The fall guys

Don't give any room to troublemakers. Malcontents make trouble for managers and owners and ruin a baseball team. You mean like Hack Wilson, Joe Pepitone, Dave Kingman, Steve Trout, Milton Bradley, Carlos Zambrano...?

Don't turn a player down too quickly. Give him a chance to develop and show what he has in him. Lou Brock, Jack Spring and Paul Toth were traded to St. Louis for Ernie Broglio, Doug Clemens and Bobby Shantz, June 15, 1964.

Don't get discouraged over one mistake. Mistakes are often the most valuable experience a manager can get. In 1925 spring training, Charlie Grimm made the mistake of holding a golf ball atop a tee in his teeth for a photo op with a club-wielding Rabbit Maranville. Grimm never did that again.

Don't do any umpire baiting. The most successful teams are those that keep off umpires. In 2011, his only full season as manager, Mike Quade led the majors in ejections with seven.

Don't let the players run the club. Run it yourself and let the men know you are in command. To placate the players during a brutal August 1979 stretch, the club treated them to dinner at a posh Chicago restaurant. But Ted Sizemore and Dick Tidrow stormed out when they were told there was a two-bottle maximum per table.

Don't be unreasonable but don't stand for indifference. A player must give the best there is in him to his club. The owners demand it and the fans expect it. Neither the club nor the fans expected that left fielder Lou Novikoff (1941-44) would be allergic to ivy.

Don't encourage rough work but make your players take every chance. The man who flinches in a tight place has no place on your ball team. Chance participated in team poker games to get a sense of how his players thought under pressure.

By the way, Chance played with Tinker, who played on the 1911 Cubs with Heinie Zimmerman, who played on the '18 Giants with Waite Hoyt, who played on the '37 Dodgers with Bert Haas, who played on the '51 White Sox with Minnie Minoso, who played on the '80 White Sox with Steve Trout, who played on the '88 Mariners with - ta-da! -- Rick Renteria.

So there's only six degrees of separation from the current Cubs skipper to the last one to win a World Series. Time flies, doesn't it?

Jim Marshall (1974-76): 175-218

If you're looking for someone with an actual pulse, the first guy to talk to would be Marshall, who took over for Whitey Lockman midway through the '74 season and had the Cubs on an upward trajectory from sixth to fifth to fourth in the standings when he was replaced by Herman Franks after the '76 season. The Diamondbacks still lean on 82-year-old Marshall for his Pacific Rim expertise because he played and managed in Japan.

His story:

"We had some good players, guys like Billy Williams, Don Kessinger, Bill Madlock and Rick Monday, but just not enough of them. Certainly not enough pitchers, and that's really what the Cubs need. You start out with all this hope, and one day you look up at the scoreboard, and it reads 21-1 for the other guys.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...