Buck, Dusty facing ghosts of managerial jobs past
Postseason ponderings:Baltimore manager Buck Showalter and Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker might have a bit of revenge on their minds. They are both managing in the Division Series against teams they once managed.
Showalter saw his Orioles advance to the American League Division Series with a Wild Card, win-or-go-home showdown against Texas, which he managed from 2003-06. Now Showalter and the Orioles are facing the New York Yankees, with whom Showalter began his big league managerial career from 1992-95, in the best-of-five Division Series. The teams split the first two games.Showalter is the only manager to face two of his former teams in the same postseason. There won't be a third for Showalter this year. Arizona, the other team he has managed, finished third in the National League West. Baker and the Reds go into Tuesday's game against San Francisco at Great American Ball Park looking to sweep the best-of-three series, having won the first two games at AT&T Park. Baker spent the first 10 years of his managerial career with the Giants (1993-2002), winning the NL pennant in his final season. Since the advent of three postseason rounds in 1995, only two other managers have faced former teams in the postseason. Lou Pineilla managed Seattle against the Yankees three times, losing in the AL Championship Series in 2000 and 2001 and beating them in the Division Series in 1995. Piniella made his managerial debut with the Yankees in 1986 and also managed them in 1987 and part of 1988. Joe Torre managed the Dodgers to a sweep of St. Louis in the 2009 Division Series, the Yankees to a World Series championship against the Braves in 1999 and the Mets in 2000. Torre managed the Cardinals from 1990-95, the Braves from 1982-84 and the Mets from 1977-81. Detroit goes into Oakland looking for a sweep of the A's in the AL Division Series. The Tigers have swept only two of their previous 16 postseason series. They swept Oakland in the 2006 ALCS and Kansas City in the 1984 ALCS.
Detroit has been swept only once in its postseason history, and that was in its first ever appearance, in 1907 when the Tigers went 0-4 against the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. The Cubs also beat the Tigers 1908, the last World Series the Cubs have won. There aren't optimistic outlooks for San Francisco and Oakland. Of the 42 previous teams to fall behind 0-2 in a Division Series, 27 of them were swept. The last three Yankees postseason series haven't been too much fun for Alex Rodriguez. He is 1-for-9 with five strikeouts in the first two games against Baltimore. In his last three series, he is 7-for-48 (.146) with 15 strikeouts, two doubles and five RBIs.
Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.