Entries Tagged as 'Managers'

Four Rays ejected


Four Tampa Bay Rays were ejected in the same inning tonight. 

In their game against the St Louis Cardinals, Manager Joe Maddon, J.P Howell, David Price and Elliot Johnson were all given the thumb.

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Riggleman quits as Nats manager after winning 11 of 12

What an odd year it’s been in baseball. Derek Jeter is in line to get 3,000 hits at Yankee stadium but gets injured to delay the process.  Then Albert Pujols injures his wrist knocking him out for six weeks. 

Now for one of the strangest stories of the year.  Jim Riggleman resigns as manager of the Washington Nationals immediately after their 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.  Indeed, under Riggleman, the Nats have won 11 of their last 12 games bringing their winning percentage to .500 for the first time since May 11th. 

Winning got to him?  Well, it was more of an issue of his long term role in organization.  He simply didn’t have one.  He saw the writing on the wall and that writing told him that he was going to be gone by the end of the year.  According to rumors, team management refused to even meet with him on the matter.

“I’m 58,” Riggleman said. “I’m too old to be disrespected.”  Fair enough.  I feel his pain.  But there are other players (pun intended) in this story.  Let’s think of them, too. 

Players like Nats outfielder Layne Nix…  “I don’t even know what to think. I just know we’re playing well, and we have a game tomorrow.”

Baseball pundits are putting Davey Johnson front and center for replacing Riggleman.  Time will tell. 

Putting Jack McKeon’s age in perspective

Eighty year-old Jack McKeon has been put in charge of the Florida Marlins.  I’d say he’s the “new” manager but that just doesn’t sound right.  Just to show that he’s in charge, JMac has already benched Hanley Ramirez for one game because “didn’t like the way that Ramirez was running during Sunday’s game”.

Just how old IS Jack McKeon?  Let’s put it in perspective:

  • Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Lefty Grove were all in their prime when he was born.
  • For that matter, Pete Alexander was still pitching when he was born.
  • McKeon managed now-retired manager Lou Piniella when Lou was with the KC Royals in 1973.
  • Had Bobby Cox returned to manage the Braves, he would still be 10 years younger than McKeon.
  • Finally from Deadspin, of the 671 managers in all of MLB history, over 23% of them started AND finished their managerial tenures during McKeon’s career.

McKeon’s appointment is indeed an interim one but here’s hoping for a lengthy one.   

Ozzie’s caught tweeting in the dugout


White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is in doghouse again though I’m not sure for the right reasons.  He’s been suspended for two games following his altercation with umpire Todd Tichenor at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night.  MLB states that Guillen is in violation of its “social media policy and other regulations regarding the use of electronic equipment during the course of a game.”

Indeed, after arguing balls and strikes with Tichenor, Guillen went back to the dugout and showed him up the best way he knew how.  By using Twitter. Kicking dust at the ump is so old school.

Two tweets came through Guillen’s account… the first simply said, “This one going to cost me a lot money this is patetic”  The next a little more to the point, said, “Today a tough guy show up a yankee stadium”.

As of now, his twitter account has been silent since then.

I’m usually pretty tolerant of Guillen’s antics.  He makes the game more colorful and gives the organization a respectable amount of uncomfortableness that I like.  But MLB has it right.  Guillen has a job to do in the dugout and it’s not to be using his smartphone to twitter about the game whether to badmouth the umps or whatever.

By the way, Cubs manager Mike Quade has made it clear that HE won’t be caught using Twitter mostly because he can’t pronounce it:

“I will never get in trouble tweeting, twittering, tweetering — I can’t even say it — because I will never do it.  I don’t have the time, energy or know-how, and I’m real happy about that.”

Give him time, he might come around.

And Ozzie, arguing balls and strikes, really??

Cubs’ Quade gets support

I was asked by a fellow Cub fan what I thought of interim manager Mike Quade.  I honestly told him I didn’t know a whole lot about him but I sure was impressed by his performance so far.  His 21-11 record is a long time coming.

Now I find out that at least a couple of the Cubs are coming to the plate for him too.  Pitcher Ryan Dempster and outfielder Marlon Byrd both have expressed support for him.

So says Dempster:

"He’s been very upfront, very honest with all of us. He’s been tremendously supportive, he’s given us a lot of confidence to go out there. What he’s done for the bullpen- those guys have really stepped up and he’s believed in them.”

Pretty strong words.  As for Byrd:

"The record speaks for itself. The way we’re playing, the way we’re executing, just all-around."

I won’t speculate if they’re just simply backing up their manager or making a statement on who they want for their next permanent manager but those statements (especially Dempster’s) are pretty telling. 

That said. the Cubs could have gone 32-0 under Mike Quade and that won’t change the fact that a certain former Cub second baseman has more star power than a ex-Carolina League/current Coach with a funny name.  Like it not, the Cubs organization knows that and they’ll have tough decision to make.

Or not.

Gaston gone

Cito Gaston is gone as Toronto manager.  On his leaving, he wrote a apparently heartfelt letter to the fans of the Blue Jay Nation published in the The Star. 

A couple points on Gaston:

One, in this day and age of musical managers, it’s hard to believe that he’s been with Toronto for twelve years (albeit with an eleven year break in between).  Not only that, his first six years were pretty phenomenal.  Five first place finishes placing second in his sophomore year.  It all resolved itself into two World Championships in 1992-1993.  Some, like Dave Perkins of The Star, think this warrants a Hall nomination for Gaston.

