Nationals Baseball: HOF Managers Yes or No

Thursday, October 19, 2023

HOF Managers Yes or No

First off - YES!  Let them all in! Who really cares about which managers are in?! Do we even know how to judge these guys?! 

Anyway Managers up for the Hall and their stats

Cito Gaston : 894-837 (.516), 5 postseason appearances with 1 team in 12 years, Two World Series appearances with two titles (92/93 Blue Jays), first Black manager to win a World Series

Davey Johnson : 1372-1071 (.562), 6 postseason appearances with 4 different teams in 17 years, One World Series appearance with one title (86 Mets), above .500 record with every team managed

Jim Leyland : 1769-1728 (.506), 8 postseason appearances with 3 different teams in 22 years, Three World Series appearances with one title (97 Marlins), retired after three straight first place finishes

Lou Pinella : 1835-1713 (.517), 7 postseason appearances with 3 different teams in 23 years, One World Series appearance with one title (90 Reds), Managed team with most wins ever (116 win 2001 Mariners)

Pinella has the most wins of any non-active, non Gene Mauch* manager.  Leyland is right behind him. Davey has the highest winning percentage of any non-active standard manager with more than like 6 seasons managed** that's not in the Hall. Cito is one of the few multi title winners not in the Hall. They all

Post season records on another level are worth looking at Pinella won 5 series and lost 6, Leyland won 9 and lost 7, Johnson won 5 and lost 5, Gaston 4 and 4. 

You can make a good argument for any of them, but there are really three different Hall of Fame manager arguments and we're seeing two of them here.  The arguments are (1) how do we judge nulti-title managers, (2) how do we judge one title managers, and (3) how do we judge no title managers. 

Pinella, Leyland, & Johnson are all in the one title group and the decision to be made isn't clear. Davey is probably the best manager, and in my mind most deserving of the three. But he did managed like 1000 fewer games than either of the other two.  Pinella was probably a better regular season manager but ran into more disappointment in the playoffs than Leyland did. If you look outside of managing for some reaons, in terms of baseball feelings, people generally like Leyland the most. Pinella and Johnson both could be ornery. Pinella though was clearly the best player, kind of a Hall of Good type. Davey had a solid career. Leyland was a nothing.

My personal ranking would be Davey, Leyland, Pinella, with the only reason Davey isn't in already is the fact he was his own worst enemy keeping jobs, but I could see it going exactly the opposite way.

Gaston doesn't particularly compare well with these guys, almost 2000 games behind the most seasoned two and with a record overall that isn't special. But he is in the two title manager argument. While one title can be seen as a fluke, being at the right place at the right time, generally two titles are your ticket in. Gaston's problem is that Ralph Houk and Danny Murtaugh exist. Both of these guys are also two-title winners and haven't really come close to getting in the Hall. Houk has about the same winning percentage but a lot more games managed.  Murtaugh has about the same number of games managed but a higher winning percentage. It's hard on a just results to put Gaston in over either of these guys. BUT Gaston is historically important in a way Murtaugh and Houk are not an that should and does matter. When electing anyone, place in the game is important and Gaston inhabits a space Houk and Murtaugh do not. 

Personally I'd go Murtaugh, Gaston, Houk if I was ranking all three but we're only deciding on one and it's Gaston and I guess I'd go with no? But I'm not pitching a fit if he gets in. He's worthy. I will say though if he gets in then Murtaugh will almost be a given the next time he comes around.

There are also umpires (West is a shoo-in) and others (bet on the beloved Bill White) 

*Mauch managed a very long time and was considered someone that did well with lousy teams. But doing well with lousy teams doesn't translate to wins and he only made the playoffs twice, losing both series he managed. He's kind of become the "ok better than this gets in" line.

**there are two Negro League managers with higher percentages, one that managed 7 and one 11 years though the seasons noted are half as long if that. There's also a pre-1900 manager with 9 seasons. But the point stands that no one is really close given Davey managed far more games than all these guys. 


billyhacker said...

We need individual stats. Expected wins from team season run differential compared to actual? Doesn't seem readily available. Career ejections: Leyland: 73, Pinella: 64, Davey: 36, Gaston: 27. Just need to divide games played for ejection rate...

Harper said...

Leyland - 190K cigarettes smoked in the clubhouse
Pinella - 1.5 punches connected with Rob Dibble'a head
Davey - 0 owners gotten along with
Gaston - 8 worthy players left off the All-Star team to shoe horn in a mediocre Blue Jay

dc rl said...

Joe West is a "shoo-in"!!!????

Is that a joke?

Harper said...

dc rl - So West as a bad ball-strike, call outs umpire is pretty much wrong. He did get bad at the tail end of his career but for the vast majority of it he was one of the most consistent ones. Given we didn't really get good at looking at umps until the 00s and he umped for so long the "just the stats" case is very good for him.

Now if you think part of an umps job is to do that and bring no attention to himself... well yeah he fails miserably.

Anonymous said...

Bill White deserves induction for those endlessly amusing years partnering with Scooter Rizzuto on Yankee broadcasts, never mind his other achievements. (He was a good ballplayer, to boot . . . and he's still alive.)

dc rl said...

I never thought of West as being outrageously bad at the level of Angel Hernandez or Laz Diaz or CB Bucknor. But he outdoes all of those notoriously terrible umps in the category of "forget about the game you came to see -- look at me!!!" So even if there were stats that showed he was one of the most accurate umps ever -- which I doubt, although I wouldn't be surprised if he showed as being average or a little above -- his ego and attitude are pretty much the opposite of what I'd consider the basic qualification for a Hall of Fame umpire.

DezoPenguin said...

I definitely fall in the camp of "if you're an Ump Show, you shouldn't be anywhere near the Hall of Fame." My idealized umpire is an actual robot; every time I notice there's an umpire on the field (most commonly because of a mistake they made, but also for other reasons) is a point of failure in that umpire doing their job.