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Sunday, June 06, 2021

La Russa passes McGraw on wins list as White Sox beat Tigers

Tony La Russa moved past John McGraw into sole possession of second on baseball’s career manager wins list, directing the Chicago White Sox to a 3-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.

It was win No. 2,764 for La Russa, who was hired by Chicago in October for his first managerial job since he led St. Louis to the World Series championship in 2011. It has been a bit of a bumpy ride so far, but the 76-year-old Hall of Famer has the White Sox on top of the AL Central.

Second on the list is almost assuredly the highest finish for La Russa, who also began his managerial career with the White Sox in 1979. The top spot belongs to Connie Mack with 3,731 victories.

La Russa watched as Chicago won for the 10th time in 14 games. Dylan Cease (4-2) struck out 10 in seven sparkling innings, and Tim Anderson had two hits and two RBIs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 06, 2021 at 06:24 PM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tony larussa

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   1. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 06, 2021 at 09:47 PM (#6022910)
   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 06, 2021 at 10:16 PM (#6022912)
I didn't realize that there were three seasons where McGraw handed over the reins to someone else for part of the year, at least according to bb-ref. I am pretty sure Macmillan had him managing those entire seasons. Did McGraw's win total drop in recent years?
   3. The Duke Posted: June 06, 2021 at 10:24 PM (#6022913)
Quite an amazing achievement. He has a team that could conceivably win 90 games for 5 years. So he could get 450-500 more wins but unless reinsdorf lives to 100, Tony won’t have a chance.

Had Tony managed for the last 10 years he’d be passing Connie Mack now.

Congrats to TLR - it’s a shame everyone hates old white men now (any white men really) as he will only get vitriol from the press and fans. At least Brenly will call with warm regards.
   4. chisoxcollector Posted: June 06, 2021 at 11:08 PM (#6022922)
The vitriol has nothing to do with him being white, and everything to do with him being a comically inept manager at this point in his career.
   5. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 06, 2021 at 11:42 PM (#6022924)
The vitriol has nothing to do with him being white, and everything to do with him being a comically inept manager at this point in his career.

Well sure and that drunk driving thing he's always got going doesn't exactly have you held in high esteem amongst many people.
   6. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: June 07, 2021 at 12:16 AM (#6022929)
Well sure and that drunk driving thing he's always got going doesn't exactly have you held in high esteem amongst many people

he learned it from josh hancock.
   7. McCoy Posted: June 07, 2021 at 06:37 AM (#6022933)
You're talking about the manager of the year
   8. McCoy Posted: June 07, 2021 at 06:41 AM (#6022935)
McGraw used to go on scouting trips at the end of the year and would let others manage the games. Don't know if that shows up in the stats. Mack during the latter part of his tenure basically had his bench coach managing the team but I don't believe that is reflected in the stats.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 07, 2021 at 09:03 AM (#6022939)

Had Tony managed for the last 10 years he’d be passing Connie Mack now.

TLR missed 1356 games from 2012-2020. Assuming he continued his career .536 winning percentage, he'd have 727 more wins. Assuming he won .550 of the time, he'd be at 746, still 221 wins shy of Mack. Within striking distance, but he'd still have a ways to go.

But at this point, he'd need another 11 seasons at his current winning pace to catch Mack. He would be 87.
   10. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 07, 2021 at 01:45 PM (#6022981)
Nobody is catching Mack, but is there somebody currently managing who could catch La Russa? (Of course, we don't know where La Russa ends up, but I can't imagine he'll be managing too much longer.)

Terry Francona has quietly piled up a pretty good HOF resume. He'll end up this season with something north of 1775 wins, will end the season probably 17th all-time in wins, with a better winning percentage than 12 of the 17 guys ahead of him on the list. He's also one of only 23 managers ever to win multiple World Series titles. Even if retired after this season, he's probably in, right?

Of the 23 with 2 or more WS titles, 19 of them have at least 1000 wins. Of those 19, 16 retired with winning records. Of those 16, 14 are in the Hall of Fame. The two that aren't are Ralph Houk and Danny Murtaugh (Murtaugh only won 1,115 games; Houk was barely above .500, and I think was perceived as a product of being handed the Yankee dynasty and being a caretaker for it for the last few years before it collapsed.)

