What’s the best way to become a major league manager? Have experience managing in the major leagues, of course.
The Nationals hired the most experienced available manager in all of big league baseball, 66-year-old Dusty Baker.
Baker will be managing his fourth big league team. He also managed the Giants, Cubs and Reds.
On four occasions this season, he’ll be managing against another four-time manager, Buck Showalter, who also managed the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Rangers.
Baker and Showalter rank second and fourth in wins among active managers.
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No fewer than 16 of the 29 big league managers (the Dodgers haven’t filled their job) had managed previously.
Besides Baker and Showalter, no one else has managed more than three teams.
New York Mets’ manager Terry Collins, who is three weeks older than Baker, is the oldest skipper in the big leagues. Collins managed both the Astros and Angels, but didn’t manage for 11 years before the Mets hired him.
Terry Francona, who managed Boston to two World Series win and also managed Philadelphia, is making his third stop, in Cleveland.
Bob Melvin is on his third team, too. Currently managing Oakland, he has also managed Seattle and Arizona.
The other third-time manager gets an asterisk. Pete Mackanin, who starts a season as a big league manager for the first time in 2016 with Philadelphia, had no fewer than three interim jobs. Mackanin filled in for the Pirates in 2005, the Reds in 2007 and the Phillies last year.
In Cincinnati, he was succeeded by Baker.
Ten other men have managed one other big league club before their current one. Some of them are arguably the most accomplished of all managers. They include Bruce Bochy (Giants), John Farrell (Red Sox), Joe Girardi (Yankees) and Ned Yost (Royals), who’ve combined for six World Series titles.
The only current manager who won a World Series in his first job is Mike Scioscia. The Angels’ skipper has the longest tenure in the majors (16 years). He won a World Series in 2002 when he beat Baker’s Giants.
John Gibbons is the only manager to have two runs with the same team. Gibbons, whose Toronto Blue Jays won the AL East, managed in Toronto from 2004-08 before he replaced Farrell in 2013.
As for the Dodgers who let Don Mattingly walk away, they’re reportedly interviewing about 10 candidates. One of them will be Bud Black, who couldn’t come to terms with the Nationals. He managed in San Diego.
Another strong candidate was Black’s bench coach with the Padres, Dave Roberts. Roberts, technically speaking, is an experienced big league manager. He replaced Black when he was fired and managed one game, which he lost, before San Diego promoted Triple-A manager Pat Murphy to finish the season.
Murphy was fired, too.