Any idea who’s currently the longest tenured manager with one team in MLB? It’s Mike Scioscia. He’s been at the helm of the Angels the past 13 seasons.
In the long history of the Cubs only one of its managers lasted as long as Scioscia has in Anaheim. Cap Anson skippered Chicago for 19-straight seasons from 1879-1897. Quite awhile ago.
Meanwhile, the present runner-ups to Scioscia include Twins manager Ron Gardenhire who’s lasted 11 seasons in Minnesota, Charlie Manuel with 8 seasons in Philadelphia, Jim Leyland with 7 seasons in Detroit and Joe Maddon with 7 seasons in Tampa Bay.
Outside the Top 5, however, there’s a noticeable decline in manager’s staying power. In fact, the average length of time spent on the job for current managers heading into 2013 is less than 3.5 seasons.
Only five managers exceed that average: Ron Washington in Texas (6), Bruce Bochy in San Francisco (6), Bud Black in San Diego (6), Joe Girardi in New York (5) and Dusty Baker in Cincinnati (5).
Otherwise, two-thirds of the league’s managers have been on the job three seasons or less. Six begin their inaugural season with their respective clubs next spring, half of which are rookie bench bosses: Bo Porter (Houston), Walt Weiss (Colorado) and Mike Redmond (Miami).
I became interested in this topic thinking about how much string Dale Sveum will receive as the Cubs manager? Epstein and Hoyer reiterate they envision Sveum as‘the guy’ when the team finally turns the corner from rebuilding, which still appears several seasons away.
If we project the Cubs to be .500 or better in 2015 Sveum will have already been on the job three years. And if he’s lasted that long there’s reason to believe he’ll be retained with a team poised to compete for the postseason.
That could put Sveum on path to near the head of the class for the league’s current list of longest tenured managers with one team, assuming the Cubs continue to win.
On the other hand, as the Cubs climb closer to being competitive the patience of the rebuild will have worn thin on Team Theo and the fans. Everyone will expect a winner given the talent on the field and the tedious wait to assemble a competitive roster.
Sveum, needless to say, will have little room for error if he’s to become the Cubs’ version of Mike Scioscia vs. the latest quadrennial skipper. Of course, all he needs to do is win a World Series. And how hard can that be?