3. Joe Torre, 1978
It is hard to believe Joe Torre's ascent to an all-time great baseball manager started with the Mets in 1977. He took the mantle after Frazier was released halfway through the season, one in which the Mets began a full teardown under General Manager Joe McDonald. After Torre took over as manager, Seaver was traded to Cincinnati in what is referred to now as the "Midnight Massacre", in reference to President Nixon's firing of Watergate Prosecutor Archibald Cox in 1973.
Torre's first full season as manager in 1978 was the beginning of a black hole in Mets baseball. They were a rebuilding franchise who in recent years just traded Ryan and Seaver. Other star players like Harrelson and Matlack had left the organization. Koosman and Kranepool were now older with the only younger players of note being Lee Mazzilli and Pat Zachry. With very low expectations, the Mets finished 66-96 in year one under Torre. It is safe to say Torre did not inherit the 1996 Yankees from Joe Frazier in 1978; he inherited a franchise in malaise searching for it's new identity.