Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Friday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
Terry Francona‘s departure as manager of the Boston Red Sox four seasons after Boston won the 2007 World Series got me thinking about other managers who had short managerial stints after winning a World Series. Francona’s leaving four years after Boston’s last championship is no where near the shortest stint for a manager after winning a World Series. In fact, while Francona lasted four seasons, or 648 games, eight major league managers lasted less than 100 games after winning a World Series.
The easy thing would be to just list the eight managers and be done with it. But the interesting thing (at least to me) about these eight men are the stories behind their short careers at the helms of the team they led to a title. So… here’s a look at the eight managers who had the shortest number of games managed after winning a World Series… and their (brief) stories of what transpired.
Billy Carrigan, Boston, 1916 World Series title… 0 games after that: Carrigan became player-manager of the Red Sox in 1913. After leading Boston to a World Series win in 1916, Carrigan left baseball to become a banker in his home state of Maine.
Rogers Hornsby, St. Louis, 1926 World Series title… 0 games after that: Another player-manager. After negotiations stalled on a new contract after the World Series title, Hornsby, a future Hall of Famer, was traded to the New York Giants.
Johnny Keane, St. Louis, 1964 World Series title… 0 games after that: In mid-August of 1964 the Cardinals front office began discussing a complete housecleaning of a team that was headed for another season of no playoffs. The front-running Phils began to falter in September and the Cardinals went on to surprisingly win the N.L. and the World Series that year. But shortly after the World Series, Keane stunned the Cards front office with his letter of resignation, which was written in late September, prior to the Cardinals title-winning finish. He eventually took over the team he had beaten for the ’64 crown, the Yankees, but lasted only a season and 20 games with the Bronx Bombers.
Dick Williams, Oakland, 1973 World Series title… 0 games after that: Tired of owner Charlie Finley’s meddling and the owner’s public humiliation of second baseman Mike Andrews in the ’73 World Series, Williams resigned after winning the title. He was set to take over the Yankees after his departure from Oakland, but that move was stopped (by Finley) and Williams eventually managed the California Angels the next season.
Bob Lemon, New York Yankees, 1978 World Series title… 65 games after that: When the 1979 Yanks struggled to a 34-31 record and fourth place, Lemon was fired by George Steinbrenner and replaced by Billy Martin.
Jake Stahl, Boston, 1912 World Series title… 80 games after that: Yet another player-manager. Stahl had a falling-out with teammates and resigned midway through the 1913 season. He was replaced by the aforementioned Billy Carrigan.
Dick Howser, Kansas City, 1985 World Series title… 88 games after that: After winning the ’85 World Series with the Royals and earning the right to manage the American League team in the ’86 All-Star Game, Howser was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent surgery. The ’86 All-Star Game was the last game he ever managed. He died June 17, 1987.
Billy Martin, New York Yankees, 1977 World Series title… 94 games after that: After a incident with star Reggie Jackson during the 1978 season, Martin told reporters, “They (Jackson and Steinbrenner) deserve each other. One’s a born liar (Jackson). The other’s convicted (Steinbrenner).” Martin resigned a few days later, reportedly under pressure from Steinbrenner. Martin came back to manage the Yankees in 1979.