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For better or worse

By JOHN ROMANO

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 3, 2001


In one respect, the Rays have been trailblazers this season.

Having fired Larry Rothschild 14 games into the season, the Rays have started a trend unlike any the past decade. Four managers -- Rothschild, Johnny Oates, John Boles, Felipe Alou -- have either resigned or been fired before making it through one-third of the season. The last early-season purge like that came in 1991, when five managers failed to get through 50 games.

Overall, there were 30 in-season managerial changes in the 1990s and about one-third produced positive results for the remainder of the season. Here are the most successful changes in the '90s with a minimum of 25 games for each manager:

(Team/year, fired,record, hired, record)

Mets '90,Davey Johnson,20-22,.476,Bud Harrelson,71-49, .592

Royals '91,John Wathan,15-22,.405,Hal McRae,66-58, .532

Expos '92,Tom Runnells,17-20,.459,Felipe Alou,70-55, .560

White Sox '95, Gene Lamont,11-20,.355,Terry Bevington, 57-56, .504

Marlins '96,Rene Lachemann, 39-47,.453,John Boles,40-35, .533

Reds '97,Ray Knight,43-56,.434,Jack McKeon,33-30, .524

Tigers '98,Buddy Bell,52-85,.380,Larry Parrish,13-12, .520

Angels '99,Terry Collins,51-82,.383,Joe Maddon,19-10, .655

- Compiled by John Romano.

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