The Phillies entered the 2022 season with some high expectations, though. As the calendar turned to June, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski sensed he might be walking away from the club.
That’s when he made the risky decision to fire veteran manager Joe Girardi and replace him with Rob Thomson, who had been Girardi’s longtime pitching coach with both the Phillies and Yankees. The move paid off as the Phillies not only turned their season around, but also won the NL pennant.
In doing so, They became the ninth team in MLB history to win the pennant after changing managers during the season. Win World Series that season.
“Looking at the players — the teams are significantly different in terms of their structure, their age, their experience — I think Dave has a softer touch and a little more patience with some of the younger players,” the Phillies manager said. John Middleton, partner. “This is our special case. There are other cases where that is not the right case. But that’s our situation at that moment.”
Here’s a closer look at each of the nine innings that proves the midseason trades are indeed true, though some are under very different circumstances than the 2022 Phillies.
Managerial change: Rob Thomson replaces Joe Girardi.
Rhys Hoskins After adding Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber, who already had JT Realmuto and NL MVP Bryce Harper. The Phillies entered the 2022 season confident they would return to the postseason for the first time since 2011. After a 22-29 start to the season that included a bullpen meltdown and poor defensive play, the team fired manager Joe Girardi and replaced him with longtime big leaguer Rob Thomson.
The turnaround was immediate. The Phillies went 10-0 in the first game under Thomson, winning each of his first eight games. They posted a 65-46 record under Thomson while clinching the NL Wild Card berth in the final series of the season. 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. Philadelphia removed Thomson’s temporary tag at the end of the season and signed him to a two-year contract extension.
Managerial change: Jack McKeon replaces Jeff Torborg.
World Series Result: Get a win.
After winning the 1997 World Series under Jim Leyland, the Marlins began an immediate rebuild. They posted five consecutive undefeated seasons from 1998-2002 and used four managers. Leyland left the club going just 54-108 in the ’98 campaign. John Boles managed 2 1/2 seasons before moving to the club in the 2001 season and letting Tony Perez finish the year.
Next up was Jeff Torborg, who went 79-83 in his debut season in 2002 and got off to a slow start in ’03. After 38 games and a 16-22 start, the Marlins fired Torborg and hired then-72-year-old Jack McKeon. The team went 3-7 in McKeon’s first 10 games, going 10 games under .500 (19-29) on May 22. The Marlins then went on a six-game winning streak before going 33-18 in June and July. Then it was finished. season to clinch the NL Wild Card spot with an 18-8 mark in September. McKeon led the Marlins past the NL West champion Giants and NL Central champion Cubs and stunned the AL champion Yankees in the World Series.
Managerial change: Paul Owens replaces Pat Corrales.
World Series Result: Lost vs. Orioles
This was somewhat of a shock as Corrales was ejected 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 before going 43-42 the following year. Corrales was fired before Owens, the club’s general manager at the time, took over as manager. The role of himself.
Philadelphia remained around .500 for most of the season before finally falling away in the final month of the season. The Phillies went 22-7 in September, leading them to a 4 1/2-game division lead, including an 11-game winning streak that tied them with the Pirates for first place. They won the NL East in six games, made quick work of the Dodgers in the NLCS, and fell to the Orioles in five games in the World Series.
Managerial change: Harvey Kuenn replaced Buck Rodgers.
World Series Result: Lost vs. Cardinals
After leading the Brewers to their first postseason appearance in a plagued 1981 season, Rodgers got off to a slow start in ’82. With the club sitting 23-24 on June 1, Milwaukee fired Rodgers and promoted Harvey Kuenn to replace him. In June, the Brewers made an immediate impact, going 20-7 to post a 95-67 mark and win the AL East. “Harvey’s Wallbangers” went on to win the franchise’s first pennant in the ’82 World Series before falling to the Cardinals in seven games.
Got it in 1981.
Managerial change: Bob Lemon replaced Gene Michael.
World Series Result: Lost vs. The Dodgers
This is the only case on this list where the new manager is worse than the original. Michaels had already helped the Yankees clinch a postseason berth by winning the AL East in the first half of the 1981 season, which was plagued by drought. However, in the second half of the season, as Michael clashed with owner George Steinbrenner, the team fired Michael and turned to Bob Lemon with 25 games remaining. The club went 11-14 under Lemon, eventually losing to the Dodgers in the Fall Classic. Michael was reinstated in 1982, although he did not finish the season due to a feud with Steinbrenner.
Got it in 1978.
Managerial change: Bob Lemon replaced Billy Martin.
World Series Result: Won against the Dodgers.
Martin has 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 and the Reds won the World Series. In the following 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 immediately resigned after an altercation with star player Reggie Jackson — and comments to owner George Steinbrenner. Lemon stepped in for Gene Michael as he would do three years later, leading the Yankees back to the Fall Classic and beating the Dodgers in six games.
Managerial change: Burt Shotton replaced Clyde Sukeforth.
World Series Result: Lost vs. Yankees
This one comes with a few stars. With manager Leo Durocher suspended for the entire 1947 season, Sukeforth, then a coach on the staff of the Brooklyn Dodgers, “managed” the first two games of the season before refusing to accept a full-time acting manager. The Dodgers then turned to Shotton, a scout for the club, to manage the remainder of the season. Brooklyn won the NL with a 94-60 record and fell to the AL champion Yankees in seven games in the World Series.
Managerial change: Gabby Hartnett replaces Charlie Grimm.
World Series Result: Lost vs. Yankees
Grimm’s initial managerial tenure with the Cubs ended the same way a replacement for the manager began in the middle of a pennant-winning season. Grimm’s managerial career began as a player-manager in 1932; He was replaced by player-manager Rogers Hornsby when he was released (more on that below). But Grimm was on the other side of the same movement in ’38.
Chicago started the 1938 season with a respectable 45-36 record. At that time, owner PK Wrigley moved Grimm to broadcasting 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, en route to lifting the NL pennant. The Cubs were eventually defeated by the Yankees in the World Series.
Managerial change: Charlie Grimm replaces Rogers Hornsby.
World Series Result: Lost vs. Yankees
Hornsby won the 1929 MVP Award with the Cubs in the midst of a 23-year Hall of Fame career, but struggled as the club’s player-manager during an injury-plagued ’32 campaign. The Cubs got off to a 53-46 start, but Hornsby played in just 19 of those 99 games before the team released him, turning to Grimm, the club’s first baseman, to take the player-manager position. Chicago was swept by the Yankees in the ’32 Fall Classic, but went the rest of the way to win the NL pennant 37-18.