clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Happy birthday, Bob Brenly!

Today is the 62nd birthday for Bob Brenly, the man who guided Arizona to their only world series, and who now occupies the color commentary spot for the broadcasting booth.

Ralph Freso/Getty Images

A couple of things stand out about Brenly's time as a manager. Firstly, it was remarkably short: a total of only 565 games. Just one World Series winner has been in charge for fewer contests: Jake Stahl, who won it all with the 1912 Boston Red Sox, only to be fired less than half way through the following season, after a series of increasingly heated confrontations with team president, Jimmy McAleer. Stahl never managed again, his managerial career ending at 533 games. The only other World Series manager whose career was just four seasons long, was the wonderfully named Pants Rowland, who won it in 1917, the third of his four years with the Chicago White Sox.

The other thing which stands out is winning a World Series in your first season. That has been done on three other occasions: Bucky Harris (Washington Senators, 1924), Eddie Dyer (St. Louis Cardinals, 1946) and Ralph Houk (New York Yankees, 1961). A number have done it in their first full season, most recently Tom Kelly with the Twins in 1987, having also managed them for the final 23 games the previous year. Harris and Houk, went on to long careers in the dugout, lasting 29 and 20 seasons respectively; both would also win the World Series once more (Houk in his second year!). Dyer managed five seasons in St. Louis and never had a losing record.

It's interesting that, after being fired in the middle of 2004, Brenly returned to the broadcasting booth, first as a color commentator for the Cubs, then returning here to Arizona, and has not gone back into the dugout. I suppose after you've won the World Series in your first season, it's all downhill! There have been occasional suggestions he was a candidate for some openings, such as reports in 2007 Brenly was being considered as a replacement for the Reds. He said of the rumors,  "I'm interested in listening to anything. But I haven't heard from anyone." A couple of years later, he was "said to want the Brewers' spot."

It has mostly been the Chicago Cubs with whom Brenly has been linked, his name coming up on three separate occasions. Most recently, was the somewhat odd case of the Cubs' position in 2010, where he was initially a candidate - only to withdraw his name from contention. Brenly later said, "I kind of saw things that made me uncomfortable moving forward, trying to get that manager's job." Given the man who eventually got the position, Mike Quade, was fired at the end of 2011 - not long after the dismissal of the man who hired him, GM Jim Hendry - Brenly may well have been right to walk away.

Still, it's a decision which perhaps helped lead to Brenly's return to the desert, in the likely lower-stress role of analyst, and for that we thank him. Brenly's contract runs through the end of next season, and there's absolutely no reason - unless, perhaps, you're a selfie-taking sorority sister - to wish for any change. Happy birthday, Bob!