Posts Tagged ‘Phillies’

(In addition to appearing at The Captain’s Blog, this post is also being syndicated at TheYankeeAnalysts.)

Even though the Yankees’ series against the Brewers is the only interleague matchup featuring two teams in first place, the showdown between the Phillies and Red Sox is the one being indentified as a “World Series Preview”. Such an oversight likely roles off the back of the Yankees, but you can’t blame the Brewers if they feel just a little bit slighted. Of course, the “preview” distinction shouldn’t be too much of a cause for concern, at least not if history is a barometer.

Since interleague was established in 1997, there have only been five seasons during which the eventual World Series opponents met in the regular season (see chart below). Interestingly, in four of those five years, the team that lost the regular season series not only went on to win the Fall Classic, but did so rather easily. Therefore, if the Yankees and Phillies continue their opening game dominance, the Brewers and Red Sox shouldn’t take their respective losses too hard.  In fact, the outcome of the All Star Game will likely hold much greater sway over the World Series than an interleague matchup.

World Series Interleague Previews, Since 1997

Year AL NL Regular Season Result World Series Result
1999 Yankees Braves Braves win 2-1. Yankees win 4-0.
2000 Yankees Mets Yankees win 4-2. Yankees win 4-1.
2006 Tigers Cardinals Tigers win 3-0. Cardinals win 4-1
2007 Red Sox Rockies Rockies win 2-1. Red Sox win 4-0.
2009 Yankees Phillies Phillies win 2-1. Yankees win 4-2.

Source: Baseball-reference.com

Will we see the Brew Crew back in the Bronx during the post season? Or, will it be a Red October between Philadelphia and Boston? Both matchups are certainly plausible, but the 162-game marathon usually finds a way to offer up at least one surprise. So, while everyone’s attention is diverted back east, the real World Series preview could be taking place between the Indians and Diamondbacks in Arizona.

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Ryan Sandberg has returned to the organization where his career began.

After losing out to Mike Quade in his bid to become manager of the Chicago Cubs, Hall of Famer and team icon Ryne Sandberg has left the organization to pursue a managerial opportunity with the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Sandberg’s transfer is an ironic kind of homecoming. In one of the worst deals in major league history, the Phillies sent Sandberg and fellow future All Star Larry Bowa to the Cubs for Ivan de Jesus during the winter of 1982.

Had he been awarded the Cubs job, Sandberg would easily have become the current manager with the best playing career (and the best since Frank Robinson retired as manager of the Expos in 2006). Instead, they opted for Quade, who never played above the double-A level. Although likely unpopular in Chicago, history suggests the Cubs probably made the right decision. Not only doesn’t being a better player usually translate to being a better manager, but the opposite seems to be true. With that in mind, below is an “All Star” team of mostly “All Star” managers. To qualify for the list, candidates had to manage at least 700 games, win at least one pennant and maintain a winning percentage above .500. Then, the playing careers of all qualified managers were considered to determine the representative for each position. Listed below are those choices.

RHP: Clark Griffith, 1901-1920, White Sox, Highlanders (Yankees), Reds and Senators  
As Player 3385 2/3 237 955 122 49
  W L W-L% WS Penn
As Manager 1491 1367 0.522 0 1

*Inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1946.
Source: Baseball-reference.com

Clark Griffith

Clark Griffith was a player/manager for four different organizations, but notably was the White Sox’ first manager as well as the Yankees’ first manager while in New York.  Despite winning only one pennant (in his first season as player/manager with the White Sox), Griffith finished his managerial career with 1,491 victories, which is still good for 20th all-time.

Although Griffith was also a mediocre outfielder, he was most known as a player for his accomplishments on the mound. A seven-time 20-game winner, Griffith, ended his career with 237 victories.

Honorable Mention: Bob Lemon won 207 games as a pitcher and 430 games as a manager, including two pennants and a World Series championship with the Yankees.

LHP: Tom Lasorda, 1976-1996, Dodgers

As Player 58 1/3 0 37 67 -0.2
  W L W-L% WS Penn
As Manager 1599 1439 0.526 2 4

*Inducted into the Hall of Fame as a manager in 1997.
Source: Baseball-reference.com

Tommy Lasorda always liked to say that he bled Dodger blue, and there was no denying he was a blue blood among managers. Lasorda’s 1,599 wins as a manager rank him 17th on the all-time list. He also owns four NL pennants and two World Series victories.

Lasorda makes it to this list solely on the basis of his managerial ability because he actually never won a game as a player. As only one of two left handed pitchers (Eddie Dyer being the other) who met the screening criteria, Lasorda’s competition was light, so this All Star team gets the benefit of including one of the games best ambassadors and entertaining storytellers.


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