Where is “Sweet Lou” now - New York Yankees Manager 1974-84

by admin ~ June 22nd, 2009

 

Finally the search for the best Manager of the Yankees is over, well for me that is! I have been going over the past managers handling the Yankees and I almost lost my interest to really really read so many write-ups about them because usually there is not much to read or better yet, some I just don’t find interesting.

Louis Victor Piniella or commonly known as “Sweet Lou” is ranked 14th in all-time list of Managerial wins. This nicknamed was derived from his bat swings and of course his character as well. It is wonderful that his attitude towards the team, as a player and as a manager is simply wonderful that this nickname suits him best. Born on August 28, 1943, in Tampa, Florida, he grew up playing baseball as a child.

Lou Piniella’s managerial career with the New York Yankees started from 1974 to 1984. Everybody is well aware of the pressures placed on you when you’re handling a team and know wonder Piniella went this far as 10 years to be with the Yankees knowing George Steinbrenner’s sky-scraping expectation on his managers. Plus, the fact that he is difficult to please.

Although he is also know for his aggressiveness and being on the field quick-tempered as a manager, he was actually ejected 61 times in his managerial career, in line with Joe Torre, Tony Larussa Bobby Cox who has even received more ejections than him.

His accomplishment as the New York Yankees manager throughout his 10 years tenure is quite great, having an average of 0.5 winning percentage (224-193).

During his early years as a professional baseball player, he joined MLB at age 21 with the Baltimore Orioles. He had an 11 years experience with the Yankees team where the team won 5 AL East titles (1976-78, 1980 and 1981), 4 AL Pennants (1976-78 and 1981), and two World Series Championships in 1977-78. Evidently, his experience in MLB is really great. If anything can be learned from being a true pro, it all depends on experience on both area – being a player and a manager. It has been said that when Piniella came in as the New York Yankees manager, philosophy change when he succeeded Billy Martin.

At present, Lou Piniella is managing the Cubs.


Cut Short — but Dedicated Yankees Manager from 1990-1991

by admin ~ June 20th, 2009

 

Carl “Stump” Merril, the New York Yankees manager from 1990 to 1991 was a catcher in his professional baseball career. Born on February 15, 1944, Merril spent 30 years in the Yankees organization and it’s minor league partner as a manager (talk about being so loyal with the team).

Going back to his playing career, he also played football aside from playing baseball, but it stopped when he got a leg injury; one of the reasons why you won’t see a lot of write-ups about his professional baseball career and his track record.

Still, one thing is very apparent; Stump Merril is a New York Yankees loyalist. I can understand why he is also a Yankee adviser, despite the fact that he is retiring after a 30-year career with the Yankees.

He got himself connected with the Yankees way back 1985 as a first-base coach manager for Yogi Berra. Eventually, he got recalled to Columbus as a team manager. He returned to the Yankees in 2005 as the Special Assistant to the Manager and continues to extend his support to the team until now.

Even if Stumps baseball playing career record is not that lengthy, his managerial side of the coin is great despite small.


Is Yogi Bear Named After the Yankees Manager from 1984-1985 Yogi Berra?

by admin ~ June 20th, 2009

 

This past New York Yankees manager rings a bell in my ear every single time. He reminds me of the funny cartoon character, “Yogi Bear.” His real name is Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra. He was born on May 12, 1925.

It’s wonderful that he picked his nickname from a friend Bobby Hoffman who said that Berra resembled a hindu holy man “yogi” that they had seen in the movie, just like his gestures when he sat around with arms and legs crossed waiting to bat or while looking melancholy when they lost a game.

Years onward, Hannah Barberra cartoon character was presumed to be named after him, though they denied it, which somewhat annoyed Yogi Berra after being name yogi bear.

The Yankees hired him from 1984-1985. Due to his exceptional professional baseball career, only justifies the fact that he was taken to be the Manager of the New York Yankees then and of course for obvious reasons that he played for the team almost all his entire career.

He was one of the only four baseball players who was named “The Most Valuable Player” of the American League three times and one of the only six managers to bring both American and National League to the World Series.

Even though, we cannot always expect pure luck to save us, or make us the best in what we do, I guess Yogi Berra is just one of the luckiest and great players in baseball history because he was considered as one of the best catchers in history, not by sheer luck, but of talent. Again, what I like most is to look at the number, in statistics developed by Bill James, he is considered the best catcher of all time and at the same time the 52nd greatest non-pitcher in baseball history.

Moreover, another interesting info about this great baseball player (though he lasted only 2 years with the New York Yankees as a manager) is that he quit school in eighth grade. Hence, a tendency headed for “malapropism” wherein a person substitutes some words that sounds similar to the original, although different in meaning.

The reason for his transition from the New York Yankees? He was fired because the team lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 7 times.


Second-Longest Managerial Term with the New York Yankees

by admin ~ June 19th, 2009

 

Joe Torre who was with the Yankees for 12 years is indeed one the many outstanding managers of the New York Yankees garnering a win-loss record of 1173-767 in a regular season games of 1,942. He has the longest managerial career with the Yankees knowing that the owner George Steinbrenner is very well-known for firing his team managers.

If you pay attention to the number of years each manager lasted with the team. I think you will find it amazing that Joseph Paul Torre (this is his full name), after having a rough start with the Yankees, will really make him a very popular manager at his 60’s. He was making headlines like being called “Clueless Joe” when he first managed the team, and to break the expectation of many, he lead the Yankees to the playoffs for 12 seasons.

He also led the New York Yankees to the World Series since 1981. It is very hard to remember a person’s shortcomings when you already have established yourself. The bad start didn’t bother Torre at all. To mention his most successful year, it was 1998.

Torre returned with a simple smile on his face for sure intended to those who did not give him the chance to prove himself. The nickname clueless Joe is very inappropriate. He might have told the opposing fans, “so who is clueless now?”

All through his last year with the New York Yankees, Joe Torre got his 2000th win and he was the first MLB manager to win 2000 games and have 2000 hits to boot.

He also directed the Yankees  to its 13th consecutive post season appearance in his 2006-2007 accomplishment with the team.

So why is Joe Torre only called the second-longest manager under the business tycoon Steinbrenner? That is because the Manager who holds the record for the longest managerial term is Joe McCarthy.