October 24th, 1977
Dave Bristol Fired
Bristol's firing at the hands of Ted Turner is not of particular interest to me; what is instead is the man who followed him. That would be Bobby Cox, the current Braves' manager. However, Bobby's first run at the helm of the Braves wasn't quite as successful as his second. In fact, Bobby finished with a .451 winning percentage his first try in the manager's seat, topping .500 just once, in 1980. However, Bobby has some pretty good company in that regard when it comes to the other leading managers of his time. Tony LaRussa--the active leader in wins--was better in his first go-round as a head man, but still managed only a .506 winning percentage with the White Sox, posting four seasons above .500, four under and one right-on. Joe Torre--number three in active wins--was even worse in his first gig, posting a brutal .406 winning percentage across several seasons including one of ninety-nine losses.
So did these guys get better as managers or did they simply take over better teams? Honestly, it was probably some combination thereof, but it's worth noting that perhaps your local manager having a tough time in his first run might someday be quite the skipper.