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Well, Gee Wally, You're Fired
2004-11-06 01:09
by Mike Carminati

For a team that lost 111 games during the regular season, who would have thought that the offseason could be worse?

Well, the D-Backs today fired Wally Backman and replaced him with Bob Melvin, just four days after hiring Backman as manager. It turns out that Backman not only was arrested twice and is apparently in dire financial straits but was once a Met! You see, the D-Backs didnít bother to do a background check before hiring him as manager. Oopsie! Turns out that they work on the honor system out in Phoenix.

Backman will forever be remembered (or forgotten) as the Baltimore Claws of baseball managers. Backman will never pilot Arizona during a regular-season game, but it turns out that he does not have the shortest career for a non-interim manager.

That honor belongs to Eddie Yost, who managed for one day, one stinking day!

On May 21, the Washington Senators stood dead last in the American League with a 14-26 record. With about a quarter of the season under their belts, the Senators were already 10 games behind the Orioles and White Sox (23-15). Given their slow start and the fact that they had lost 100 games in Mickey Vernon's first two years as manager just prior to the season, they decided to jettison Vernon in favor of Yost. Yost had played 14 seasons with the old Senators (1944-58) and had just retired after the 1962 season. It seemed a perfect fit.

On May 22, Washington lost 9-3 to the White Sox at home as Joe Horlen ran his record to 3-0. That day the Senators acquired Gil Hodges from the Mets in exchange for Jimmy Piersall. Hodges had never managed before, but he was given the reins to the club on the spot and Yost was out. Yep, they told "The Walking Man" to take a walk.

Yost never managed in the bigs again. And he is not the father of current Milwaukee manager Ned Yost, though it seems remarkable that they are not father and son.

Hodges ended up guiding the club to 105-loss season and even though he managed four more seasons in Washington, never finished higher than sixth (out of 10). He did have a bit of success upon returning to the Mets as manager a year before their "Amazin'" World Series victory.

There were a number of other interim managers who managed four days or fewer and here they are:

YrGFirstLastTmWLMGR #POS
18791BillHolbertSyracuse Stars0127
18841BickersonWashington Nationals01212
18951ChrisVonderaheSt. Louis Browns10211
19291GabbyStreetSt. Louis Cardinals1024
19331BibbFalkCleveland Indians1024
19341BurtShottonCincinnati Reds1028
19441RoyJohnsonChicago Cubs0124
19471BillBurwellPittsburgh Pirates1027
19481RayBladesBrooklyn Dodgers1023
19591RudyYorkBoston Red Sox0125
19601AndyCohenPhiladelphia Phillies1028
19601BillyHitchcockDetroit Tigers1026
19601EddieSawyerPhiladelphia Phillies0118
19601Jo-JoWhiteCleveland Indians1024
19611MelHarderCleveland Indians1025
19631EddieYostWashington Senators01210
19681GeorgeMyattPhiladelphia Phillies1027
19721SaltyParkerHouston Astros1022
19731DelWilberTexas Rangers1026
19731EddiePopowskiBoston Red Sox1022
19751HarveyKuennMilwaukee Brewers1025
19771BobSkinnerSan Diego Padres1025
19771EddieStankyTexas Rangers1022
19771TedTurnerAtlanta Braves0126
19771VernBensonAtlanta Braves1036
19781DickHowserNew York Yankees0121
19781PatCorralesTexas Rangers1022
19801JackKrolSt. Louis Cardinals0124
19851CalRipken Sr.Baltimore Orioles1024
19861MartyMartinezSeattle Mariners0127
19911BobSchaeferKansas City Royals1026
19911JoeAltobelliChicago Cubs0124
19961CookieRojasFlorida Marlins1023
20021ReneLachemannChicago Cubs0125
20031RayKnightCincinnati Reds1025
18722DeaconWhiteCleveland Forest Citys0227
18752BillBoydBrooklyn Atlantics02212
18922BillyBarnieWashington Senators0217
18962ChrisVonderaheSt. Louis Browns02311
19152WalterBlairBuffalo Blues1126
19162IveyWingoCincinnati Reds1127
19332DelBakerDetroit Tigers2025
19382HansLobertPhiladelphia Phillies0228
19472ClydeSukeforthBrooklyn Dodgers2011
19612ElTappeChicago Cubs2047
19622MelHarderCleveland Indians2026
19642BillyHermanBoston Red Sox2028
19682LesMossChicago White Sox0228
19722RoyMcMillanMilwaukee Brewers1126
19782JackKrolSt. Louis Cardinals1125
19792DickTracewskiDetroit Tigers2025
19862DougRaderChicago White Sox1125
19862JohnVukovichChicago Cubs1125
20042GaryVarshoPhiladelphia Phillies1122
18883MordecaiDavidsonLouisville Colonels1227
18903PatSullivanColumbus Solons2132
18963ArlieLathamSt. Louis Browns03211
19243EdWalshChicago White Sox1226
19463SpudDavisPittsburgh Pirates1227
19493LukeSewellCincinnati Reds1227
19673KenSilvestriAtlanta Braves0327
18714LipPikeTroy Haymakers1316
18824JimMcCormickCleveland Blues0415
18844HarryWheelerKansas City Cowboys0418
18924JackGlasscockSt. Louis Browns1319
18984MikeGriffinBrooklyn Bridegrooms13210
19304RogersHornsbyChicago Cubs4022
19464HankGowdyCincinnati Reds3126
19614HarryCraftChicago Cubs3157
19614VedieHimslChicago Cubs0367
19744WhiteyHerzogCalifornia Angels2226
19764TomLasordaLos Angeles Dodgers2222

By the way, the all-time record for one-game managers is 23-12. So why do they get fired anyway?

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