Billy Martin managed this team into the ALCS. It was really the only Oakland team between the dynasty of the early '70s to the McGwire/Canseco led teams of the late '80s to be any good. Was Billy Martin the reason for this? Looking at this roster they had a great outfield and little else. Part of the problem though is that these starting pitchers never went on to great success, because they were very overworked, so the names don't jump out at you as very memorable. In 1980 the starters pitched 94 complete games (58% of the total games), in 1981 it was just as bad as the pitchers completed 60 out of 109 games (55%). Supposedly blowing out all of the pitchers arms was the reason Billy Martin was let go from the A's after the 1982 season.
Billy Martin was like the Terrell Owens of baseball managers, he was very good leading many average teams into the playoffs, but usually fighting with fans or upper management or veteran players and getting fired because of these actions. If what I've read about why he got let go from the A's, this may have been his most peaceful firing. From what I've read about him, his managerial style seems to be like a boss we have all had at least once in our lives, somebody who you want to punch out but does bring out the best in you.
It seemed when I was growing up there were several colorful managers in the game, that style of management doesn't seem to be there anymore. Ozzie Guillen is the only one that comes to mind that is still in this mold. I think it has something to do with baseball players are now more professional because of the money involved than they were even 30 years ago. Teams can't get rid of a huge player contract if there is player/manager conflict, so the manager goes. The managers now seem to be there more to answer to the players than the other way around.
|__||FL||594||RP||Dave Heaverlo (or DO 407) ||SEA|
|__||FL||343||MN||Kevin Bell (or DO 39) ||CHW|
|__||FL||581||MG||Billy Martin (or DO 479) ||OAK|