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Midseason MLB manager firings: Do they make a difference in the second half?

By Rowan Kavner
FOX Sports MLB Writer

Each of the previous three months, a major-league manager has misplaced his job. 

The timing, causes and expectations — some extra legitimate than others — have diversified. 

With the reigning NL MVP in Bryce Harper, aces in Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola, notable free-agent signings in Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber and the fourth-highest payroll in baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies didn’t like the place they sat at 22-29. They fired manager Joe Girardi on June 3. 

Four days later, the Los Angeles Angels let go of manager Joe Maddon amid a historic dropping streak. The 12-game skid tied for the longest in a single season in franchise historical past and reversed course after a terrific begin by an Angels membership that was 27-17 and in second in the division when the slide started. The Angels had a sub-.600 OPS and an ERA over 6.00 throughout the skid. Of course, we all know now that was extra consultant of the group, which is 56-73 as of Aug. 30, with an owner exploring a sale of the franchise.

Sometimes, it doesn’t even take a dropping document for a manager to be proven the door. The Toronto Blue Jays fired Charlie Montoyo on July 13, regardless of a 46-42 document that may’ve had the group creeping into the playoffs with the ultimate wild-card spot had the season ended that day. Still, it wasn’t the place basic manager Ross Atkins envisioned his group, which started July by going 3-9.

Finally, the most up-to-date manager firing appeared to be a case of conflicting expectations. The Texas Rangers’ possession invested greater than $500 million in free brokers Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Jon Gray this offseason, although there have been nonetheless apparent holes in the roster. The Rangers had been 51-63, third in the AL West, when the lack of progress by a group that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2016 led to Chris Woodward’s departure on Aug. 15. Two days later, president of baseball operations Jon Daniels was fired, too.

How have these groups fared since making their managerial modifications? 


Joe Girardi: 22-29 (.431)
Rob Thomson: 50-28 (.641)

Result: Much higher. Things received again on observe beneath Thomson, regardless of the Phillies’ taking part in with out Harper for 2 months. The Mets and Braves have established themselves firmly at the high of the NL East, however Philadelphia would maintain a wild card if the season ended at the moment. 


Charlie Montoyo: 46-42 (.523)
John Schneider: 23-16 (.589)

Result: Slightly higher. Schneider’s second half has gone in waves. Toronto got here out of the All-Star break profitable eight of 10 video games, then the Orioles offered some severe points in early August. After dropping 9 of 12 video games, Schneider’s Blue Jays received again on observe, profitable seven of eight general earlier than being swept by the Angels over the weekend. 


Chris Woodward: 51-63 (.447)
Tony Beasley: 7-6 (.538)

Result: Better in a very small pattern. It has been simply two weeks, so there is not a lot to go off of right here. The competitors stage of the Rangers’ newest opponents hasn’t been significantly nice, however Beasley does have a profitable document in that small pattern. 


Joe Maddon: 27-29 (.482)
Phil Nevin: 29-44 (.397)

Result: Worse. The Angels continued their free fall after Maddon’s departure. Generational skills Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, who missed a month of motion, are taking part in for the group with the fewest runs scored in baseball since Maddon was fired. They misplaced 9 of 10 video games, together with six straight, earlier than sweeping the Blue Jays in Toronto this weekend.

Los Angeles Angels proceed their free fall

Ben Verlander breaks down the complete free fall of the Los Angeles Angels, together with Joe Maddon’s firing, Phil Nevin’s issues and what it means for Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout.

Overall, the outcomes are considerably blended for groups letting their managers go this yr. But is that typical? Do groups sometimes carry out markedly higher or worse instantly after switching skippers? Or are they roughly the identical?

Let’s dig in. 

For the sake of pattern dimension — give the new man a likelihood! — this listing consists of groups since 2000 who let their managers go together with 75 or extra video games to play in the season. We’ll grade every managerial change with a win, a loss or a wash primarily based on ensuing outcomes. 


* Colorado: Buddy Bell (6-16, .273) to Clint Hurdle (67-73, .479) — Win

The Rockies completed fourth in the NL West, however there was an uptick in efficiency. Plus, Hurdle ultimately took them to the World Series in 2007. We’ll name it a win.

