Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thoughts on 1500

Take a look at this page on Baseball-Reference. It lists all 679 major-league managers, and if you sort by "Games" Bruce Bochy comes in at number 20 all-time with 2998. There are 1498 losses to go with those 1500 wins. With 62 games left in the season (last night's win was the team's 100th game), Ol' Boch will pass both Dick Williams (3023) and Tommy Lasorda (3040) in short order. Those guys are eerily similar to each other: Williams was 1571-1451 with five playoff appearances, four pennants, and two rings, and Lasorda was 1599-1439 with seven playoff appearances, four pennants, and two rings. Tommy did it all with one club, of course, and was famous for his affability. Williams managed six teams, and was infamous for his acerbity. Those guys are baseball legends, and both are in the Hall of Fame. It's hard to imagine our guy being in the pantheon with them, but his record (six playoff appearances, three pennants, two rings) speaks for itself. By the end of next season Bochy should have more career wins than both of them. He'll probably never come close, however, to their win percentages (Williams .520, Lasorda .526).

If you sort by "World Series won" you'll see there are 14 guys with exactly two rings, the only other current one being Terry Francona. Interestingly, he won two rings in four seasons with the Red Sox, ending "the curse" and giving a storied franchise some much-needed contemporary bragging rights. Sound familiar? Four years later, despite four winning seasons and two more playoff appearances, he was given the sack. I don't see the same volatility with the Giants front office. Bochy and Brian Sabean will likely be paired until one or the other retires. Sabes is only 57, Boch 58. More importantly, Larry Baer is "only" 56. Baer's resume says Class of 1980 at UC Berkeley--I was Class of 1981! Tom Kelly (Twins '87 and '91) and Cito Gaston (Blue Jays '92 and '93), are familiar names for us on that list, but neither one of them are currently managing. Gaston is 69 and last managed the 2010 Toronto club, but Kelly, 62 now, was done at age 50 (2001). Both only managed in one city for their careers.

If you sort by "Wins" you'll see there are 10 guys with 2000 or more. No one will ever top Connie Mack (3731), who managed for an astonishing 53 years, and John McGraw (2763) will hang on to the second spot. Tony LaRussa, like McGraw, managed for 33 years and his teams won 2728 games. Bobby Cox (2504) is the only other manager with over 2500 wins. Jim Leyland (1731) and Dusty Baker (1638) both have shots at 2000, though Leyland is 68. If the Giants win 600 more games during Boch's tenure, he would pass Leo Durocher (2008) and Walter Alston (2040) on the all-time list. Wouldn't that be something? In his seven years in San Francisco, the Giants have won 549 games, so it might take a while. Even so, 1500 career wins puts him in elite company. That's more than Earl Weaver, Chuck Tanner, Whitey Herzog, and Billy Martin, for example. I would like to see him pass Baker for most games (1556) and wins (840) as an SF manager.

What I'd really like to see, though, is the Giants winning a bunch of games. Hell, if they fired Bochy and put Kermit the Frog in the manager's chair I'd be OK as long as they were winners. I mean, I like stats and history and all that, but what I really care about is wins. So let's get to winning, eh? This team is playing like shit. Even the win last night was patched together with bailing wire and duct tape. Fer chrissakes, this team won the goddamn world championship last year! And now we have to watch the Dodgers ride the top spot? What? Look, if they can win 14 of 18, so can the Giants.

Chad Gaudin tonight.



1 comment:

Zo said...

Oops. Good thoughts, Mark.