What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
As today is the final day of baseball’s regular season, it’s a pretty sure bet tomorrow some managers are going to lose their jobs. Some may deserve it, and some may not, but that’s a discussion for another time. As an Angels fan, the only guy I want to see fired is Mike Scoiscia. Yeah, I know he got us the team’s only World Series title, but that was 14 years ago only required outsmarting a guy who let his 3-year-old run onto the field during a play at the plate.
Sports are the classic example of a world based on “what have you done for me lately?” In Scoiscia’s case, he’s managed to make a team with a big payroll and plenty of talent under-perform consistently; this past season being the final straw for me personally. This is the season he finally sank to the levels of some of the worst baseball managers in my adult life. Granted, this team has actually played pretty decent ball since the disastrous series in Cleveland in mid-August, but the expectation for a big-money club in the second-largest market in the country needs to have a higher top-end than “doesn’t suck that bad.” The trouble to make that distinction, the Angels spent a lot of this season actually sucking that bad.
The bottom line is that since August of last year, Scioscia has managed as badly as a lot of the names you’ll see on this list. Eventually, they all got fired, and so should he..
#15) Larry Rothschild
Under Rothschild, The Devil Rays never won more than 70 games, and never finished above last place. But to be fair, they were an expansion team, but Rothschild never gave them a shot to be anything other than that.
#14) Walt Weiss
To be fair, I think Weiss has actually done pretty well considering what he has to work with, but a 44-82 record in the last two-thirds of 2014 regular season, and stumble-jobs in the home-stretches of both last and this season suggests Weiss is more problem than solution.
#13) Manny Acta
Acta may very well go down in baseball history as the guy who builds a team somebody else wins with. Acta suffered some sub-60 win seasons in Washington, but he laid the foundation for the team which now is a constant factor in October. Same thing happened in Cleveland, where the Indians have been in the play-offs two of the four years since Acta was fired. This is why he actually finished fifth in the National League Manager of the Year voting in 2007 and fourth in the American League voting in 2011 despite the fact both of those team finished under .500.
#12) Mike Redmond
Redmond might not be on this list if A) he hadn’t had the misfortune to manage the Marlins and B) we counted the success rate on getting bad calls overturned. The former back-up catcher notched an overturn rate on challenges north of 70 percent, but he also had one of the worst winning percentages of the modern era.
#11) Davey Lopes
Lopes really could just be representative of about 75% of all the manager the Brewers have had in their history. It’s a narrative about a guy who wasn’t a very good manager with a team of players who also weren’t very good.
#10) Trey Hillman
Trey Hillman is the first, but certainly isn’t the last guy on this list who managed the Kansas City Royals. What sets him apart is his success with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters where he won the 2006 Nippon Series behind ace Yu Darvish. However, Japanese didn’t translate to Kansas City very well.
#9) Buddy Bell
Bell is one of three skippers who made our list of the worst coaches and managers who got more than one job. He managed three squads for parts of nine seasons and only broke the .500 mark once. He only topped 70 wins two times beyond that. But he got hired three times and got considered more than that.
#8 ) Russ Nixon
No, not that Nixon… In fact, Russ Nixon was more like Gerald Ford, as he was hired into both of his managerial stints after somebody else got the mid-season pipe. Much like Gerald Ford, Nixon couldn’t get the job on his own. Ford lost his single campaign to Jimmy Carter, and Russ Nixon himself got fired within two years.
#7) Dale Sveum
If this were an All-Time list with 50 entries, how many guys would be on it from either the Brewers and Cubs? Sveum is the guy who gets named the captain of the Titanic right after it hit the iceberg. He got the job in Milwaukee after Ned “Don’t Call Me Flaky” Yost scuttled a seemingly playoff destined team to a Mauchian September fade. Then he got to lose 100 games in the season in Chicago after the Mike Quade fiasco.
#6) Tony Muser
Here’s the guy who proves the opposite about the old adage about coaches only being as good as their players. Muser never won more than 77 games in a season, never had a team above .500 in the largely-crap AL Central of the time despite the fact he had names on his roster like Carlos Beltran, Jermaine Dye, Joe Randa, Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon, Jeff Suppan, Chad Durbin, and Roberto Hernandez.
#5) Dave Trembley
Here’s another guy who got the job after somebody else got sent to the baseball gallows. Trembley did so well in fact, the team extended his contract on August 22nd. That very night, the brand new Baltimore manager watched his team get gorilla-stomped 30-3 by Texas. This would be the first of five double-digit seal-clubbings the Birds would take in the final weeks of the 2007 season. Things never really got better after than in Baltimore as the Orioles topped 90 losses in each of the next two seasons.
#4) John Russell
Here’s another guy who got the “darkest before the dawn” syndrome. He got to be the last in a two-decade long line of guys who got to oversee some truly crap-tacular Pirate baseball before its recent resurgence. Russell’s Bucs lost at least 95 games in three straight seasons with 95 or more losses, and somehow he never got the dreaded mid-season heave-ho. .
#3) Tony Pena
In another “to be fair” moment, there’s a reason why there are three guys on this list who managed the Royals, but Pena is easily the worst of the bunch. He inherited a typically shitty Royals team in 2002 and somehow got them to go 83-79; a feat which garnered him the American League Manager of the Year award. Then the clock struck midnight, and the Royals lost 100 games each of the next three years.
#2) Brad Mills
To tell the story of Brad Mills is to spin a yarn about unrealized potential. There was a time when Mills was a hot young managerial prospect, and you could understand a 76-86 record in his first season with a young and incomplete team. But as he got better on-field talent, the win totals went the other way.
#1) Alan Trammell
The best testament to what a terrible manager Alan Trammel was came in 2006. Trammell’s Tigers won a scant 43 games in 2003. They won 71 in 2005 when the Tigers finally fired him. The next season Jim Leyland got them to 95 wins and trip to the team’s first World Series in over 20 years. They were teams with the essentially the same rosters.