Mike Maddux Combats Bias Against Pitchers As Managers

From SABR member Christina Kahrl on November 9, 2011:

The Chicago Cubs’ decision to interview Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux for the vacant manager’s job provides another reminder that Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and their merry crew aren’t afraid to do things differently. And more power to them. If Maddux winds up being their selection, it will reflect their willingness to break with convention and perhaps accrue an additional benefit as a result.

There’s a long-standing bias against former pitchers becoming managers. It’s a long-standing prejudice that is a little self-reinforcing. You can blame selection bias — so few ex-pitchers get to manage ballclubs in the first place that a few spectacular failures bias decision makers. Pitching coaches like Larry Rothschild, Ray Miller, George Bamberger and Marcel Lachemann proved to be mediocre managers.

Former pitcher Tommy Lasorda is the all-time leader in wins as a manager, and is 17th overall all-time. The only other former hurler in the top 20 for wins as a manager is Clark Griffith, who did his pitching in the 19th century, won his first and only pennant in 1901 with the Chicago White Sox.

Read the full article here: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/18330/maddux-combats-bias-against-pitchers

Originally published: November 9, 2011. Last Updated: November 9, 2011.