MLB Playoffs: 6 Best Managers-Turned-Broadcasters in Recent History
It seems that when baseball players and managers are done with their respective careers, they want to stay in the game of baseball.
That's why many become broadcasters. It still lets them be involved with the game they love, while adding special insight that only people who were that invested with baseball have.
More recently, managers, especially ones that have recently left their teams, have gone into the broadcast booth. They offer their services as viable backups or a change of pace for the normal run of things.
Here are some of the best former managers who have made the switch from dugout to broadcast booth.
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After a solid 10-season career featuring an All-Star appearance, Bob Brenly assisted Fox as an analyst in its baseball coverage from 1996-2000.
He was then hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001, the same year they would defeat the New York Yankees for the World Series title. Brenly was finished as Diamondbacks manager by the end of the 2004 season.
After that, he and play-by-play man Len Kasper went to Chicago to replace Chip Caray and Steve Stone for Cubs TV broadcasts.
It has taken a little while, but Brenly is finally starting to warm up to Cubs fans. Brenly adds interesting managerial insight when the Cubs are in a pressing position, something that happens quite frequently. Brenly seems to be a mainstay with the Cubs, but should another opportunity come to manage a ball club, he might take it.
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Another man who is very familiar with Cubs baseball, Lou Piniella, has had some broadcasting stints over the course of his baseball career.
Piniella's first appearance in the broadcast booth came in 1989 with the New York Yankees after three years managing them. He served as the color analyst on games broadcasted by the Madison Square Garden Network.
In 1990, he won the World Series with the Cincinnati Reds. He then went on to manage Seattle, Tampa Bay and then the Cubs. His second go-round as broadcaster came during the 2006 postseason, in between his time with the Rays and Cubs.
Piniella assisted Thom Brennaman and Steve Lyons in calling playoff games for Fox. His unique voice offset Brennaman's deeper, more stern voice well. As much as Lou was fiery in the dugout, he was very calm in the booth.
After Pineilla finished managing the Cubs in 2010, he has stated that he has no further desire to continue broadcasting. The game of baseball misses you, Lou.
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This past May, Mike Hargrove was hired as a special advisor to the Cleveland Indians, a club he managed from 1991-1999, winning two American League titles in the process.
Duties as special advisor include: assisting the coaching staff during spring training, helping out in the front office and oh yeah, adding color commentary to select games during the season.
Hargrove assisted in calling 10 games this season for the Indians on Sports Time Ohio. Hargrove discusses what he would do in situations as a manager, and recalls his glory days of leading the Indians to some of their most successful years in franchise history.
Though his role is currently limited, Hargrove could get a lot more time in the booth in the near future.
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Martinez, like Brenly, is a guy who started off in the broadcast booth before he went to the dugout. He then, subsequently, returned to the booth.
He started in 1987 with the Toronto Blue Jays as color analyst. He would also assist in ESPN's coverage of nationally televised games. He became manager after the 2000 season and remained there until the after the 2002 season.
After a short-lived managerial tenure, Martinez joined the Baltimore Orioles as play-by-play analyst from 2003-2009. In 2010, he returned home to Toronto, where he has assumed the same duties he had with Baltimore.
Martinez also assists in TBS' coverage of Sunday afternoon games and the postseason. Though buckblunders.com may make others think differently, Martinez has had a successful broadcasting career, winning several Emmys.
Bobby Valentine's managerial career has taken him across the globe. Valentine first started as manager with the Texas Rangers from 1985-1992. He then went to Japan to manage the Chiba Lotte Marines in 1995.
After a one-year stint there, he returned to the states to manage the New York Mets. During his tenure in New York, in which there was never a dull moment, Valentine managed the Mets to the National League title in 2000, before losing to the crosstown Yankees.
Valentine returned to Japan and the Chiba Lotte Marines in 2004. He stayed there until 2009, winning a Japan Series title in the process.
Since returning to the United States once again, Valentine has held an analyst position on ESPN. He also assists Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser in the network's coverage of Sunday Night Baseball.
An emotional moment for Valentine came on May 1 of this year while broadcasting a Sunday night game between the Phillies and Mets in Philadelphia. After hearing that Osama bin Laden had been killed, the Philadelphia crowd burst into cheers.
Valentine reflected on his time as Mets manager during September 11, when he helped New York City officials with the difficult recovery process.
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The inspiration and most recent addition to this list is former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona.
Francona's contract was not renewed after a dysfunctional 2011 season in Boston, a city where he and the Red Sox claimed two World Series titles in 2004 and 2007.
Just weeks after his dismissal from the Red Sox, Fox called Francona with a new, temporary position. Francona filled in for color analyst Tim McCarver during the first two games of the American League Championship Series.
Francona was a breath of fresh air to viewers who have grown tired of the Joe Buck-Tim McCarver duo. He approached the situation well, and seemed like he had been doing it for years.
If McCarver decides to turn off the mic and retire, Francona would be a viable replacement, should he not find managerial work elsewhere. Terry Francona is an understated man with a knowledge of the game passed down to him from his father, Tito.
Francona should return to the booth at some point in time. Whether he returns to manage a club or not, Francona should remain in the game of baseball, hopefully as an analyst.