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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lou Piniella set for Hitters Hall of Fame

So Lou Piniella thinks he’s a HOF manager. (Ralph Houk fires loose Kubekian pebble)

How about your chances to make the Hall of Fame (as a manager)?

My numbers are there. I finished 14th all time, over 1,800 wins, won a world championship, won 116 games in a season, which was only done one other time. But I’m in with a tough group. I’ve got (Tony) La Russa, my good buddy, I’ve got Joe Torre, I’ve got Bobby Cox. These guys have had great, great careers. So we’ll see what happens. But if you ask me, if you look at other managers that have gotten in, you look at their resumes, mine is as impressive or more impressive.

Sounds like it would mean a lot to you?

It would mean a lot to anybody. It’s the epitome of what you work for. Just to be considered is a good warm and fuzzy feeling.

Repoz Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:32 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: manager

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   1. John Northey Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:34 PM (#4359799)
I sure wouldn't put him in but I never was a fan of his. LaRussa I disliked, but he clearly knew what he was doing with 3 WS titles and 12 first place finishes. Pinella has 6 division titles and 1 WS despite having a team that once had A-Rod, Griffey Jr, Edgar Martinez, and Randy Johnson - 4 likely HOF'ers - all in their primes. Just twice with 95+ wins in 23 seasons. LaRussa was over 100 4 times and 95 5 more times over 33 years. Cox cracked 100 6 times, 5 more at 95+. Torre 4 100 game winners, 6 more 95+ winners. Cito Gaston, who also retired at the same time, has 2 WS wins to go with 2 95+ win seasons and 4 division titles in just 12 seasons.

I put Pinella well down the manager list.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:08 AM (#4359823)
I think Piniella is aware he's behind LaRussa, Cox and Torre. But he said "if you look at other managers that have gotten in."

Which is where we need Dag. But ...

Looking at wins, he's just behind McKechnie and ahead of a ton including LaSorda, Weaver, Williams, Lopez, Herzog.

By win percentage he would seem to be ahead of maybe only Stengel but he's ahead of Leyland (another contemporary) and just .003 behind Williams and less than .01 behind McKechnie, LaSorda, Schoendienst and Griffith.

Playoff appearances are hard to judge due to expansion but then it is also thereby harder to win a pennant and WS as the number of playoff teams increased. Anyway, his 7 playoff appearances tie LaSorda and are ahead of Weaver, Herzog, Williams, Durocher but light years behind Cox, LaRussa, Torre who are the all-time leaders. Still guys like Durocher and Lopez had just 3 and 2 playoff appearances. Durocher had just 1 WS and Lopez had 0.

So he doesn't look obviously out of place among the lower-tier managers -- LaSorda, McKechnie, Williams, Lopez, Durocher and probably a few others. But I'd guess there are a lot of managers who could say that, including Leyland, Johnson and Baker. I suppose expansion has also made it easier to have a long managerial career -- 6 of the top 25 in years managed as recently as 2010. Heck between years and the 162 game schedule, it's 7 of the top 25 in games with Bochy at #22 all-time in games managed and with 6 playoffs, 2 WS and 3 pennants may have a better resume than Piniella.

Gotta be the roids.

   3. John Northey Posted: February 01, 2013 at 06:23 AM (#4359835)
Davey Johnson would be an easy choice for me - 6 division titles, 6 second place finishes, 1 3rd place finish as a manager for a full season - 92% of the time in first or 2nd place. 4 of the 5 teams he ran won their division, only the Dodgers didn't and his being fired there made no sense (3rd place year one, 2nd year two with a 9 game improvement then dumped). Just the one WS title, but that kind of regular season record jumps out to me. Still mad at Gord Ash for not hiring him in the winter of 97/98 - wonder how different the Jays history would've been. Sigh.
   4. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4359875)
Pinella should be eligible for December's Expansion Era HOF ballot along with Cox, Torre, and LaRussa. However, there's good chance Pinella doesn't even make the 12-man ballot since the ballot will already be loaded with impressive newcomers (Cox, Torre, LaRussa-mgr wise) (Dwight Evans, Keith Hernandez, Dave Parker player-wise) and likely holdovers from the previous ballot (my guess Miller, Steinbrenner, Concepcion, Simmons, Tommy John, and Garvey).
   5. Dag Nabbit at Posted: February 01, 2013 at 10:03 AM (#4359904)
I wouldn't be terribly disappointed in Piniella getting in - heck, if you combine overall value as player and manager he'd be an interesting pick - but I wouldn't personally put him in. He's a Hall of Very Good.

The postseason can be a crapshoot, but if you're a manager w/ a borderline case - like Piniella - that crapshoot can be the difference. (Flags fly forever, after all). Piniella was at his best in the postseason when little was expected of his squad. Those 1990s Reds were big underdogs - but they swept. The 2001 Mariners won 116 in the regular season but played their worst in the postseason. So did the 2008 Cubs, who not only lost, but flat-out choked (every starting infielder makes an error in one game? How often does that happen). For that matter, the 2007 Cubs also choked - they weren't a very good team anyway, but the team played very self-conciously and unsure of itself in the postseason, especially its pitchers).

It could be a coincidence and have nothing to do w/ Piniella, but his two best teams both played their worst in the most important stretch of the season.

So he doesn't look obviously out of place among the lower-tier managers -- LaSorda, McKechnie, Williams, Lopez, Durocher and probably a few others.

Hmmmmmm.... I object to McKechnie being a lower-tiered anything. He's one of the greatest managers in history by any standard. Look at his players and then scratch your head and figure out how he won as many games as he did. Lopez is arguably the greatest short-career manager in history. Actually, I'd put all those guys listed above comfortably above Piniella, except Lasorda. Well, I'd put Durocher above, but maybe not comfortably above. But then again, maybe.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:25 PM (#4360490)
Eh, what do you know about managers? :-)

I was just going by the counting stats not, y'know, actual managerial ability or anything useful like that.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4360496)
Speaking of his playing career, Piniella 1973 is "credited" with -3.4 WAR. That's tied for 5th worst since 1901 and is still the Royals' record.

Ooh, you can move them up one if you don't count the Federal League -- yes, we have WAR for the FL it seems. Benny Kauff murderized the FL with 14.5 WAR in its two years. Dave Davenport led all pitchers with 10 WAR thanks to his nearly 400 innings in 1915. He gave up 300 hits ... while having the best h/9 in the league. :-) However, he was so atrocious with the bat (092/157/092) that he gave back 1.2 WAR there.

Here's another one to go with Al Leiter and a few other pitchers. For his career, Davenport was 104/188/123 with about 1 walk per 11 PA. If ever there was a guy you'd throw it down the middle to it's this guy yet he managed to draw walks at a much higher rate than many hitters.

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