Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

BASEBALL NATION: Managers- 5 best and 5 most overrated

Rating a manager is a very difficult thing to do. Oftentimes the manager with great players will fare much better than the manager with awful players. So you can't judge a manager on the basis of win-loss records alone. Sometimes, the best way to judge a manager is to see how he acheived with the same players his predecessor dealt with. Or, see how a team's players aren't as good, yet the team still wins as much as in the past. Or, you'll see a manager whose players don't have the greatest numbers, but still find ways to win. These are generally the signs of a great manager.

The five best managers managing today are:

5) Eric Wedge- if the Indians had a semblance of a bullpen, they'd be contenders. To take a team of no-names (sorrry, CC Sabathia) and do this well is quite impressive. Also, I like the way he handled the Milton Bradley situation.

4) Tony LaRussa- his team's almost always in the mix. This year, even with an awful pitching staff, his team is doing really well. And in 2002, he did quite a job pulling the team together after Darryl Kile's death.

3) Ozzie Guillen- has turned the White Sox into a really good-looking team. They have a serious shot at running away with that division, after faltering last season.

2) Dusty Baker- If not for Steve Bartman, would've made the World Series two years in a row. Did a solid job with the Giants, although you've gotta give GM Brian Sabean a lot of credit. Helped the Cubs go from awful in '02 to serious contenders. Has kept them in the hunt this year despite injuries to Prior and Wood.

1) Jack McKeon- the Marlins under Torborg- major underacheivers. The Marlins under McKeon- world champs. The fact that he laughs at the Beane method (what's an OPS?) is a plus. Starting Beckett on 3 days rest was one genius decision. Nobody expected them to hold up this year after losing I-Rod, Urbina, etc. but they've done quite well.

The most overrated managers:

5) Tony Pena- everyone made a big deal last year when the Royals surprised everyone, but nobody's talking now that they've fallen back down to earth.

4) Ken Macha- just another Beane drone. Nothing to him. Goes as far as Hudson, Mulder, and Zito go.

3) Art Howe- the guy can't manage a bullpen. Did well on the A's because of their starters. The Schmets should've stuck with Valentine.

2) Bobby Cox- another guy whose pitchers (and pitching coach) carried them for many years. Only won one World Series. It's hard to overlook all those postseason failures. This season, it's all catching up to him.

1) Joe Torre- I'm so tired of hearing about this guy. Give me a $190 million dollar payroll, and I'll do just as well. I'll give him credit for doing a solid job in '96, but once the Yankees' payroll started skyrocketing, I don't see why he's so special. Some say it's amazing that Steinbrenner has kept him there so long. Unlike past Yankee managers, Torre knows how to kiss up. Also, Steinbrenner has learned a thing or two from his mishaps of the '80's.

7 Comments:

Blogger Steve Cohen said...

Art Howe proved yet again what a poor manager he is by allowing John Franco to pitch to Sean Casey (who had four hits in the game) in the 12th and not walking him to face Ken Griffey Jr. (who hasn't had a good at bat in the two games). Imagine where the Mets would be if they would have hired Lou Piniella (who should be on your list considering what the Devil Rays are doing).

11:23 PM  
Blogger Isaac Kaplan said...

Actually I thought long and hard about putting Piniella on the list. His Reds shocked everyone with the World Series win in '90, he won 116 games in '01 after losing A-Rod, and he did pretty well with the pitching-poor Yanks of the'80's. If I had to pick a #6, it would probably be him.

As for his D-Rays tenure, they were still awful last year. And true, they've had quite a winning streak, but let's see just how long the d-rays winning ways will last.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Gary Student said...

I don't get why they let Franco pitch after throwing 2 innings the night before.

11:29 PM  
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