6) Nearly all the new managers are being dealt a tough hand.
It’s no coincidence that the teams that hired rookie skippers are also the ones that are currently in transitional phases.
Chip Hale replaced Kirk Gibson in Arizona–with a Hall of Famer in Tony LaRussa overseeing him. The D-Backs staggered to a 64-98 season after three straight years of .500 or better. With the experienced Dodgers, improved Padres and defending champion Giants all in the NL West, Arizona may be lucky to settle for fourth place.
Like LaRussa, Paul Molitor also has a plaque in Cooperstown. A member of the 3,000-hit club, Molitor supplanted Ron Gardenhire. And like LaRussa’s current team, the Twins are also stuck in a rough division filled with talent.
Joe Maddon’s move to Chicago left the Rays scrambling for a replacement. In comes Kevin Cash–with a task that won’t be easy. He’ll not only be taking over for a proven winner, he’ll be doing it at 37 years of age–making him MLB’s youngest current manager.
And regarding the Rangers, Ron Washington’s decision to resign came as quite a shock. That leaves it up to Jeff Banister. The former Pirates bench coach played just one game in the majors, and he now gets his most important job yet as he takes the reins for a club that lost 95 games in 2014.
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)