Terry Francona Newsbeat
Sunday, October 12, 2014
In the case of the Rangers’ managerial search, which is likely to be pared down to three finalists this week, the mentors — particularly Terry Francona and Clint Hurdle — loom very big. Both are models for what the Rangers want in their next manager. Both have taken two different organizations to the postseason. Both have been to the World Series.
Most importantly, they both have commanding presence, yet manage by inclusion.
Monday, August 25, 2014
I also thought the graph of “league wide WPA on sac bunts” was extremely interesting.
Since he began leading the Rays in 2006, Joe Maddon has been known as one of the more progressive MLB managers… He’s even spoke out publicly against sac bunting in the past… [yet] The Tampa Bay Rays have attempted 58 non-pitcher sacrifice bunts this season, by far the highest mark in the major leagues. No other team has even 50… Just 35 of those 58 attempts have turned into “successful” sacrifice bunts… 35-of-58 yields a 60% success rate. That’s bad. The league average success rate for a sacrifice bunt is 71%. Only five teams have lower success rates on bunts than the Rays this year…
the Rays, despite having attempted more sac bunts than anyone, have not executed more sac bunts than anyone. Instead, that title goes to Terry Francona’s Indians, with a league-leading 38 successful sacrifice bunts. The Indians, like the Rays, are known as one of the most progressive organizations in baseball and Francona has a reputation as a progressive manager from his time with the Theo Epstein-led Red Sox who didn’t bunt at all… both the Indians (104 wRC+) and Rays (102 wRC+) have top-1o offenses in baseball this season… The Indians have at least bunted well, which is more than the Rays can say, with an 82% success rate that is topped only by the Rangers’ 86%...
To be honest, I really can’t think of a good explanation as to why Maddon and Francona have fallen in love with the sacrifice bunt this year. Both have proven to be anti-bunt in the past and have strong lineups, yet rely on the bunt more than any other manager in baseball seemingly to a fault.
Just for fun, since we’re talking about the Rays and the Indians, what do the bunting habits of the Moneyball A’s look like? Fewest in the league, with just 12. Part of that is due in part to their league-worst 44% success rate, but they’ve also attempted just 24, the sixth-fewest in the MLB.
Friday, July 04, 2014
Manny not being Manny.
“Manny gave me as many problems as he gave anyone, probably besides (former Red Sox manager Terry Francona) in his time in Boston. He’s responsible for most of the gray hairs on my head. So it’s not something that we entered into lightly,” Epstein said.
I talked a lot to Manny, and he seemed like a completely different guy… he’s grown for the better. “But people do change. I talked a lot to Manny, and he seemed like a completely different guy… he’s grown for the better. He’s open and honest about all the mistakes he’s made in the past and he wants to fix that by being a positive influence on young players,” he said.
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