Saturday, October 12, 2013

Should the Reds be looking for a manager who played a certain position?

So young and toothpick-less
The answer is clearly no, but now that the Reds are looking for a new manager for the first time in six seasons, it had me thinking about a few things like did you ever wonder what position a certain manager played or how well he performed when he was a player? You didn't huh? Well then why the hell did I just look up a whole bunch of useless stats? Oh well. I was curious so I looked up the manager of every Major League Baseball team at the start of the 2013 season and researched what position they played and their stats. The results were sort of what I expected and sort of not. I'll let you see for yourself.

I organized them in order of the positions that produced the most managers, then further ordered the managers by the number of years they played professionally. Some of these guys played multiple positions, so I listed them under the position at which they played the most games. I also included their career stats, thanks to, in terms of triple crown numbers basically because it's the simplest thing to comprehend for most people.

I did not include managerial records. You guys have watched baseball the last few years. You know which of these managers has been good and which have not. I'm not including any kind of analytic insight because it doesn't matter. I'll let you infer your own opinions. Enjoy!


Joe Girardi (NYY) - 15 years, .267/.315/.350, 36 hr, 422 rbi
Mike Scioscia (LAA) - 13 years, .259/.344/.356, 68 hr, 446 rbi
Mike Matheny (STL) - 13 years, .239/.293/.344, 67 hr, 443 rbi
Mike Redmond (MIA) - 13 years, .287/.342/.358, 13 hr, 243 rbi
Bob Melvin (OAK) - 10 years, .233/.268/.337, 35 hr, 212 rbi
Bruce Bochy (SF) - 9 years, .239/.298/.388, 26 hr, 93 rbi
Ned Yost (KC) - 6 years, .212/.237/.237, 16 hr, 64 rbi
Eric Wedge* (SEA) - 4 years, .233/.340/.430, 5 hr, 12 rbi
John Gibbons (TOR) - 18 games, .220/.316/.360, 1 hr, 2 rbi
Jim Leyland (DET) - Never reached Majors
Joe Maddon (TB) - Never reached Majors
Fredi Gonzalez (ATL) - Never reached Majors

Dusty Baker* (CIN) - 19 years, .278/.347/.432, 242 hr, 1013 rbi
Kirk Gibson (ARI) - 17 years, .268/.352/.463, 255 hr, 870 rbi
Clint Hurdle (PIT) - 10 years, .259/.341/.403, 32 hr, 193 rbi
Ron Roenicke (MIL) - 8 years, .238/.353/.338, 17 hr, 113 rbi
Charlie Manuel* (PHI) - 6 years, .198/.273/.260, 4 hr, 43 rbi
Bo Porter (HOU) - 3 years, .214/.284/.333, 2 hr, 8 rbi

Walt Weiss (COL) - 14 years, .258/.351/.326, 25 hr, 386 rbi
Dale Sveum (CHC) - 12 years, .236/.298/.378, 69 hr, 340 rbi
Ron Washington (TEX) - 10 years, .261/.292/.368, 20 hr, 146 rbi
Ron Gardenhire (MIN) - 5 years, .232/.277/.296, 4 hr, 49 rbi
Terry Collins (NYM) - Never reached Majors

First Base
Don Mattingly (LAD) - 14 years, .307/.358/.471, 222 hr, 1099 rbi
Terry Francona (CLE) - 10 years, .274/.300/.351, 16 hr, 143 rbi
Buck Showalter (BAL) - Never reached Majors

Bud Black (SDP) - 15 years, 121-116, 3.84 era
John Farrell (BOS) - 8 years, 36-46, 4.56 era

Third Base
Robin Ventura (CWS) - 16 years, .267/.362/.444, 294 hr, 1182 rbi

Second Base
Davey Johnson* (WSH) - 12 years, .261/.340/.404, 136 hr, 609 rbi

*These managers will not be returning to their respective teams in 2014 as of 10/11/2013.

I somewhat figured that most of the managers were catchers in their heydays. In fact, nearly half of them were. That's really no surprise I guess because catchers see the game from a different perspective than any other player on the field and probably have more control as well. They almost kind of manage the game from behind the plate already, so I guess it's a somewhat natural transition for them to go from backstop to manager.

That's quite the 'stache.
Most of these guys were nothing special in their playing careers; just good solid major leaguers. Some of them were awful. Not surprisingly, Don Mattingly has some of the best numbers on the board as a player, but I honestly can tell you that I did not know Dusty Baker played that long or that well. He was among the better players on this list.

A couple of guys who are probably considered among the best managers in the game today, never even played a game in the Major Leagues, so obviously that is not a prerequisite. 

The biggest surprise to me was that Charlie Manuel was an outfielder. I mean what? That blew my mind. I can't imagine him running around out there. I also guess I need to brush up on my baseball history. Maybe you guys knew a lot more of this already than I did. I'm kinda young still though. I knew immediately what position some of those guys played like Joe Girardi, Walt Weiss, Robin Ventura, and so on and so forth, but a lot of those older guys were news to me. It was neat.

I'm sure you're wondering about Bryan Price, the current Reds pitching coach and a guy considered a leader for the Reds managing job. Just for the record, he was a starting pitcher, but never made it to the majors. He compiled a 31-19 record with a 3.74 ERA in five seasons spent in the Angels and Mariners minor league systems.

What does all that mean? Obviously the Reds should hire a former catcher who had a mediocre to okay playing career. Joe Oliver anyone? Alright so it means absolutely nothing, but it's kind of fun to look at...I hope.

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