The Best and Worst Coaching Jobs of 2006


Today we will look at this season’s best, and worst coaching jobs based upon Bill James’ Pythagorean Theorem.


Pythagorean record is derived from Bill James’ Pythagorean theorem of baseball: Runs scored [squared] / (Runs scored [squared] + runs allowed [squared]). This formula was designed to relate a team’s runs scored and runs allowed to its won-lost record and is has been known to be extremely accurate when applied to seasons throughout baseball’s history.



Current Record
Pythagorean Record


With a cast of virtual unknowns outside of Ohio and fantasy baseball circles, Jerry Narron and his Cincinnati Reds are one of the biggest surprise teams of the year. According to the Pythagorean theorem the Reds should be two games under .500, which would place them four games back of the St.Louis Cardinals in the NL central division race. Instead, the Reds are in a tie with the Cardinals atop the division and they also lead the Wild Card standings by a game and a half.


General Manager Wayne Krivsky has been heavily criticized throughout baseball circles for making Kearns and Lopez but at this current juncture it has appeared to help, rather than hinder the team. With the current injury to Guardado the depth in the Reds bullpen is a plus. A playoff appearance should mean increased season ticket plans for the ball club, which is always a major factor for small market teams.




Despite the many bullpen problems this season, Narron has managed the bullpen beautifully, as the Reds are 23-14 in one run games. While Narron will have a fight on his hands with Joe Girardi of the surprising Florida Marlins for manger of the year in the National League, he will undoubtedly get the nod as the Pythagorean manager of the year.
On the other side of the coin sit the Cleveland Indians. The tribe was predicted by many pundits to be fighting for a playoff spot this past off-season, with many some even picking the Indians to place over the White Sox in the American League central.


In what is easily the worst differential this season, the Indians actual winning percentage is .87 points under their Pythagorean percentage. This translates into a team that should be twelve games over .500 being in actuality ten games under .500 If the Indians had played up to their Pythagorean record they would currently be only 5.0 games back of the AL Wild Card,


Indians manger Eric Wedge has taken heat in the Cleveland Media for being too patient with slumping players (Johnny Peralta) and for not being able to effectively use his bullpen correctly in late game situations. The latter becomes rather apparent when we look at the Indians record in one run games, which is 13-21. In fact, last year the Indians record in one run games was 22-36, giving manager Eric Wedge a 76 – 102 career record in one run games.


There you have it, this season’s best and worst coaching jobs based upon the Pythagorean thermo. I’m sure that fans of both teams hope that their respective managers are properly rewarded, with Narron winning the National League’s manager of the year award, and with Eric Wedge being given his pink slip.


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