Although the Phillies entered the 2022 season with some lofty expectations, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski felt things were slipping away from the club as the calendar turned to June.
It was then that he made the risky decision to fire veteran manager Joe Girardi and replace him with Rob Thompson, Girardi’s longtime bench coach with both the Phillies and the Yankees. The move paid off, as the Phillies not only turned their season around, but went on to win the NL pennant.
In doing so, they became just the ninth team in MLB history to win the pennant after changing managers during the season — though Thompson is looking to become just the third captain. win World Series in the same season.
“Looking at the players — and the teams are obviously different in terms of their build, their age, their experience — Dave just thought that Rob was a bit of a softie and a bit too much with some of the younger players. was patient,” Feliz said. Fellow John Middleton. “And that was our particular case. There are other cases where it wasn’t the right thing to do, but it was in our case at the time.
Here’s a closer look at each of the nine times it actually turned out to be the right midseason move, though some came under very different circumstances than the 2022 Phillies:
Managerial switch: Rob Thompson replaces Joe Girardi
After adding Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber to a lineup that already included Rhys Hoskins, JT Realmuto and NL MVP Bryce Harper, the Phillies enter the 2022 season confident that they’ll make the postseason for the first time since 2011. Coming back in the season. After a 22-29 start that included multiple bullpen meltdowns and sloppy defensive play, the team fired manager Joe Girardi and replaced him with longtime big league coach Rob Thompson.
The change was immediate. The Phillies went 10-0 in their first game under Thompson and won each of their first eight games at the helm. They posted a 65-46 record under Thompson, earning an NL wild-card berth in the season finale. The Phils then swept the Cardinals in the NL Wild Card Series before shocking the Braves in the NLDS and making quick work of the Padres in the NLCS. It was during this postseason run that Philadelphia removed Thompson’s interim tag and gave him a two-year contract extension.
Management switch: Jack McKeon replaces Jeff Torberg
World Series Result: Win vs. Yankees
After winning the 1997 World Series under Jim Leyland, the Marlins immediately began a rebuild. They posted five straight losing seasons from 1998-2002 — and used four managers in the process. Leland resigned after a ’98 campaign in which the club went just 54-108. John Boles then managed for 2 1/2 seasons before the club moved on during the 2001 season and let Tony Perez finish out the year.
Then there was Jeff Torberg, who went 79-83 in his first season in 2002 before getting off to a slow start in ’03. After just 38 games — and a 16-22 start — the Marlins fired Torborg and hired then-72-year-old Jack McKeon. The team went just 3-7 in McCune’s first 10 games, finishing 10 games under .500 (19-29) on May 22nd. The Marlins reeled off six straight wins before going 33-18 in June and July, then making the finals. season with an 18-8 mark to clinch an NL wild-card spot in September. McKeon guided the Marlins past the NL West champion Giants and NL Central champion Cubs before shocking the AL champion Yankees in the World Series.
Management switch: Paul Owens replaces Pete Corrales
World Series Result: Lost vs. Orioles
It was a bit of a shock, as Coryles was fired despite the Phillies sitting in first place at the time. Corrales led the Phils to an 89-73 mark and a second-place finish in his debut season in 1982, then went 43-42 the following year before Owens — then the club’s general manager — fired Corrales. Did and took over the administrative position. The character himself
Philadelphia hovered around .500 for most of the season before taking off in the final month of the season. The Phillies went 22-7 in September, including an 11-game winning streak that moved them from a first-place tie with the Pirates to a 4 1/2-game division lead. They won the NL East by six games and made quick work of the Dodgers in the NLCS before falling to the Orioles in five games to the World Series.
Management Switch: Harvey Coen replaces Buck Rogers
World Series Result: Loser vs. Cardinals
After a strike-plagued 1981 season led the Brewers to their first postseason appearance in franchise history, Rodgers got off to a slow start in ’82. On June 1, with the club sitting at 23-24, Milwaukee fired Rodgers and promoted hitting coach Harvey Quinn to replace him. The move had an immediate impact, with the Brewers going 20-7 in June to post a 95-67 mark and win the AL East. “Harvey’s Wallbangers” won the franchise’s first pennant before falling to the Cardinals in seven games in the ’82 World Series.
Management switch: Bob Lemmon replaces Jean Michael
World Series Result: Lost vs. Dodgers
This is the only case on this list in which the new manager performed worse than the original. Michael had already won the AL East in the first half of the strike-stricken 1981 season, helping the Yankees clinch a postseason berth. Yet in the second half of the season, with Michael continuing to clash with owner George Steinbrenner, the team fired Michael and turned to Bob Lemmon with just 25 games remaining. The club went 11-14 under Lemon and eventually lost to the Dodgers in the Fall Classic. Michael returned to the helm in 1982, although an ongoing feud with Steinbrenner did not last another season.
Management switch: Bob Lemmon replaces Billy Martin
World Series Result: Win vs. Dodgers
Martin had no problem winning in New York. In his first full season at the helm, he led the Yanks to a 97-62 record in 1976 before being swept by the Reds in the World Series. The next year, the Yankees won 100 games en route to winning the ’77 World Series – their first title since ’62. But after a 52-42 start in ’78, Martin promptly resigned after an altercation with star player Reggie Jackson — and a comment directed at owner George Steinbrenner. Lemmon stepped in — as he would three years later for Gene Michael — and led the Yankees back to the Fall Classic, where they defeated the Dodgers in six games.
Management switch: Bert Shotton replaces Clyde Scaforth
World Series Result: Lost vs. Yankees
It comes with a little star. With manager Leo Durocher suspended for the entire 1947 season, Sockforth — then a staff coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers — pitched the first two games of the season before declining to accept the full-time acting manager gig. organized”? The Dodgers then turned to Shotton – a scout for the club – to manage the rest of the season. Brooklyn won the NL with a 94-60 record, then fell to the AL champion Yankees in seven games in the World Series.
Children of 1938
Managerial switch: Gabby Hartnett replaces Charlie Grimm
World Series Result: Lost vs. Yankees
Grimm’s initial managerial tenure with the Cubs ended much as it began — a managerial replacement in the middle of a pennant-winning season. Graeme’s managerial career began as a player-manager in 1932, when he replaced fellow player-manager Rogers Hornsby after his release (more on this below). But Grimm was on the other end of a similar movement in ’38.
Although Chicago had a respectable 45-36 start to the 1938 season, then-owner PK Wrigley moved Grimm to the broadcast booth and replaced him with player-manager Gabby Hartnett. The move paid off again as Hartnett led the club to a 44-27 record, including a 21-5 mark in September, to capture the NL pennant. The Cubs were eventually defeated by the Yankees in the World Series.
Children of 1932
Managerial switch: Charlie Grimm replaces Rogers Hornsby
World Series Result: Lost vs. Yankees
Although Hornsby won the 1929 MVP award with the Cubs during a 23-year Hall of Fame career, he struggled while serving as the club’s player-manager during the injury-plagued ’32 campaign. Although the Cubs started 53–46, Hornsby played in just 19 of those 99 games before the team released him and turned to club first baseman Grimm to take over the role of player manager. Chicago went 37-18 the rest of the way to win the NL pennant, though they were swept by the Yankees in the ’32 Fall Classic.