Saturday, October 11, 2014

Torey Lovullo's managerial influences

Torey Lovullo was
once a well-regarded
prospect in the Tigers
chain, but he never
became a regular in
the majors.
Continuing a series on the Twins managerial interviewees:

Torey Lovullo, 49, is now bench coach of the Boston Red Sox, an organization that long ago put an emphasis on analytics. He was also an itinerant infielder for more than a decade, bouncing from team to team, organization to organization, getting a month in the majors here, half a season there. Only once did he get more than 100 games in a season.

So his list of managers is fairly extensive and marked with names of prominence:

Detroit, 1988-89: Sparky Anderson
Yankees, 1991: Stump Merrill
Angels, 1993: Buck Rodgers
Seattle, 1994: Lou Piniella
Oakland, 1996: Art Howe
Cleveland, 1998: Mike Hargrove
Philadelphia, 1999: Terry Francona

Anderson, of course, is in the Hall of Fame, and Francona, as mentioned in the Mientkiewicz version of this post, is on that kind of track. Piniella has a case for enshrinement. I can't help noticing that Buck Rodgers is on yet another of these lists. He had Gene Glynn in the minors, he had Paul Molitor with Milwaukee.

A lot of Lovullo's minor league managers were obscurities, but two names popped out for me: Pat Corrales, former major league manager, and John Wockenfuss, who seemed to rise up the Tiger chain as a manager at the same rate Lovullo rose as a player. Lovullo got more exposure to Wockenfuss than any other professional manager.

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