Francona will go to 6th place in wins all-time if he wins another ~460 games, so you'd think another five years after 2021 would just about do it. He's already got the WS wins. He is currently a little over 1,000 wins behind La Russa, with La Russa still adding to his unless Francona wants to do this into his mid-70s, I guess he won't watch La Russa for 2nd place.

Dusty Baker is a decade older than Francona, and is above 1900 wins - but has no WS titles, which does seem to be the way to get your ticket punched most easily. But if he gets close to 2,000 wins it will present a unique case: If he wins another ~80 games, he'll crack the top 10 in all-time wins, with a pretty good winning percentage. But the only manager with anything close to that number of wins to not win at least one WS is Gene Mauch...who is not in the Hall of Fame...but also retired with a losing record...and did not have a playing career like Dusty Baker. Really, nobody who managed primarily in the live-ball era has made the HOF without winning a World Series, so Dusty Baker is a very interesting case in that context.

   11. GregD Posted: June 07, 2021 at 02:27 PM (#6022992)
but if he gets close to 2,000 wins it will present a unique case:

I have a gnawing fear Baker will get his World Series this year. (A's fan.) That said Baker was always one of my favorite players so I'll be glad for him even if I will be enraged by the Astros winning
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: June 07, 2021 at 03:37 PM (#6023005)
If Dusty gets the Astros to the World Series, win or lose, I'd say he's in.

Francona is in, with two titles and another pennant.
   13. The Duke Posted: June 07, 2021 at 04:37 PM (#6023021)
I nominate Matheny. He had a lot of success with Stl so he’s already a “proven” winner. He’s young. 50 years old with 700 wins. He’s got a team that could be pretty good for 5-7 years. And if he wins in KC then he’s got a “proven” record in both leagues. I click easily see him doing 20-24 more years.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 07, 2021 at 04:51 PM (#6023028)
Yea, if he has an inkling of success, he'll be in KC a long time. But he still has to average 86 wins a year for THIRTY SIX more years to catch Mack. He'll be 86 then. AJ Hinch is three years younger and only 52 wins behind Matheny, but will he have staying power? Kevin Cash is only 42 and has 492 wins.
   15. A triple short of the cycle Posted: June 07, 2021 at 06:56 PM (#6023047)
Where is he on the all time loss list? Must be up there.

OH just read Balboni's great post. Inferring that Houk and Mauch are near tops?
   16. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 07, 2021 at 07:13 PM (#6023051)
I agree with Duke that this is a pretty impressive accomplishment. Say what you will about Larussa but the guy is on a very very very short list of the best managers in the history of the game.

(The rest of the whining by Duke of course is nonsense not even worth discussion).

As for someone catching him…boy oh boy that’s a long row to hoe. There are some young managers out there right now with interesting resumes; Matheny, Boone, Cora, Cash…but managing is being seen more and more as a young man’s game. Of course for every Cora or Boone there is a Larussa or Baker but I think teams are going to be less likely to spend on managers and will view it as a job with some planned obscolence.
   17. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 07, 2021 at 07:17 PM (#6023053)
15 - Larussa is second behind Mack on the all time loss list. He’s closer in wins than he is in losses by a few hundred though.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: June 07, 2021 at 07:21 PM (#6023055)
La Russa'a going to be really tough to catch. Look at Cash. 492 wins at age 43 is really impressive, and almost 200 wins behind TLR. And while he took a long time off between the Cards and White Sox, from 1979 through 2011, La Russa was unemployed as a manager for a total of three weeks.
   19. base ball chick Posted: June 07, 2021 at 08:36 PM (#6023074)
The Duke Posted: June 06, 2021 at 10:24 PM (#6022913)

Congrats to TLR - it’s a shame everyone hates old white men now (any white men really) as he will only get vitriol from the press and fans

- dude pls

people hate TLR because he's an a$$hole - they hated him when he was with saint looey, remember? and a drunk driver who has gotten off TWICE. fans don't hate the other Old White guys. TLR hasn't change in the last 30 years and he's as hateable as ever. and pls don't do all this White Guy stuff because it is tiresome - people don't hate francona like that. they didn't hate showwalter like that. TLR is like a grain of sand under your eyelid
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: June 07, 2021 at 08:48 PM (#6023078)
people hate TLR because he's an a$$hole


people don't hate francona like that. they didn't hate showwalter like that.

