08 July 2010

upper management

so, congrats to kirk gibson on being named interim manager of the diamondbacks late last week.  gibby joins a long list of former dodgers, and more specifically, players who played under tommy lasorda to go on to manage in the big leagues. 
i have often thought of the number of players that meet that criteria and wondered whether there is some sort of connection.  probably not, but still, there have been quite a few.  let's count them.

davey lopes played for lasorda from 1976 through 1981
lopes managed the milwaukee brewers for 2+ seasons - from 2000 until 15 games into the 2002 season. he was 144-195 for the brew crew, never finishing higher than third in the division, or above a .451 winning percentage.

bill russell played for lasorda from 1976 through 1986
lasorda's heir apparant actually did succeed tommy after lasorda had his heart attack and ultimately retired.  russell took over the team in 1996 and guided them to a 49-37 record in his tenure that year.  they finished 2nd in the division, but won the wild card and were swept by the reds in the nlds.  another 2nd place finish followed (without the wild card) in 1997, russell's only full season of managing.  the team won 88 games but finished 2 games behind the giants in the west and 4 games behind the marlins for the wild card.  in 1998, russell lasted 74 games into the season before being fired by bob graziano/fox (who really didn't care about tradition) with a 36-38 record.  for his managerial career, russell was 173-149.

dusty baker played for lasorda from 1976 through 1983
dusty baker is a three-time nl manager of the year who has managed the giants, cubs and reds, for whom he is currently still managing.  he has won one pennant (2002 with the giants) and has 3 first place finishes.  widely criticized for his handling of pitchers, baker has a winning percentage of .540 for his career (so far).

johnny oates played for lasorda from 1977 through 1979 and managed the orioles (1991-1994) and rangers (1995-2001).  he led the rangers to 3 first place finishes and had a career record of 797-746.

ron washington played for lasorda in 1977.  he is currently in his fourth season as manager of the rangers with a career winning percentage of .510 and a team record that has improved each year.

mike scioscia played for lasorda from 1980 through 1992
by the time lasorda retired, russell had some competition as the obvious choice to replace him from mike scioscia.  the dodgers went with russell, and while fox was busy trying to hire a 'name' (davey johnson), scioscia was stolen by the angels.  he began his managerial career in 2000 and is still at the helm for the halos.  he has led the team to 5 first place finishes and a world series championship in 2002 (at the expense of former teammate dusty baker's giants).  his career winning percentage is currently .555, although his angels are trailing washington's rangers in the standings.

phil garner played for lasorda in 1987.  he has managed the brewers (1992-1999), tigers (2000-2002) and the astros (2004-2007) with a career record of 985-1054.  he won the nl pennant with the astros in 2005 but lost the world series to the white sox. 

glenn hoffman also played for lasorda in 1987
he was managing the dodgers' aaa team in 1998 when russell was fired, and took over the team for the remainder of the season.  the dodgers went 47-41 under hoffman, but finished in third place.  hoffman was replaced as manager after the season by davey johnson, but stayed with the team as a coach.
willie randolph played for lasorda in 1989
randolph managed the mets from 2005 until he was fired during the 2008 season.  he won 302 games as manager and compiled a .544 winning percentage.  the team finished first in the division in 2006 with 97 wins.  randolph is currently a coach in milwaukee.
juan samuel played for lasorda from 1990 until he was traded during the 1992 season
samuel was recently named interim manager for the orioles, taking over for dave trembley.  through monday, the o's were 10-17 for sammy.

and that brings us back to kirk gibson, who played for lasorda from 1988 through 1990
of course, gibby's first win as a manager came against the dodgers.

there have been some others that have come close, like rick dempsey who managed in the minors with some good success, and some that may get a shot soon, like tim wallach.  (hey ned, that's a hint).


Johngy said...

Interesting. I had forgotten about a couple of those players.

Unknown said...

you forgot johnny oates

gcrl said...

@chuck - oates is in there (between dusty and ron washington). i just didn't post a card of oates (or washington for that matter).