In years when the New York Mets with the World Series, the managers get along a lot better with the umpires.
The baseball manager equivalent to a hockey fight, I’m happy to see Baseball Reference tracks manager ejections. When exploring this statistic, I found something interesting about former New York Mets manager Davey Johnson.
Johnson was ejected 13 times as the Mets manager. His five ejections in 1985 topped the list as a personal best. One thing I did notice is that in 1986 and 1988 Johnson didn’t get ejected at all.
All Mets fans should know what those two years have in common. The 1986 season ended with a championship. The 1988 campaign was nearly as good, but a loss in the NLCS ended the year earlier than many had hoped.
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A lot went right for the Mets in these two years. Johnson, quite literally, had little to complain about. In every other year of his managerial career except for 1990 when he lasted 42 games, Johnson was ejected at least once. How coincidental is this?
Well, upon a little more research, I learned Gil Hodges has a little more in common with Johnson than we may have realized. In 1969, the Mets won the World Series. Hodges was not ejected a single time all year.
As far as World Series victories go, managers of this franchise have stayed calm and cool in the regular season. This hasn’t been the case for every trip to the championship round.
Terry Collins was ejected four times in 2015. Bobby Valentine got on the board with one ejection in 2000. In the year they succumbed to their first World Series loss, Yogi Berra received three ejections.
I doubt an ejection will factor into where a team finishes in the standings. I have to wonder, though, if Mickey Callaway’s cool-head could eventually continue a trend.
The sample size for this is small as it includes only two years. A lack of ejections doesn’t automatically equal a championship ring. Alex Cora was ejected once in 2018. The year before, World Series-winning manager A.J. Hinch was tossed from the game three times before the Houston Astros won it all.
It’s merely a coincidence that the two best years in team history lacked an ejection.
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We’ll have to wait until the next championship to start getting freaked out. If whoever leads them to glory does so without getting thrown out all year long, I’m definitely going to believe there’s something to it.