Francona is a likable guy, but Buck's also kind of an #######. Not TLR level, of course.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: June 07, 2021 at 10:31 PM (#6023120)
I wondered about Counsell but he's already in his age 50 season. LaRussa did "lose" all those years (and some wins to work stoppages) but he got started at age 34. This is his 36th season managing a team. Counsell would have to manage to 79 with no breaks to match that. Even Cash didn't get started until 37, Matheny at 41, even AJ Hinch at 35 and he's missed 5 seasons so he'll have to go to 75.

Dave Roberts might be the guy we want. He didn't (really) start until 44 so 10 years later than LaRussa but he walked right into a 470-300 team that doesn't look like it plans to slow down anytime soon. He'll still have to hold onto his 70s but he might have an outside shot at LaRussa.
   22. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: June 08, 2021 at 06:34 AM (#6023140)
the 76-year-old Hall of Famer

People love to rag on TLR for being old, apparently forgetting he's still two years younger than the President (and only two years older than the guy the prez beat in the last election).
   23. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 08, 2021 at 07:33 AM (#6023143)
LaRussa's big advantages in the whole career wins conversation are that he 1) started remarkably young (34), and 2) remained employed pretty much non-stop for 32 years.

Most managers were big-league players at some point, even if briefly. If you're a former big leaguer, it is tough to become a big league manager by 34 years old. You had to play, retire or get released, get a job or two, then get hired by somebody for the big job. Cora got his job with the Red Sox when he was 42. Kevin Cash was 37, and he was about as quick as you're going to get (he played through his age 32 season).

I heard an interview with John Madden recently (he's in his 80s now) about how he got into coaching. He was an offensive lineman, drafted by the Eagles, and tore up his knee during his rookie training camp. As he described it, back then, when you tore your knee up, their goal wasn't get you back on the field - it was to get you able to walk without a limp for the rest of your life. So at age 23, he's pretty much done with football, and he knows it. He was getting treatment on his knee over the summer that year, and the quarterback was the legendary Norm Van Brocklin. Van Brocklin was sitting in the next room by himself everyday looking at films of the team, learning how to do things better, etc - just studying non-stop. After a few weeks of seeing Madden in the next room, he invited him to sit down and watch it all with him, and Van Brocklin ended up liking him, teaching him all kinds of stuff. Madden became a junior member of the coaching team (because he couldn't play), really took to it (obviously), and by age 32, was head coach of the Raiders. By age 42, he was done coaching, and quickly turned to broadcasting. It takes something unusual like that to be a head coach or manager by age 32, I think.
   24. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 08, 2021 at 09:01 AM (#6023150)
Luis Rojas is in his second year as a manager at age 39. He was managing in the minors at age 29, after playing only one season of MiLB at age 22. I'm not sure what the full story behind that is, but being Felipe Alou's son probably didn't hurt.
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 08, 2021 at 09:14 AM (#6023152)

There have been a lot of younger managers lately, but also a lot of old ones. TLR, Baker, Joe Maddon.

I think the conditions may be ripe now for some long managerial careers. There is more willingness to hire guys with no MLB playing experience, so they can start earlier. And there's less opportunity for managers to become GMs, since front-office jobs are more likely to go to Ivy League guys now.
   26. BDC Posted: June 08, 2021 at 11:35 AM (#6023173)
Yes. Probably goes without saying, but six of the top 15 managers all-time in Games Managed started as player-managers. A couple of them just barely – Joe Torre in his last playing season, Bill McKechnie for half a year in the Federal League at the age of 29 – but still, that's how they broke into bench-managing so early. I don't suppose we'll see a player-manager again in MLB … though I say that and maybe the Cardinals will promote Yadier Molina later this year and prove me wrong …
   27. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 08, 2021 at 12:20 PM (#6023179)
La Russa got his playing career out of the way fairly quickly: He was in the majors at age 18 with the hapless 1963 Kansas City A's, then made his final major league appearance as a pinch-runner on Opening Day for the 1973 Cubs, when he was 28. (He scored the winning run on a bases-loaded walk.)

He started managing at AA in 1978, when he was 33. Midway through the season, he went to Chicago as the White Sox first base coach, then began managing in AAA at the start of the 1979 season. Once again, midway through the season, he would be called up to the big club, but this time as manager - just a year and a half after he had managed for the first time.
   28. Rough Carrigan Posted: June 08, 2021 at 04:08 PM (#6023214)
I loved it, 30+ years ago when columnist Bob Ryan referred to LaRussa's use of the bullpen as "creeping LaRussa-ism".

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