FanPost

One of the very best baseball men in a generation

This quote by Dayton Moore about Trey Hillman was met with honest to goodness howling by anyone who follows the Royals but who isn't employed by the team.  It seems ludicrous on the face of it, but is there anything in Hillman's record that would seem to preclude him eventually earning a reputation as one of the very best baseball men in a generation?  I thought I'd take a quick look at the early records of some men who could be considered the very best of their generations to see if Hillman's record in any way disqualifies that possibility.

"You know how Einstein got bad grades as a kid?  Well, mine are even worse!"  Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes

 

First let me say that whatever the outcome of this analysis, I'm not suggesting that by performing as poorly as other great managers have, Trey Hillman will somehow end up a wonderful manager.  There are only two possible conclusions from this study:  1) Based on two-season samples from historically great managers, Trey Hillman is not and will never be one of the very best baseball man of his generation, or 2) Despite the titanic tone-deafness of Moore's quote, it is far too early to say that without a doubt Trey Hillman will not be one of the very best baseball men in a generation.

 

 

Manager

First

Worst

Total %

Total Wins

1st Worst?

Casey Stengal

.462

.282

.508

1905

No

Joe McCarthy

.544

.533

.615

2125

Yes

Tony LaRussa

.471

.460

.536

2545

Yes

Sparky Anderson

.559

.389

.545

2194

No

Earl Weaver

.670

.484

.583

1480

No

Walter Alston

.617

.456

.558

2040

No

John McGraw

.537

.467

.586

2763

No

Connie Mack

.525

.246

.486

3731

No

Joe Torre

.398

.398

.540

2236

Yes

Bobby Cox

.419

.419

.556

2402

Yes

Trey Hillman

.433

.433

.433

132

?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What this chart shows is the Manager, his winning percentage in his first two full seasons, his winning percentage in his worst two full seasons, his career winning percentage, and whether or not one or both of his first two seasons were among his worst two seasons.  Only Joe Torre and Bobby Cox's first two seasons were also their worst two seasons. (Note:  For simplicity's sake, I only used full seasons.  I simply ignored partial seasons in both the "First" and "Worst" columns)

Things of note in this list include:  Earl Weaver really hit the ground running, eh?  Connie Mack managed some horrible teams.  Casey Stengal's career record was dinged pretty badly by the early Mets teams.

As for what it says about Hillman, not much.  Two of the winningest managers of the current generation fared worse than Hillman has in his first two seasons.  And if his first two seasons end up being his worst, Hillman wouldn't look terribly out of place on this list.

Now, this list doesn't tell us all that much.  What would be interesting is to see how the teams of these managers fared prior to their arrivals.  Did these all-time baseball men improve their teams right off the bat?

 

Manager

Prior to arrival

First Two

Difference

Casey Stengal

.476

.462

-.014

Joe McCarthy

.485

.544

.059

Tony LaRussa

.502

.471

-.031

Sparky Anderson

.530

.559

.029

Earl Weaver

.539

.670

.131

Walter Alston

.653

.617

-.036

John McGraw

.667

.537

-.130

Connie Mack

.564

.525

-.039

Joe Torre

.519

.398

-.121

Bobby Cox

.404

.419

.015

Trey Hillman

.404

.433

.029

 

 

 

This chart shows the manager, the winning percentage of the team he first managed in the two seasons prior to his hire, his winning percentage from his first two full seasons, and the difference.  (Note:  as in the first chart, partial seasons are not included.  If the manager managed a partial season, then the two seasons before his first partial season is used to calculate the "Prior" column.)

This surprised me.  Only McCarthy, Sparky, Weaver, Cox and yes, Hillman managed to improve their teams' records in their first two seasons.  Clearly, this is over-simplified, because it doesn't take players into account, but I think it shows pretty clearly that even the most successful managers take a while to find their stride.

Conclusion:  Based on early-career records of the winningest baseball managers of all-time, it's far too early to say that Trey Hillman will not be one of the very best baseball men in a generation.  Of course with the bar set this low, such a thing could be said about virtually any ML manager and signify just as much, i.e., zilch.  I for one, have exactly no idea whether Hillman is a good manager or not.  I think that he's shown the ability to learn on the job--most notably with Soria's 6-out saves and his quick hook on Jacobs at first base--which is promising.  He's managing a terrible roster, though, and until that changes, it's unlikely that he'll ever get the chance to earn the reputation that Dayton Moore has so boldly predicted for him.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Royals Review

You must be a member of Royals Review to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Royals Review. You should read them.

Join Royals Review

You must be a member of Royals Review to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Royals Review. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker