Could a Major League Baseball manager make a good U.S. president?
With the 2012 U.S. presidential election coming to a close, the expensive and arduous process has come to an end. However, questions will always persist as to what qualities and experiences best prepare someone to be the president of the United States of America.
Should the president be a career politician? Is considerable experience in private business good preparation for the position? Or should a political novice–albeit with a proven record of success as a leader in another field–be considered for the presidency?
Considering America’s obsession with sports, including our national pastime of baseball, this seems like an interesting time to look at five MLB managers–past and present–who could conceivably do a solid job in our nation’s highest elected office.
Bruce Bochy (Padres, Giants): Bochy has won 1,454 games as manager of the Padres and Giants. He became the skipper of the Giants from the 2007 season. In six seasons at the helm of the NL West club, he has led them to World Series titles in 2010 and 2012.
Bochy’s tremendous success in San Francisco has come as the leader of an ethnically diverse squad, and he does his job in a city that is a bastion of liberalism. My feeling is that he would do well as a Democratic president, while also being able to work with others and respecting the necessity of compromise at times.
Davey Johnson (Mets, Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Nationals): Johnson has put together 1,285 victories in an MLB managerial career spanning four decades. He has led the Washington Nationals-perennial cellar-dwellers through 2010-out of the NL East basement since taking over in 2011, and the team reached the NLCS this year.
Johnson has the experience and maturity from decades of success in MLB to do a solid job as President of the U.S. I would also point to his playing days overseas for Japan’s Tokyo Giants as proof of his ability to work well with people of other countries.
Tony La Russa (White Sox, A’s, Cardinals): La Russa counts 2,728 victories from his 33 seasons as a big-league skipper for three clubs. He led the A’s to the 1989 World Series title, and wrapped up his career in St. Louis with a pair of World Series rings in 2006 and 2011.
La Russa could excel as president of the U.S. due to his demonstrated leadership skills over the course of many grueling MLB seasons. Additionally, he has a proven track record of utilizing the skills and strengths of those who work for him to enable the team to succeed.
Jim Leyland (Pirates, Marlins, Rockies, Tigers): Leyland has reaped the rewards of his efforts as a big-league manager for 21 seasons. His career record stands at 1,676 wins against 1,659 losses. He has taken three clubs to the postseason a total of seven times. He led the Marlins to the 1997 World Series title, and has skippered the Tigers to a pair of World Series appearances.
Leyland strikes me as a hard-working, no-nonsense type of man. He has earned the respect of his players and coaches at each stop of his managerial career because he is both tough and fair. He would work well with the opposition due to his fairness, and would do his best–even in the toughest of times–for the American people.
Mike Scioscia (Angels): Scioscia has a career mark of 1,155 victories against 951 losses as a big-league manager over 13 seasons. He has led the Angels to six postseason appearances thus far, including the 2002 World Series crown.
Scioscia knows how to manage not only one of baseball’s most talented teams but also one with an astronomical payroll. He is well aware of the fact that such exorbitant spending means the people that employ you, as well as the fans that support you, expect results from their investments. Getting the job done–whether as an MLB manager or the president of the U.S.–is what matters the most.
Patrick Hattman is a long-suffering Pittsburgh Pirates fan and longs for a return of the Pirates of his youth when they put some of the city’s best-ever baseball teams on the carpet at Three Rivers Stadium.