally wherever Davey Johnson, Tony LaRussa, Billy Martin, Dick Williams, etc. went. Of course, those could be just coincidences. Law of averages says that some multi-team managers are going to have multiple successes. I don't recall seeing a rigorous study on this one way or the other.
11:24 PM Jan 4th
 
metsfan17
No offense given the amount of work that you did but managers in baseball make very little difference except in a very extreme case where the Red Sox absolutely hated Bobby V (and how can you not). In baseball, its pretty much all about the players. They make out the lineup card, name the pitcher and the players basically play. Joe Torre was fired 3 times by teams on which he played very well for. Then, all of a sudden he's a genius and a Hall of Famer when he comes to the Yankees. No, its only because he came to the Yankees. LaRussa was such a genius that in the year he leaves, the Cards almost make the World Series. Terry Francona wins 2 World Series and then gets fired. What, he all of a sudden became stupid. No. Its because its all about the players.
9:05 PM Jan 4th
 
 
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