Re: Best overall Player AND Manager?
- From: Dave Bismo <bismo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 04:50:10 GMT
On 15 Feb 2007 17:19:42 -0800, "dn.usenet" <dn.usenet@xxxxxxxxx>
On Feb 15, 4:38 pm, Dave Bismo <b...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Boudreau, mentioned earlier, was a good manager and
a Hall of Fame > player.
Boudreau had a winning percentage under 500 in 2404 games,
but it doesn't tell me how good/bad a manager he was. Rogers
Hornsby also managed 1000+ games with a winning percentage
just above .450. Both won one world series as player-manager.
Yeah, I may have overrated Boudreau's managerial skills, though as you
say, the record doesn't tell you everything. Connie Mack was under
..500 and is in the Hall of Fame. Grady Little had a great percentage
with Boston, but....
How did Boudreau become a manager when only 24? Was his
an unusually old head on young shoulders which came in
handy when a sudden vacancy arose? Today Kevin Youkilis
or Derek Jeter or Bernie Williams or Trot Nixon stand no
chance of being made player-manager; do they?
As Lou Reed would say, "Those were different times." Player-managers
were very common in the early days of baseball, and you still had some
during Boudreau's era, so the concept wasn't that outrageous. I
believe the last player-manager was Pete Rose in the 1980s, when he
put himself in the lineup to break the hits record. Mr. Torre and
Frank Robinson were briefly player-managers in the mid-'70s.
Bill James wrote a book about managers. He said that in the early
days, managers were more like today's captains, like Jeter or
Varitek--many were players who showed good leadership. The game back
then didn't involve nearly as much substitution, and James says there
wasn't as much second-guessing by fans and the media. Blame back then
was primarily on the players.
So managers, one could argue, didn't have as much responsibility or
pressure as they do today, and it was much more feasible for a player
to be able to handle the role. Later on, the manager's role became
much more of a lightning rod, and more difficult in many ways. (The
one exception is that managers often made trades and were more
involved in personnel decisions; today, GMs handle that aspect of the
game.) So perhaps that's a reason why we don't see player-managers
today, though I'm sure there are many others.