Which brings me to my second point.  Gaston managed to bring this success with little fanfare or controversy.  We don’t hear much Cito here in the Midwest and I think I mean that as a compliment.  The biggest controversy we heard about Gaston was that he didn’t get Mike Mussina into the 1993 All-Star Game in front of his home fans in Camden Yards.  Big deal.

Finally, is it me or is this the Year of the Manager Goodbyes?  Granted, Gaston hasn’t ruled out his options for the future but with Piniella and Cox saying sayonara to the game, it seems like there is some major transitions going on at the manager level.

via Baseball Musings

Meaningless manager streaks

I’m still on this manager kick.  Bear with me. 

Has anyone heard of Jim Clinton or Joe Miller?  Yeah, me either.  They share the distinction of having lost the most games as a manager without a win.  Interestingly, they both did it in 1872 and managed eleven games without taking home a win.  Clinton did it with the Brooklyn Eckfords as a player/manager.  He did go on to have a ten year career after that. 

While Germany-born Miller did technically bat for the Washington Nationals (yeah, haha) in 1872, it was only four times so calling him a player/manager would be a misnomer.  Calling him a ballplayer would almost be a stretch since he only played one more year after 1872.

To look at the other side, you won’t find as extravagant streaks on the winning end.  You only have to go as far as Mel Harder.  Yes, THAT Mel Harder.  The All-Star Cleveland Indian pitcher managed three games and won them all.  And that’s as the most games a anyone has managed without losing a game. 

Harder did this over a period of two years, 1961-62. 

I guess this proves that it’s easier to lose than to win. 

Do as I say…

What do MLB managers Jim Leyland, Manny Acta and Jim Riggleman have in common?

None of these managers have ever played baseball at the major league level.  In fact, of the current 30 managers, seven haven’t ever played in the bigs. 

Here’s the list:

Rk Mgr Yrs G W ? L W-L% Plyof App WSwon PennWon
1 Jim Leyland 19 2944 1461 1481 .497 5 1 2
2 Jim Riggleman 11 1345 596 748 .443 1 0 0
3 Joe Maddon 7 793 392 401 .494 1 0 1
4 Manny Acta 4 505 198 307 .392 0 0 0
5 Fredi Gonzalez 4 555 276 279 .497 0 0 0
6 David Trembley 4 470 187 283 .398 0 0 0
7 Trey Hillman 3 359 152 207 .423 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/22/2010.

Leyland is obviously the most successful with 1461 wins, more than double than the #2 guy, Riggleman.  He’s also seen plenty of postseason time, too.

Blue Wine?

Seems former Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda has gotten into the wine business.  Witness his Lasorda Wine web site. 

His most recent wine garnered the Living Legend Award from the Senior Resource Association which he received in Vero Beach. 

“Every bottle comes from Italy.  Nobody can make wine better than the Italians.”

Manager Connie Mack

connie-mack-hof-1Here is another fact off my tear-off White Sox trivia calendar.  Who holds the record for most years as a Major League manager?  Connie Mack (53 years)

He is the longest-serving manager in MLB history, holds records for wins (3,731), losses (3,948), & games managed (7,755), with his victory is almost 1,000 wins more than any other manager.  Mack was the manager of the Philadelphia Athletics for the club’s first fifty years before retiring at the age of 87 in 1950.

Connie played eleven years (10 in the NL & one in the Players League) in the major leagues, as a light hitting catcher, .245 career average.  He hit five home runs in 2,931 at bats, three in 1888, when he sacrificed average for power, batting only .187 (his only season below .200).   His best season as a player was in the Players League in1891 when he batted .266 with12 triples, he was HBP 20 times.  His last three seasons as a player, were also his first three as a manager, as he was the Pittsburgh Pirates player/manager (even back then they were trying to save money).

Mack wanted men who were self-directed, self-disciplined, and self-motivated; his ideal player was Eddie Collins.  As a manager, he won nine pennants and appeared in eight World Series, winning five.

Over the course of his career he had three pennant-winning teams.  His original team, with players like Rube Waddell, Ossee Schreckengost, and Eddie Plank, won the pennant in 1902 and 1905, losing the 1905 World Series to the New York Giants.  During that season, New York’s manager John McGraw said that Mack had “a big white elephant on his hands” with the Athletics.  Mack adopted a white elephant as the team’s logo, which the Athletics still use today.

As his first team aged, Mack acquired a core of young players to form his second great team, which featured Mack’s famous “$100,000 infield” of Eddie Collins, Home Run Baker, Jack Barry, and Stuffy McInnis.  These Athletics, captained by catcher Ira Thomas, won the pennant in 1910, 1911, 1913, and 1914, beating the Cubs in the World Series in 1910 and beating the Giants in 1911 and 1913, and losing to the Boston Braves in 1914.

That team was dispersed due to financial problems, from which Mack did not recover until the twenties, when he built his third great team.  The 1927 Athletics may have been the best second-place team in history, featuring several future Hall of Fame players including veterans Ty Cobb, Zack Wheat, and Eddie Collins as well as players in their prime such as Mickey Cochrane, Lefty Grove, Al Simmons, and rookie Jimmie Foxx.  That team won the pennant in 1929, 1930, and 1931, beating the Chicago Cubs in the World Series in 1929 and beating the St. Louis Cardinals in 1930, and losing to the Cardinals in 1931.

The Veterans Committee voted Connie Mack into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937.