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2023 Today's Game Ballot - Best Manager Candidates

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  • #16
    Baker will get his old watch election to the HOF. He was never that great of a manager, IMO. More someone who could hold down the fort so to speak.

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    • #17
      A couple of comments based on previous posts.

      1. It's not really so that Baker simply rolled the ball onto the field and let Bonds, Sosa, Harper etc. win for him. It wasn't all inherited talent.

      After his 103-win second place debut season in 1993 (the last great pennant race before the wild card robbed it of some luster), the Giants had a few quite lean years in the mid 1990s. Baker nurtured an almost entirely new group (other than Barry, granted) into a consistent contender pennant winner.

      In addition, when Dusty signed on with Cincinnati, the Reds were ensconced in the second division; he presided over a short rebuild and got to the playoffs three of his last four seasons (out of six).

      2. That said, sure he inherited good situations, especially in Chicago, Washington and Houston. But there's something to be said for not letting a good thing get screwed up. Keeping Bonds and Kent from killing each other was a minor miracle, and shepherding Houston through the trash can scandal was the best locker room management feat since Joe Torre (largely) tamed George Steinbrenner.

      3. I'll readily concede that Baker's in-game strategery was often less than stellar, and he used to be rightly known as an abuser of young pitching arms. I would however suggest he's improved on both fronts.

      The Wood-Prior fiascos in Chicago in particular seemed to trigger a come-to-Jesus epiphany in terms of how Dusty handled pitching staffs. And he's proven himself to be amenable to modern metrics and strategies, while not being subservient to them. (Looking at you, Kevin Cash.)

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      • #18
        Originally posted by dgarza View Post

        In the middle of this year's playoffs, I had Dusty Baker and Davey Johnson very close to each other in my managerial rankings, with only Leo Durocher between them. Dusty was first on that list. Had the Astros at least taken the WS to 7 games with a loss, my ranking would have remained the same, I would still have him first, but now that all's said and done, he drops below Durocher, but still ahead of Davey. All fine HOF candidates regardless.
        I missed this post initially. I'm basically in agreement, but to nitpick, the difference between losing in six versus seven seems to be slicing matters awfully finely. Are your rankings based on some kind of point system?

        I'm not sure it's on Dusty that the Astro offense couldn't muster a single run last night - jeez, did anyone even reach third base? (Reminds me of high school.) He did probably pull his starting pitcher one batter (Soler) too late, though, so there's that.

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        • #19
          1. Davey Johnson
          2. Jim Leyland
          3. Dusty Baker
          4. Lou Piniella
          5. Charlie Manuel
          6. Cito Gaston
          7. Mike Hargrove
          8. Tom Kelly
          9. Bobby Valentine
          10. Jack McKeon

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Cougar View Post

            I missed this post initially. I'm basically in agreement, but to nitpick, the difference between losing in six versus seven seems to be slicing matters awfully finely. Are your rankings based on some kind of point system?
            That just goes to show how close Dusty and the Lip are in my rankings; a whisker seperates them. My manager rankings are something I've only recently gone into detail with, trying to come up with a more meaningful listing. It's no more than a year old and I've tweaked it a few times, with possibly more tweaking in the future, who knows. So, yes, there are certain elements of "points" involved.

            The big issue with Dusty is that his postseason record is so disappointing. He's maganed in the postseason 11 times, so he's had plenty of opportunities to do something. In his first 9 postseasons, he managed to have a postseason record over .500 just once; 4 times did he have a .250 record or worse (shutout in the winning % 3 times).

            I believe I had upgraded him right before the WS this year. That put him over Durocher. But the difference in his postseason winning % before and after the 2021 WS is enough for me to bump him down a tad.

            Postseason % before 2021 WS = .487
            Postseason % w/ 7-game 2021 WS = .482
            Postseason % after 2021 WS = .472

            WS % before 2021 WS = .429
            WS % w/ 7-game 2021 WS = .429
            WS % after 2021 WS = .384

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