Since Stengel managed the Yankees over a half century ago, it would be helpful to younger fans to compare his achievements as New York’s skipper to the much more recent tenure of Joe Torre. Casey and Torre each managed the Yankees for a dozen seasons. Both men had losing records managing other teams. Stengel’s Yankee teams won 1,149 ball games and Torre’s squads won 1,173. Stengel, managing during the era of 154-game seasons, achieved a winning percentage with New York of .623 compared to Torre’s .605. Stengel’s teams won 10 AL Pennants and 7 World Series titles while Torre’s Yankees won 6 and 4 respectively. Torre’s teams made the postseason in each of his dozen seasons as skipper under baseball’s current divisional structure that didn’t exist in Stengel’s era.
Both Managers left the Yankees reluctantly, with bitter tastes in their mouths. Stengel was let go after the Yankees lost the 1960 World Series to the Pirates during which some of his managerial decisions were questioned. Stengel insisted he was fired for “being too old.” Torre, on the other hand, turned down a one-year incentive laden contract to continue managing New York, after the team again failed to make it to the World Series in 2007. I don’t think Stengel, who was definitely the highest paid manager in the game in his day, probably averaging $75 to $100 thousand in salary per season, would have turned down the $5 million offer Torre refused.
Charles Dillon Stengel was born in Kansas City, MO on this date in 1890. His nickname is derived from the name of his hometown.
|10||1949||58||New York Yankees||AL||155||97||57||.630||1||WS Champs|
|11||1950||59||New York Yankees||AL||155||98||56||.636||1||WS Champs|
|12||1951||60||New York Yankees||AL||154||98||56||.636||1||WS Champs|
|13||1952||61||New York Yankees||AL||154||95||59||.617||1||WS Champs|
|14||1953||62||New York Yankees||AL||151||99||52||.656||1||WS Champs|
|15||1954||63||New York Yankees||AL||155||103||51||.669||2|
|16||1955||64||New York Yankees||AL||154||96||58||.623||1||AL Pennant|
|17||1956||65||New York Yankees||AL||154||97||57||.630||1||WS Champs|
|18||1957||66||New York Yankees||AL||154||98||56||.636||1||AL Pennant|
|19||1958||67||New York Yankees||AL||155||92||62||.597||1||WS Champs|
|20||1959||68||New York Yankees||AL||155||79||75||.513||3|
|21||1960||69||New York Yankees||AL||155||97||57||.630||1||AL Pennant|
|Brooklyn Dodgers||3 years||463||208||251||.453||6.0|
|Boston Braves||6 years||870||373||491||.432||6.5|
|New York Yankees||12 years||1851||1149||696||.623||1.3||10 Pennants and 7 World Series Titles|
|New York Mets||4 years||582||175||404||.302||10.0|
|25 years||3766||1905||1842||.508||4.5||10 Pennants and 7 World Series Titles|
As A-Rod celebrates his 40th birthday he remains perhaps one of professional sports’ all-time enigmas. I don’t think any one, including his family and friends can say with any certainty what to expect from this pharmaceutically enhanced superstar in the way of personal behavior over the next year. And even the most astute observers of baseball did not predict the reemergence of offensive skills he’s displayed during the first half of the 2015 season after sitting out all of last year on his infamous suspension.
I did not become a fan of A-Rod the player until 2007, when two things happened simultaneously. First, he had the most incredible year on the field of any Yankee I’ve ever seen play the game. Secondly, it seemed as if he learned how to say “no comment” whenever the New York media asked him questions that were not about his play on the field.
Then, A-Rod and his agent, Scott Boras orchestrated that tasteless and clueless announcement during the 2007 World Series that A-Rod was opting out of his Yankee contract. Even though the move did end up making millions more Yankee dollars for Rodriguez, it was a public relations disaster for him at the same time.
