What does history tell us about rookie managers’ success?

From SABR member Wendy Thurm at Baseball Nation on February 15, 2012:

There’s been some hand-wringing over the fact that neither Robin Ventura, the new White Sox manager, nor Mike Matheny, the new Cardinals manager, has any previous managerial experience. Neither managed in the minor leagues. Neither served as a major league bench coach or base coach. They played in the majors, of course — Ventura for sixteen seasons, Matheny for thirteen — retired … and then, poof, were hired as major league managers.

Some people found the choices inspired. Others found them risky, and regretted that minor-league managers and big-league coaches with more experience were passed over. For every argument for (inspired) or against (risky) the hirings of Matheny and Ventura, there are historical examples of novice managers succeeding or failing.

Those flashing the caution sign point to A.J. Hinch, who played 350 major league games at catcher over a seven-year career and was then hired to manage the Diamondbacks halfway through the 2009 season. After compiling a record of 89-123, Hinch was fired before the end of the 2010 season and hasn’t managed since. (Hinch is now an assistant general manager with the Padres.)


If you search hard enough, you can find any number of examples to support your opinion of Matheny’s and Ventura’s likely success as managers. There have been 672 managers in major league history. Only 224 have career winning records. That’s just thirty-three percent.

Read the full article here: http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/2/15/2798283/what-history-tells-us-about-the-future-managerial-success-of-robin

Originally published: February 15, 2012. Last Updated: February 15, 2012.