Because we're just mean SOB's (I am, anyway), I decided that what with baseball's playoffs staring us in the face it would be a good idea to take a look at the worst coaches/managers to ever reach the championship in sports history. Yes, I am aware that reaching a championship game/series is a great accomplishment, but hey, sometimes you catch lightning in a bottle for a few weeks and then regress back to mediocrity, or worse. I'm sure Cubs fans will agree, if Dusty Baker (#5) can make the World Series, well hey, there's hope out there for all the Jim Tracy's of the world.
Without further ado, here it is:
10. Mike Hargrove. Let's take a look: Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, Roberto Alomar, Omar Vizquel, Richie Sexson, Matt Williams, Brian Giles, Bartolo Colon, Sandy Alomar, and David Justice. ALL ON ONE FREAKING TEAM! Now granted not all these guys had hit their peaks yet, but come on, this was an uber-stacked squad that won 86 games in a weak AL Central in 1997, then made a run, then lost to the Mercenary Marlins. And then there was the 1995 loss to the Braves who went a combined 2-8 in all World Series games after that. And his record with the M's? Well let's just say The Human Rain Delay hasn't exactly been The Reignman in Safeco. (Yes! Worked a Shawn Kemp reference in!)
9. Raymond Berry. Bill Belichick, he ain't. The only other Pats coach to lead them to the Super Bowl, Berry (a helluva tight end in his day) is the quintessential lightning in a bottle guy. Unfortunately for him, Steve Grogan, Tony Eason, et al, Richard Dent, The Fridge, and the rest of the Shufflers don't like lightning. In fact, William Perry probably has tried to eat it at some point.
8. Brian Billick. This "Quarterback Guru" was hired to instill life in a comatose Ravens offense. What's happened since? Well, his defense carried Trent "I'm a backup behind Alex Smith now" Dilfer to a championship. Marvin Lewis, his stellar defensive coordinator is now a top head coach in Cincinnati, and while the team looks good this year, the offense is lead by veteran pickup Steve McNair, not his project, Kyle Boller who's screwed Paris Hilton almost as much as he has Ravens fans. Before the season, despite the city's first championship since the '83 O's, fans were calling for his smirky head.
7. Bob Brenly. This guy may be the quintessential, "Hey look at this, I have the 2 best players in the game right now on my side, this is easy!" manager. So good he was fired not long after winning a championship for a guy who turned out to be a criminal, then eventually replaced him with the guy who'd been fired for Hargrove. Game set match Bobbo.
6. Barry Switzer, Cowboys version. Shall we run the play once? Sure! Didin't work? How 'bout twice! He owes Neil O'Donnell a Christmas card for eternity. Of course, he was great at OU, if you like your national champions packing heat...
5. Dusty Baker. He owes it all to BALCO, baby! For further reference on his qualifications as a manager, see: http://firedustybaker.com/. That is all.
4. Mike Milbury. Hey, as a GM, he suddenly looks like a genius in the post-Let's give DiPietro a 15 year deal, why not? But as a coach, well, let's just say I don't think the people of Long Island and Boston are too sad to see him in their rear view mirrors on the bench. In case you were wondering, the answer is, he took the 89-90 Bruins to the finals where they recieved a 4-1 smackdown by the Gretzky-less Oilers.
3. Paul Hewitt. Who you ask? The guy who got Luke Schenscher (sp?) to the finals before obliteration by UCONN in 2004. Yeah, thought you might've forgotten that final. Since, he's a whopping 31-29, 8-20 in the ACC. He makes the list over Mike Davis, who got a bum rap. Seriously.
2. Jim Harrick. I mean, I got a good job and all, but how good would my GPA have been if I had taken Fundamentals of Basketball 101 with his son? Like how many licks it takes to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop, the word will never know. This cheat was basically the anti-Wooden at UCLA, but he did win it all once, so hey, he makes the list. In the meantime, I think I read he's in like Fort Wayne coaching in the D-League, and the O'Bannon brothers went on to stellar NBA careers.
1. Bill Callahan. I just have no idea how this happened, I really don't. I mean, I don't even have anything to say. Historians will one day look at the annals of the Super Bowl, and go "Who the hell was this guy?" They will also look at the history of Nebraska coaches and say the same thing. He only got the job because Frank Solich was roofied up, anyway.
There you have it, kids.