There has been much discussion, speculation and outright calls for managerial change due to the dismal performance of the club during the month of May. I myself wonder how many more losses the Cubs can endure before the front office acts and finally fires Dusty. It is clear that unless things change this team is on track for a 90+ loss season. I wondered, what happened to previous Cubs managers whose teams suffered 90 or more losses in a season? Did they survive and come back to manage the following year? Were they fired and replaced? How does Dusty compare?
Thanks to baseball-reference.com and "The Chicago Cubs an Illustrated History" by Donald Honig, I pieced together the following information in a spreadsheet summarized below. The final season W/L, percentage, and games managed and W/L, percentage are presented for those managers who did not finish the season (i.e., were fired). It is interesting to compare the current teams record to those of previous teams at the time in the season when management finally decided they had enough.
Please excuse the formatting (or lack of).
Season Manager Stats
Year Manager W L Pct Games W L Pct
2002 Don Baylor 67 95 0.4136 83 34 49 0.4096
Fired and replaced by Rene Lachemann (1 game) & Bruce Kimm (78 games).
2000 Don Baylor 65 97 0.4012
Survived first year to manage 2001 team.
1999 Jim Riggleman 67 95 0.4136
Fired at end of season and replaced by Don Baylor for 2000 season.
1997 Jim Riggleman 68 94 0.4198
Managed 1998 team.
1986 Jim Frey 70 90 0.4375 56 23 33 0.4107
Fired on June 12, 1986 and replaced by John Vukovich (2 games) & Gene Michael (102 games).
1983 Lee Elia 71 91 0.4383 123 54 69 0.4390
Fired on August 22, 1983 and replaced by front office executive Charlie Fox (39 games).
1980 Preston Gomez 64 98 0.3951 90 39 51 0.4333
Fired on July 25, 1980 and replaced by Joey Amalfitano (72 games).
1974 Whitey Lockman 66 96 0.4074 93 41 52 0.4409
Became Cubs Director of Player Development and replaced by 3rd base coach Jim Marshall (69 games).
1966 Leo Durocher 59 103 0.3642
First year on the job and survived to manage until 1972 when he was replaced by Whitey Lockman.
1965 Bob Kennedy 72 90 0.4444 58 26 32 0.4483
Became Cubs VP and replaced by Lou Klein (106 games).
1962 El Tappe(20), Lou Klein(30), Charlie Metro (112) 59 103 0.3642
"College of Coaches" Bob Kennedy became manager of the 1963 team after this experiment ended.
1961 Vedie Himsl, Harry Craft, El Tappe & Lou Klein 64 90 0.4156
The first year of rotating managers was a disaster.
1960 Charlie Grimm 60 94 0.3896 17 6 11 0.3529
Resigned due to health reasons and replaced by Lou Boudreau (139 games) who was a better broadcaster than manager - this was his only year as Cubs manager.
1957 Bob Scheffing 62 92 0.4026
Survived first year on the job and managed until 1959.
1956 Stan Hack 60 94 0.3896
Fired at end of season and replaced by Bob Scheffing from Cubs farm system for 1957 season.
1954 Stan Hack 64 90 0.4156
First year on the job and managed the Cubs for two more years.
1951 Frankie Frisch 62 92 0.4026 81 36 45 0.4444
Fired on July 21, 1951 and replaced by player/manager Phil Cavarretta (74 games).
1949 Charlie Grimm 61 93 0.3961 50 19 31 0.3800
Became Cubs VP and replaced by Frankie Frisch (104 games).
1948 Charlie Grimm 64 90 0.4156
Cubs manager 1944 - 1949.
2006 Dusty Baker 18 28 0.3913
Excluding the 1960-61 "College of Coaches" debacle, 11 managers were fired, either during the season or at the end for teams that suffered at least 90 losses. Six other managers somehow survived to the next year. Three of those managers (Hack, Scheffing & Durocher) were in the first year of their contract and management seemed to be more understanding in their cases. Note that Dusty's current W/L pct is LOWER than EIGHT of the previous managers who were fired. And of course, he is not in the first year of his contract.
This preliminary review did not look at all manager dismissals in Cubs history or examine if changing a manager during the season "turned" things around for the club. The numbers here indicate that changing the manager during the season had little or a negative impact on the team performance.
I conclude that unless things change:
Dusty will be fired, it's only a question of when.
Changing managers during the season will not suddenly change things and actually might make them worse. But is that a bad or good thing?
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Al Yellon, managing editor (unless it's a FanPost posted by Al). FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans.