An interesting name appears within this FiveThirtyEight piece about the irrelevance of most MLB managers:
It turns out that Cox is one of the few managers of all time who could lead his players to unexpected performances year after year. Over the course of his career, Cox’s teams outperformed expectations by 3.1 wins per 162 games on average, sometimes exceeding their projected talent level by as much as 10 wins.
Nearly every other manager of the last 30 years — 172 overall — was, statistically speaking, indistinguishable from average. They either didn’t manage for long enough or didn’t separate themselves from the pack while they were still filling out lineup cards. Cox is one of only six managers since 1986 — Russ Nixon, Tony LaRussa, Davey Johnson, Billy Martin and Earl Weaver — who we can say with confidence actually affected the performance of the players he was managing more than the average manager.
I assume that’s a typo, considering Nixon‘s .400 winning percentage as a manager with the Braves and Reds (231-347). If not, it certainly merits explanation.
Could it be that Nixon’s teams were even worse than their record? Did the ’89 Braves’ 63-97 record actually exceed expectations?