Could Lou Piniella Be A Better Manager Than Mike Scioscia And Worse Than Ozzie Guillen?
Absolutely, if you accept the premise behind an analysis in Friday's Wall Street Journal, which ranked 20 big league managers on:
• Their teams' performance in close games, i.e., games tied through six innings
• Their teams' won-loss record relative to its projected record based on runs scored and allowed (the "Pythagorean" projection)
• How players' individual performances improved or declined under various managers, with allowances made for the players' ages
The managers were ranked in each of the three categories, and the ranks were averaged, giving each manager a composite score.
Piniella turned up 12th overall, two slots ahead of Scioscia, but four spots below Awful Ozzie and one spot below (gulp!) Johnnie B. Baker.
Lou ranked 3rd of 20 on influencing player performance, 9th of 20 on won-loss against expectations, and 19th of 20 on won-loss record in close games.
The top 5 according to the study:
1. Ron Gardenhire
2. Bruce Bochy
3. Ned Yost
4. Charlie Manuel
5. Bob Melvin
And your bottom five...
16. Terry Francona
17. Joe Torre
18. Eric Wedge
19. Jim Leyland
20. Clint Hurdle
At this point, you're probably going through the same calculation that I did when I saw the list: the bottom five guys have a whole bunch of world championships on their resumés--seven to be exact--while the top five guys have a grand total of zero.
A flawed study to be sure, but an interesting read. (This study was a backdrop to an article about whether or not the Dodgers are overpaying for Joe Torre's services.)
As for our man Lou, he's not having much of an evening tonight in Las Vegas, as his Cubs are getting battered by the Mariners. Why didn't he remember to tell Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis not to throw all those gopher balls?