Two other intriguing Hall of Fame manager candidates are Bruce Bochy and Terry Francona. They are 58 and 54 years old so have more years as managers left than the others. They have also both each won two World Championships, but Bochy has only won 1,630 games while Francona has only won 1,121. Bochy and Francona are both still managing so they have the opportunity to increase their total number of wins and both have an outside chance at winning another championship. If Bochy manages four more years, he will have well in excess of 1,900 wins and will have a strong Hall of Fame candidacy. Francona will need to mange for nine or ten more years go get to 1,900 wins, so despite being younger he has a more difficult challenge.
The question of whether or not Posada is one of the twenty greatest Yankees will have to be left to future, and longer, subway rides, but his place in the top 25 is reasonably secure. The same ambiguity around Posada’s place in Yankee history will probably surround his Hall of Fame candidacy, but there is no ambiguity around his role in the last four Yankee championships. If game five of the LDS was indeed Posada’s last game, he will be missed by all Yankee fans, whether hunched over their computers looking at numbers or cursing A-Rod while semi-conscious on the subway.
Piniella is a baseball lifer who was a good, but not great player and a great, if controversial, manager, who has been associated with an impressive range of baseball moments and people. He played alongside Harvey Haddix a few years after his 12 inning perfect game loss, and Don Mattingly as he was becoming one of baseball’s top hitters. Piniella, who later earned a reputation for being a fiery and excitable manager himself, played for Billy Martin during his first three stints as Yankee manager. Sweet Lou made a cameo in one of the best baseball books ever written, Jim Bouton’s Ball Four, and made a game saving, of often overlooked, play in the outfield preserving a Yankee victory in one of the most famous baseball games ever played, the one game playoff between the Yankees and Red Sox in 1978. He played for two expansion teams in the same year, including one that does not exist anymore, and two World Series winners.