* Florida: John Boles (22-26, .458) to Tony Perez (54-60, .474) — Wash
* Montreal: Felipe Alou (21-32, .396) to Jeff Torborg (47-62, .431) — Wash 
* Tampa Bay: Larry Rothschild (4-10, .286) to Hal McRae (58-90, .392) — Wash 
* Rangers: Johnny Oates (11-17, .393) to Jerry Narron (62-72, .463) — Wash

The Rangers had been in third when they let Oates go. Narron, previously the third-base coach, took over as interim manager. He had a reasonably greater profitable proportion that yr, however the group bumped again to final place. Narron had the interim tag eliminated, however he received just one extra yr earlier than Buck Showalter took the reins.


* Toronto: Buck Martinez (20-33, .377) to Carlos Tosca (58-51, .532) — Win 
* Cleveland: Charlie Manuel (39-47, .453) to Joel Skinner (35-40, .467) — Wash 
* Chicago Cubs: Don Baylor (34-49, .410) to Rene Lachemann (0-1, .000) to Bruce Kimm (33-45, .423) — Wash 

It can’t get rather more wash-y than that. Things would lookup, although, as Dusty Baker guided the Cubs to a first-place end and a journey to the NLCS in 2003.

* Kansas City: Tony Muser (8-15, .348) to John Mizerock (5-8, .385) to Tony Pena (49-77, .389) — Wash 
* Milwaukee: Davey Lopes (3-12, .200) to Jerry Royster (53-94, .361) — Wash 

It wasn’t a significantly fruitful two-plus-year stint with the Brewers for Lopes, who compiled a 144-195 document earlier than getting let go 15 video games into the 2002 season. Things didn’t get higher with one other former Dodger at the helm. Royster shortly had his interim tag eliminated, however a last-place end ended his one and solely season with the Brewers.


* Florida: Jeff Torborg (16-22, .421) to Jack McKeon (75-49, .605) — BIG WINNER

It’s protected to say this transfer labored. After profitable the World Series in 1997, the Marlins completed third or worse in the division every of the subsequent 5 years. It regarded like extra of the identical was forward in 2003; they had been six video games beneath .500 when McKeon took over. He then guided them to a 91-71 document and a World Series win in six video games towards the Yankees. McKeon was named NL Manager of the Year!


* Arizona: Bob Brenly (29-50, .367) to Al Pedrique (22-61, .265) — Loss 

Brenly led the Diamondbacks to a championship in his first season with the franchise in 2001. He took them to the playoffs once more in 2002. Two years later, he didn’t make it via the yr. In the midst of their worst season since their enlargement season in 1998, Pedrique took over, and issues went even additional south with a last-place end. 

* Houston: Jimy Williams (44-44, .500) to Phil Garner (48-26, .649) — Win

A 2004 Astros season with World Series aspirations wanted a jump-start. Houston turned to a former Astros participant in Garner, who offered that spark. He took the Astros to the NLCS, the place they fell one recreation in need of their first journey to the World Series. A yr later, Garner lastly received them there, in a loss to the White Sox


* Kansas City: Tony Pena (8-25, .242) to Bob Schaefer (5-12, .294) to Buddy Bell (43-69, .384) — Wash 
* Cincinnati: Dave Miley (27-43, .386) to Jerry Narron (46-46, .500) — Win 

The Reds went 135-164 in components of three seasons beneath Miley. Narron took over and guided the Reds to a .500 end in 2005. Cincinnati nonetheless completed fifth in the division, so it wasn’t a super win, however it demonstrated marked enchancment. 


* Cincinnati: Jerry Narron (31-51, .378) to Pete Mackanin (41-39, .513) — Win 

After taking the helm two years prior, Narron was fired July 1. Mackanin, an advance scout, took over and led a slumping Reds membership above .500 the remainder of the means. It was Mackanin’s solely yr with the membership. Three years later, Dusty Baker guided the Reds to their first playoff look since 1995.

* Baltimore: Sam Perlozzo (29-40, .420) to Dave Trembley (40-53, .430) — Wash 
* Seattle: Mike Hargrove* (45-33, .577) to John McLaren (43-41, .512) — Wash 


* New York Mets: Willie Randolph (34-35, .493) to Jerry Manuel (55-38, .591) — Slight win 

The Mets positively received higher after the swap, however they missed the playoffs. Coming off two extremely profitable seasons beneath Randolph in 2006 and ’07, issues went downhill shortly. Starting in 2009, they completed fourth in 4 straight seasons. We’ll name it a slight win, since they technically received higher that yr, even when bother loomed. 

