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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.

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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