In late May 2009, the Rockies were 18-28 when they dismissed manager Clint Hurdle and replaced him with former Dodgers and Pirates skipper Jim Tracy. Colorado eventually bottomed out at 20-32 -- a .385 winning percentage -- but then tore off 72 wins in their next 110 games -- a .655 winning percentage -- and captured the NL Wild Card.
2 of 11AP
With just 12 games left in the regular season, the Brewers let manager Ned Yost go, replacing him with Dale Sveum, one of the members of Yost's coaching staff. The Brewers held on to win the wild card, their first playoff berth in 26 years, but they lost to the Phillies in the NLDS. That offseason, they hired Ken Macha as manager and moved Sveum back to a coaching role.
3 of 11John Biever/SI
It's not easy to take over a struggling team and guide it to the playoffs. Here are nine men who supplanted fired manager and led their new clubs to the postseason, starting with Phil Garner of the 2004 Astros ... While serving as an NL coach during the 2004 All-Star game in Houston, Astros manager Jimy Williams got booed by local fans that were not satisfied with the team's 44-44 record. The following day, the Astros fired Williams and hired Garner, who led the club to a 48-26 record and the NL Wild Card berth after winning the last seven games of the season. The Astros went on to get their first postseason series victory in franchise history against Atlanta (3-2) before losing in seven games to St. Louis in the NLCS. Garner would return to lead Houston to its first World Series appearance the following season.
4 of 11Al Tielemans/SI
After performing below expectations at 16-22 and losing seven of eight games, the Marlins fired manager Jeff Torborg and hired Jack McKeon who led the team to a 75-49 record and a NL Wild Card berth. Under McKeon, the Marlins had a miraculous postseason run, defeating the Giants in the NLDS, beating the Cubs in the NLCS and eventually winning the World Series by upsetting the Yankees. At 72 years old, McKeon became the oldest manager to win a World Series and won the NL Manager of the Year award.
5 of 11John Iacono/SI
1989 Blue Jays
Toronto ousted Jimy Williams after a 12-24 start and hired the popular Cito Gaston, who would go 77-49 the rest of the way and win the AL East. He went on to lead the Blue Jays to World Series titles in 1992-93, making him the first African-American manager to win a championship in MLB history.
6 of 11John Iacono/SI
1988 Red Sox
John McNamara had guided the Red Sox to the 1986 AL pennant, but they finished fifth in '87 and were 43-42 in '88 when the organization decided it was time for a change. That's when "The Other Joe Morgan" took over and led the Sawx to a 46-31 record down the stretch and the division crown. Under Morgan the club would also finish first in 1990.
7 of 11AP
The Phillies were in first place but only one game above .500 at 43-42 when general manager Paul Owens fired skipper Pat Corrales and took over the reins himself, going 47-30 the rest of the way and leading the Phillies to an NL pennant.
8 of 11Ronald C. Modra/SI
Unsatisfied with their third-place finish (30-25) before the players' strike and their 14-12 record thereafter, the Expos fired Dick Williams and brought in Jim Fanning. By finishing the season 16-11, he led the team to a first-place finish in the NL East, marking the Expos' only playoff appearance in their 36-year history in Montreal.
9 of 11Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Despite being in first place at 10-10 after the players' strike, the Royals fired Jim Frey after not seeing enough improvement from the team's fifth-place finish (20-30) in the first half. Dick Howser replaced Jim Frey, keeping the team on top of the division and leading led them to an AL West victory before being swept in the ALDS by Oakland.
10 of 11AP
Despite leading the team to a first place finish in the first half of the season before the 1981 player's strike at 34-22, Gene Michael was fired by George Steinbrenner after starting the second half of the season 14-12 and replaced by Bob Lemon, who finished the season 11-14 for a fifth-place finish. The Yankees made the playoffs nevertheless off their initial first-place finish in the first half and became the AL champs under Lemon before losing to the Dodgers in the World Series.
11 of 11Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Despite leading the Yankees well-above .500 at 52-42, Billy Martin was fired and replaced by Bob Lemon, who led them to a 48-20 finish and an AL East title by pulling ahead of the Boston Red Sox in September and beating them in a one-game playoff. The Yankees would win the World Series in six games over the Dodgers.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!