* Seattle: John McLaren (25-47, .347) to Jim Riggleman (36-54, .400) — Wash 
* Toronto: John Gibbons (35-39, .473) to Cito Gaston (51-37, .580) — Win 


* Colorado: Clint Hurdle (18-28, .391) to Jim Tracy (74-42, .638) — Win 

The Rockies had been in final place when they let Hurdle go on May 29. Tracy, who had been the bench coach, steered the ship again on track, guiding the Rockies to a second-place end and the franchise’s third journey to the playoffs. 

* Washington: Manny Acta (26-61, .299) to Jim Riggleman (33-42, .440) — Wash 
* Arizona: Bob Melvin (12-17, .414) to AJ Hinch (58-75, .436) — Wash


* Baltimore: Dave Trembley (15-39, .278) to Juan Samuel (17-34, .333) to Buck Showalter (34-23, .596) — Win 

Showalter doesn’t technically qualify for this listing — he managed 57 video games that yr — however we’ll embrace it since Trembley was let go earlier than midseason. The Orioles completed in fifth place in 2010 and ’11, however Showalter helped Baltimore change into a winner once more. In 2012, he guided the Orioles to their first playoff look since 1997. They made the postseason thrice in a five-year span.

* Florida: Fredi González (34-36, .486) to Edwin Rodriguez (46-46, .500) — Wash 
* Arizona: A.J. Hinch (31-48, .392) to Kirk Gibson (34-49, .410) — Win

The Diamondbacks completed fifth that yr, however Gibson began to get them again on observe. A yr later, he led them to a first-place end and their first playoff look in 5 years. He was named NL Manager of the Year. 

* Seattle: Don Wakamatsu (42-70, .375) to Daren Brown (19-31, .380) — Wash 
* Kansas City: Trey Hillman (12-23, .343) to Ned Yost (55-72, .433) — Win 

The Royals nonetheless completed in final place after Yost took over, however they received higher that season. Yost would make them a World Series championship 5 years later and their finest string of success since the ’80s. We’ll name it a win.


* Florida: Edwin Rodriguez (32-39, .451) to Brandon Hyde (0-1, .000) to Jack McKeon (40-50, .444) — Wash 

Not this time, Jack. 

* Washington: Jim Riggleman* (38-37, .507) to John McLaren (2-1, .667) to Davey Johnson (40-43, .482) — Wash

* Oakland: Bob Geren (27-36, .429) to Bob Melvin (47-52, .475) — Win 

The Athletics nonetheless struggled late in the yr, however they performed close to .500 ball the remainder of the means and later made three straight playoff appearances beneath Melvin.


* Milwaukee: Ron Roenicke (7-18, .280) to Craig Counsell (61-76, .445) — Win 

The mid-2000s weren’t nice for the rebuilding Brewers. But Counsell shortly helped Milwaukee to the most sustained success in franchise historical past, ending second in 2017 earlier than going to the playoffs 4 straight seasons. 

* Philadelphia: Ryne Sandberg (26-48, .351) to Pete Mackanin (37-51, .420) — Wash 
* Miami: Mike Redmond (16-22, .421) to Dan Jennings (55-69, .444) — Wash 
* San Diego: Bud Black (32-33, .492) to Dave Roberts (0-1, .000) to Pat Murphy (42-54, .438) — Loss


* Cincinnati: Bryan Price (3-15, .167) to Jim Riggleman (64-80, .444) — Win 

This was the fourth time Riggleman was concerned in a midyear managerial change. While it wasn’t a nice end, his .444 profitable proportion to finish the season was greater than in any of Cincinnati’s earlier three seasons. David Bell has constructed on that.

All proper, let’s add up the scores. 

Wins: 14
Slight wins: 1 
Washes: 20 
Losses: 2

Rarely have issues gotten significantly worse for a group after switching managers. Keep in thoughts: Teams don’t have a tendency to switch well-performing skippers, so it’s unlikely issues would crater rather more after letting a manager go. The instances when that occurs — comparable to the Angels this yr — are obvious anomalies. 

In reality, of the 37 examples above, the new manager completed with a greater profitable proportion than the manager who was let go in all however 5 instances. Typically, groups carry out at the least barely higher the remainder of the means, although issues normally don’t change demonstrably. 

Occasionally — as was the case for the 2003 Marlins, 2004 Astros and 2009 Rockies — issues get significantly higher. And on these uncommon events, a change in management can contribute to a championship trigger.

For the 2022 Phillies and Blue Jays, that hope stays alive. 

Rowan Kavner covers the Dodgers and NL West for FOX Sports. He beforehand was the Dodgers’ editor of digital and print publications. Follow him on Twitter at @RowanKavner.

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