Teams to make World Series after manager change

Although the Phillies entered the 2022 season with some high expectations, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski sensed things could be slipping away from the clubhouse as the calendar slipped into June.

That’s when he made the risky decision to fire former manager Joe Girardi and replace him with Rob Thomson, who was Girardi’s longtime bench coach with the Phillies and Yankees. The move paid off, as the Phillies not only turned their season around, but went on to win the NL pennant.

In doing so, they became just the ninth team in MLB history to win a pennant after changing managers during the season — though Thomson is looking to become just the third skipper. win World Series in the same season.

“Looking at the players – and teams obviously varying in build, age, experience – Dave thought Rob was a softer touch and was a bit more patient with some of the younger players, ” said Phillies. partner John Middleton. “And that was our particular case. There are other cases where that wasn’t the right thing to do, but it was our case in that moment in time.”

Here’s a closer look at each of the nine times it proved to be the right midseason move, although some came under very different circumstances for the 2022 Phillies:

2022 Phillies
Managerial switch: Rob Thomson replaced Joe Girardi

After adding Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber to a lineup that already included Rhys Hoskins, JT Realmuto and reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper, the Phillies entered the 2022 season confident that they were going to return to the postseason for the first time since 2011. Yet after just a 22-29 start that featured numerous bullpen breakdowns and sloppy defensive play, the team fired manager Joe Girardi and replaced him with major league coach Rob Thomson .

The transformation was immediate. The Phillies won 10-0 in their first game under Thomson and went on to win all eight of his first games in charge. They posted a 65-46 record under Thomson while clinching the NL Wild Card berth in the final series of the season. The Phils then swept the Cardinals in the NL Wild Card Series before stunning the Braves in the NLDS and making quick work of the Padres in the NLCS. It was during that postseason run that Philadelphia removed Thomson’s interim tag and gave him a two-year contract extension.

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2003 Marlins
Managerial switch: Jack McKeon replaced Jeff Torborg
World Series Result: Win against Yankees

After winning the 1997 World Series under Jim Leyland, the Marlins immediately launched into a rebuild. They posted five straight losing seasons between 1998 and 2002 – and used four managers in the process. Leyland resigned following the ’98 campaign when the club went just 54-108. John Boles then managed for 2 1/2 seasons before the club moved on during the 2001 season and let Tony Perez finish the year.

Next was Jeff Torborg, who went 79-83 in his first season in 2002 before getting off to a slow start in ’03. After just 38 games – and a 16-22 start – the Marlins fired Torborg and hired Jack McKeon, then 72 years old. The team went just 3-7 in McKeon’s first 10 games, finishing 10 games under .500 (19-29) on May 22. The Marlins then rattled off six straight wins before going 33-18 in June and July, then finished the season with an 18-8 mark in September to earn the NL Wild Card spot. McKeon led the Marlins past the NL West champion Giants and NL Central champion Cubs before stunning the AL champion Yankees in the World Series.

1983 Phillies
Managerial switch: Paul Owens replaced Pat Corrales
World Series Result: Lost vs. Orioles

This one was a bit of a shock, as Corrales was dismissed even though the Phillies were sitting in first place at the time. Corrales led the Phils to an 89-73 mark and a second-place finish in his first season in 1982, then started the following year 43-42 before Owens — then the club’s general manager — fired Corrales and took over. own role.

Philadelphia continued to hover around .500 for most of the season before finally getting going in the final month of the season. The Phillies went 22-7 in September, including an 11-game winning streak that took them from a tie with the Pirates to lead the division by 4 1/2 games. They went on to win the NL East by six games and make quick work of the Dodgers in the NLCS before falling to the Orioles in five games in the World Series.

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1982 Brewers
Managerial switch: Buck Rodgers was replaced by Harvey Kuenn
World Series Result: Lost vs. Cardinals

After leading the Brewers to their first postseason appearance in franchise history in the strikeout-impacted 1981 season, Rodgers got off to a slow start in ’82. With the club sitting at 23-24 on June 1, Milwaukee fired Rodgers and promoted hitting coach Harvey Kuenn to replace him. The move had an immediate impact, with the Brewers going 20-7 in June on their way to posting a 95-67 mark and winning the AL East. “Harvey’s Wallbangers” went on to win the franchise’s first pennant before falling to the Cardinals in seven games in the ’82 World Series.

1981 Yankees
Managerial switch: Bob Lemon replaced Gene Michael
World Series Result: Lost vs. Dodgers

This is the only case on this list where the new manager did worse than the original. Michael had already helped the Yanks earn a postseason berth by winning the AL East in the first half of the strikeout-effect 1981 season. Yet in the second half of the season, with Michael continuing to clash with owner George Steinbrenner, the team fired Michael and turned to Bob Lemon with only 25 games remaining. The club went 11-14 under Lemon down the stretch and eventually lost to the Dodgers in the Fall Classic. Michael returned to the helm in 1982, although the season did not last again due to his ongoing feud with Steinbrenner.

1978 Yankees
Managerial switch: Bob Lemon replaced Billy Martin
World Series Result: Win vs. Dodgers

Martin had no problem winning in New York. In his first full season at the helm, he led the Yanks to a 97-62 record in 1976 before being swept by the Reds in the World Series. The following year, the Yankees won 100 games on their way to winning the ’77 World Series – their first title since ’62. But following a 52-42 start in ’78, Martin promptly resigned after an argument with star player Reggie Jackson – and attention directed at owner George Steinbrenner. Lemon stepped in – just as he would three years later for Gene Michael – and led the Yankees back to the Fall Classic, where they defeated the Dodgers in six games.

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1947 Dodgers
Managerial switch: Burt Shotton replaced Clyde Sukeforth
World Series Result: Lost vs. Yankees

This one comes with a little star. With manager Leo Durocher suspended for the entire 1947 season, Sukeforth – then a trainer on the staff of the Brooklyn Dodgers – “managed” the first two games of the season before turning down the interim manager gig full time. The Dodgers then turned to Shotton – a scout for the club – to manage the rest of the season. Brooklyn won the NL with a 94-60 record, then fell to the AL champion Yankees in seven games in the World Series.

1938 Cubs
Managerial switch: Gabby Hartnett replaced Charlie Grimm
World Series Result: Lost vs. Yankees

Grimm’s initial managerial tenure with the Cubs ended the same way it had begun – a mid-season managerial replacement that earned a penny. Grimm’s managerial career began as a player-manager in 1932, when he replaced fellow player-manager Rogers Hornsby following his release (more on that below). But Grimm was on the other end of a similar movement in ’38.

Although Chicago had a respectable 45-36 start to the 1938 season, then-owner PK Wrigley moved Grimm to the broadcast booth and replaced him with player-manager Gabby Hartnett. The move paid off once again as Hartnett led the club to a 44-27 record, including a 21-5 mark in September, to clinch the NL pennant. The Cubs were eventually swept by the Yankees in the World Series.

1932 Cubs
Managerial switch: Charlie Grimm replaced Rogers Hornsby
World Series Result: Lost vs. Yankees

Although Hornsby won the 1929 MVP Award with the Cubs in the midst of a 23-year Hall of Fame career, he struggled serving as the club’s player-manager during the injury-plagued ’32 campaign. Although the Cubs started 53-46, Hornsby had only played in 19 of those 99 games before the team released him and turned to Grimm, the club’s first founder, to take on the role of player-manager. Chicago went 37-18 the rest of the way to win the NL pennant, despite being swept by the Yankees in the ’32 Fall Classic.


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