Jerry Manuel and Bunts

In an effort to figure out whether or not Jerry Manuel is the buntingest bunt who ever bunted, I looked up the number of sacrifice hits for the Chicago White Sox from 1998-2003, which were the years that Manuel managed the team.  In those years, the White Sox had the following number of sacrifice hits:

1998 - 38

1999 - 40

2000 - 55

2001 - 63

2002 - 48

2003 - 43

Average - 47.8

Baseball-reference doesn't list where these totals rank in the majors or the American League, so let's compare them to the number of sacrifice hits the Mets had each year under Willie Randolph.

2005 - 69

2006 - 77

2007 - 77

Average - 74.3

So Manuel should order his players to bunt less than Randolph did.  Great.  Wait, what's that?  This isn't a fair comparison because Randolph often (correctly) had his starting pitchers bunt?  Okay, well then let's take a look at how many sacrifice hits Joe Torre's Yankees had from 1996-2007.  After all, Torre and Randolph have similar managing styles.

1996 - 41

1997 - 34

1998 - 32

1999 - 22

2000 - 16

2001 - 30

2002 - 23

2003 - 25

2004 - 37

2005 - 28

2006 - 34

2007 - 41

Average - 30.25

Uh oh.  Manuel's teams bunted significantly more than Proven Winner Joe Torre's did.  But maybe Manuel isn't so bad.  Let's do one more comparison, this time with everyone's favorite bunter and Manuel's replacement with the White Sox, Ozzie Guillen.

2004 - 58

2005 - 53

2006 - 44

2007 - 41

Average - 49

Crap.  Manuel's teams bunted only slightly less than Ozzie Guillen's do.  And we all know that no one loves bunts more than Ozzie Guillen.  This quick and dirty study is by no means definitive, but it suggests that we can expect lots of small ball from the Mets under Jerry Manuel.  At this point, I can't say I'm happy with the Mets decision to make him their manager.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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