Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Identifying managerial trends

John Farrell of the Red Sox is a rare pitcher-turned-manager.
Out with the old, in with a new generation of managers.

2010: Bobby Cox (29 years, two franchises, 2,504 wins, one World Series title, five pennants, 15 division titles); Lou Piniella (23 years, five franchises, 1,835 wins, one World Series title,  one pennant, six division titles); and Joe Torre (29 years managing five franchises, 2,326 wins, four World Series titles, six pennants, 12 division titles) retire.

2011: Tony LaRussa (33 years, three franchises, 2,728 wins, three World Series titles, six pennants, 12 division titles) retires.

2013: Dusty Baker (20 years, three franchises, 1,671 wins, one pennant, five division titles) and Davey Johnson (17 years, five franchises, 1,372 wins, one World Series title, one pennant, six division titles) are forced out; Jim Leyland (22 years, four franchises,  1,769 wins, one World Series title, three pennants, six division titles) retires.

Those seven men combined for 173 seasons; 14,205 regular-season victories; 12 World Series titles; 23 pennants; and 62 division titles.

The managerial field can't help but get younger with that bunch removed from the field.

The Cincinnati Reds are today to announce that they will promote pitching coach Bryan Price to the managerial job, succeeding Baker. Price, 51, not only hasn't managed in the majors before, he hasn't managed in the minors.

The rival managers in the NLCS this year, Don Mattingly
(left) of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Mike Matheny
of the St. Louis Cardinals, never managed in the
minors before landing their current jobs.
As I noted in the Monday print column, relatively few pitchers emerge as managers. John Farrell, who will lead the Boston Red Sox in the World Series beginning Wednesday, is one of two ex-pitchers currently managing (the other is Bud Black of the San Diego Padres). Price will make it three of the 30.

Price also figures to join the growing ranks of the truly inexperienced skippers. And there's one of them in the World Series also: Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals hadn't managed on any level before being picked to follow LaRussa in the St. Louis dugout.

Most, if not all, the managers who get big-league jobs without serving minor league apprenticeships have the benefit of long and distinguished playing careers. Price does not; he never pitched in the majors.

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