• Homeboy Skippers

    Posted by on October 25th, 2007 · Comments (5)

    Has there been a recent case where a “hometown” favorite went on to manage the “hometown” team and he did a great job?

    I’m thinking about guys like Mike Hargrove, Bill Russell, Larry Bowa, Ozzie Guillen, Pete Rose, Alan Trammell and Bud Harrelson.

    Am I missing anyone?

    More times than not, it seems not to work out. Should this be something that the Yankees are concerned about, when considering whether or not to hire Don Mattingly as manager?

    Comments on Homeboy Skippers

    1. Raf
      October 25th, 2007 | 4:05 pm

      More times than not, it seems not to work out.
      I think that would be the case with baseball managers in general…

      You missed Frank Robinson, Hal McRae, Billy Martin, Joe Torre & Red Schoendienst, among others.

    2. baileywalk
      October 25th, 2007 | 4:08 pm

      I think the example of Ozzie Guillen just shows that the manager has little to do with the team’s wins and losses and it’s all about the talent. Give a guy a good pitching staff and he’ll probably win.

    3. jonm
      October 25th, 2007 | 4:37 pm

      You’ve got to give Ozzie some credit, don’t you? That White Sox team came out of nowhere and won their first world championship in 88 years!

      And, Raf, don’t you think that Billy was a successful Yankee manager — not a long-term success, but a success nonetheless. He won the pennant in 1976 and the World Championship in 1978. And, even with those flawed 80s Yankee teams, he always improved on his predecessors’ records.

    4. Bob R.
      October 26th, 2007 | 9:30 am

      First the issue of who will be the next manager is probably overblown. Because it is NY and the Steinbrenners and gets lots of headlines, it makes a good story, but in terms of its effect on Yankee fortunes, it ranks very low in priority. Frankly, if I had the choice, I would make a bid for Davey Johnson, but whether it is he or Mattingly or Girardi or Pena or had Torre been kept, I doubt there would be much difference in Yankee fortunes.

      I agree with what you say elsewhere that Cashman will almost certainly get the blame if the Yankees falter. And that will be just as stupid as blaming Torre for NY failures to advance in the playoffs. There is a difference between considering anything short of a championship a disappointment and identifying it as a failure that needs to be pinned on someone. The first view should prevail; the second is contemptible and stupid. No team that makes the post-season is a failure; almost by definition they have had a great year.

      As for the question, it is another irrelevancy, like the article about changing managers after a winning season. Unless someone can identify some connection between hiring “hometown favorites” and team records (for example, demonstrating lack of respect automatically following upon such a hiring), any such statistical surveys are simply junk data reflecting coincidences not cause and effect. If Mattingly has the qualities to be a good manager, it is entirely meaningless that Hargrove or Bowa may not have.

    5. October 26th, 2007 | 9:51 am

      I see Joe Torre and I flash on Louie Carneseca. I went to St. John’s for law school in the early 80’s, the heyday of Big East basketball and the St. John’s program. Year in and year out Louie got the Redmen into the postseason, yet always seemed to lose the big one. Even the year he made it to the Final Four, we were left with the feeling that if only we had a better floor coach, the team would have been much better off.
      The Yankees have parted ways with Torre, despite 12 consecutive playoff appearances. Most Yankee fans will tell you they think the Yankees would have won more World Series with a better manager.
      Be careful what you wish for.
      Louie retired and we have had a series of “genius” coaches. Unfortunately the St. John’s program has sunk to the point that if they can finish a season without someone being arrested, it’s a victory. Long gone are the days of NCAA bids– even NIT berths have been elusive.
      Louie’s successors may have better game plans, and maybe they can manage the clock better, but they haven’t been able to recruit good kids, and they haven’t been able to win.
      I wonder if in five years Yankee fans will be wistfully looking back at the Torre years as calm, successful ones. Two things that can be said of Torre– he kept a lot of rich players with huge egos in check, and he made the playoffs.
      Think his successor(s) will do as well?

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