Something else that’s (nearly) unique to the Blue Jays

When John Farrell was dumped on traded to the Red Sox, he did one positive thing for the Jays (you know, except leaving): he finally broke the streak of Blue Jay managers not being hired anywhere else after Toronto, a streak that went back to Jimy freaking Williams.

That doesn’t always mean the Jays hired the wrong people, or that other teams aren’t just recycling bad managers. But we know they hired the wrong managers for other reasons, and it’s those reasons, when combined with the simple fact that until now, no manager in 20 years (1990-2010) left Toronto and took another job elsewhere, that tell us how unattractive this organization is–not just for players but coaches and managers too.

(The full list, because it’s so much fun: Gaston, Johnson, Fregosi, Bock Murtinis, Tosca, Gibbons, G2. Throw in Hartsfield and Mattick from the early days and it’s just Williams and Cox and Farrell. One of those names doesn’t belong with the other two.)

So many other American League teams have, since 1990 when Williams was fully exorcised from Toronto, seen former managers of theirs take other managing jobs, and how long did those managers last?

As you’d expect, the results aren’t pretty.


NYY: Buck Showalter managed three with Arizona, four with Texas, and two and a bit with Baltimore, and Joe Torre managed three in Los Angeles. That’s about 12 years elsewhere, after the Yankees. 12 more than Toronto.

BOS: Remarkably, One-M was with Houston for two and a half years (I had forgotten), Grady Little spent two in Los Angeles, and Terry Francona will, presumably, have at least one in Cleveland. But for now it’s 4.5 years elsewhere after Boston.

BAL: Frank Robinson (Expos/Nationals 5), Johnny Oates (Rangers 6 full), Davey Johnson (Dodgers 2, Nationals 2 so far), Mike Hargrove (Mariners 2.5). Total is 17.5.

TB: Despite having just three managers pre-Maddon, they still get four years out of Lou Piniella’s time with the Cubs.

DET: Buddy Bell (Rockies 3, Royals 3), Phil Garner (Astros 3, let’s call it). 9 in total.

MIN: Zero. Tom Kelly. You know how it is.

KCR: Hal McRae (Devil Rays 2), John Wathan (interim or something with the Angels), Bob Boone (Reds 3). Five total.

CHW: Jeff Torborg (Mets 1, Expos 1 sort of, Marlins 1), Jerry Manuel (Mets 2.5). Let’s say 5.5.

CLE: John McNamara (Angels interim; seriously, someone gave him TWO more managing jobs?), Mike Hargrove (Orioles 4, Mariners 3), Charlie Manuel (Phillies 8 and counting), Eric Wedge (Mariners 2). Total: 17.

OAK: Tony LaRussa (you need to ask?), Art Howe (Mets 2), Ken Macha (Brewers 2). 20 seasons in all.

TEX: Bobby Valentine (Mets 6, and I think that was it), Kevin Kennedy somehow (Red Sox 2), Jerry Narron (Reds 3), Buck Showalter (Orioles 3 so far). Total: 14.

SEA: Jim Lefebvre (Cubs 2, Brewers interim), Lou Piniella (Devil Rays 3, Cubs 4), Bob Melvin (Diamondbacks 4, Athletics 1.5), Jim Riggleman (Nationals 2, let’s say). All together that’s 16.5.

ANA: Joe Maddon (Devil Rays 7), Terry Collins (Mets 2). 9 in all.


Adding it all up:

OAK 20
BAL 17.5
CLE 17
SEA 16.5
TEX 14
NYY 12
CHW 5.5
BOS 4.5

The total is 134 seasons. 10.3 seasons per team, four from everyone except the lovable Twins.

The Jays? Zero.

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One Response to Something else that’s (nearly) unique to the Blue Jays

  1. Dave says:

    Interestingly enough, it goes the other way, too – the only managers that the Jays have hired who have managed elsewhere have been Cox and Fregosi (and Fregosi was a last-minute desperation hire).

    A possible thesis is that many teams tend to recycle managers from the same small pool, but the Jays don’t do that. I don’t think that the Jays’ managers have been substantially worse than those of other teams.

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