By the time 2008 rolled around, A-Rod was still saying no comment to the reporters but the papparazzi photos of his extra marital actions started speaking a lot louder than his words. With the Yankees struggling with injuries under then new manager, Joe Girardi, the sports pages of the New York tabloids were filled with photos of Rodriguez in night time action. Unfortunately, none of those photos showed A-Rod with a baseball uniform on.
Then during the spring of 2009 we learned that A-Rod did take steroids. So in the space of just two and a half pinstripe seasons, Rodriguez’s actions verified his greed, his marital infidelity and his cheating on the field, a sort of modern day ballplayer’s triple crown. But then came the Yankees’ glorious ’09 post season run, with Alex leading the way with some of the most impressive clutch hitting I’ve seen during my fifty years as an avid fan of MLB. He had reversed his reputation as a perennial goat of October, captured his elusive World Championship ring and gained the somewhat begrudging adoration of Big Apple fans all at the same time. It seemed too good to be true and as we now know, it was. The following year we learned that Rodriguez visited, Dr Anthony Galea, the convicted Canadian “blood doctor” without telling the Yankee front-office. Then came the Biogenesis scandal and I have to admit, once he was suspended and admitted using steroids yet again, I thought we’d seen the last of A-Rod in pinstripes.
Then like a bad dream sometime does, he returned and the Yankee front office that did everything possible to discourage him from doing so did nothing to prevent him from doing so. Now Steinbrenner, Cashman et. al. are actually praising his play again. Proves once again that the business of Major League Baseball is all about what did you do for me lately.
Ironically, A-Rod who has stopped talking about himself shares his birthday with another Yankee who never could. This utility-infielder and this Yankee starting pitcher from the 1950’s were also born on July 27th.
|NYY (11 yrs)||1375||6005||5120||958||1485||247||9||327||1030||146||727||1153||.290||.386||.533||.919|
|SEA (7 yrs)||790||3515||3126||627||966||194||13||189||595||133||310||616||.309||.374||.561||.934|
|TEX (3 yrs)||485||2172||1863||382||569||91||9||156||395||44||249||379||.305||.395||.615||1.011|
The last Boston Red Sox team to win a World Series during the 20th century was the 1918 squad. Their starting rotation consisted of Carl Mays, Bullet Joe Bush, Babe Ruth and today’s Pinstripe Birthday celebrant, “Sad Sam” Jones. By 1922, three of the four were pitching for the Yankees and the fourth was on his way to becoming New York’s and all of baseball’s most famous home-run hitter of all time.
During Sad Sam’s four years as a starter in Beantown, he won 64 games including 23 in 1921. He then won 67 games during his five seasons in pinstripes, including a 21-victory season in 1923. He remained in the big leagues until 1935, retiring when he was 42-years-old, with a lifetime record of 229-217 with 36 career shutouts.
An interesting fact about Jones’ career was that opposing runners stole very few bases off of old Sam despite the fact that he almost never attempted a pick-off throw. What was his secret for scaring would-be base-stealers from even trying to run against him? According to a 1954 article in the Baseball Digest, Jones would just stare at runners until they would inevitably walk back to first. As soon as they started their trip back to the bag, Jones would throw the next pitch.
|BOS (6 yrs)||64||59||.520||3.39||157||124||30||83||18||4||1045.0||1069||474||394||16||338||307||1.346|
|NYY (5 yrs)||67||56||.545||4.06||202||130||49||66||8||22||1089.1||1149||582||492||53||405||363||1.427|
|WSH (4 yrs)||50||33||.602||3.70||104||100||3||49||7||1||709.2||745||352||292||24||235||217||1.381|
|CHW (4 yrs)||36||46||.439||4.20||105||98||6||39||3||0||700.1||777||400||327||46||251||222||1.468|
|CLE (2 yrs)||4||9||.308||3.62||49||9||26||2||0||4||149.0||133||79||60||0||65||42||1.329|
|SLB (1 yr)||8||14||.364||4.32||30||26||2||11||0||0||189.2||211||121||91||12||102||72||1.650|