Arguably the three greatest managers of the last 30 years will all go into the Hall of Fame together this summer. The three skippers, Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa, were elected in unanimous fashion by the expansion-era committee in a Monday vote.
Union head Marvin Miller, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and firebrand manager Billy Martin were also on the ballot but did not make it. Players on the ballot included Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Dan Quisenberry. None of them made it either. Dave Parker’s sledgehammer is already in the hall, I assume.
Torre, Cox and LaRussa were all pretty much no-brainers. Each has at least 2000 victories. Each has won at least one World Series. Each is regarded as a bastion of baseball wisdom by pretty much everyone.
Their specific qualifications are as follows:
Joe Torre – With help from Derek Jeter, brought the Yankees back from the black hole Buck Showalter/Mel Hall/Andy Stankiewicz era. Was the perfect manager for New York because he knew how to not get driven nuts by Steinbrenner. Always took the pressure off his players by using voodoo with the media. Was played by Paul Sorvino in a cheesy movie.
Bobby Cox – Bridged the gap between Ted Turner/Jane Fonda and Fat Chipper Jones. Stayed calm when the stadium caught on fire that one time. Never punched anyone even though people always criticized him for winning only one World Series in the ’90s despite having arguably the greatest starting rotation in history. Managed to not get thrown out of every game despite being a Krakatoa-level anger-volcano.
Tony LaRussa – Made it to the postseason with the White Sox during the ugly uniform/crumbling Comiskey/Ron Kittle era. That should be enough for Hall of Fame election right there frankly. But he also won a World Series with the A’s when they were all Roid Raging freaks (except Carney Lansford). And he won some more with the Cardinals, again with help from steroids, but still. Is renowned for his outside-the-box managing moves like batting the pitcher eighth, trying to do away with starting pitchers entirely and sometimes managing the game while in a semi-coma.
I can’t argue with any of those three guys being elected. They are all great managers. But I’m sure there’s some incredibly stupid reason someone could come up with why one or all of them should not be in. And right now some repressed baseball writer is laying out that case on Twitter.