See if you can place the following in their correct chronological sequence, from earliest to most recent.
1) The day the Dodgers fired their manager, Bill Russell, in midseason.
2) The day the Dodgers previously fired a manager in midseason.
3) The day the 19th century ended.
The correct order is 2, 3, 1. In this century the Dodgers had changed managers in midseason only three times, always after the incumbent ( Leo Durocher, Walt Aston and Tommy Lasorda, newly resurrected as general manager) resigned. By contrast, the Angels, the Dodgers' Southern California neighbors, have fired skippers during a season so many times (nine, including three in an impressively unstable stretch from 1976 to '78) that Disney, which owns the team, could schedule the event as a promotional night.
With Russell axed, the longest run without a midseason firing now belongs, improbably, to the Pirates, who haven't ousted a manager-in-progress since Bill Virdon in 1973. We will spare you all the obvious comparisons between the Dodgers and the Yankees, save one: While it took the Dodgers just more than a century to fire two managers in midseason, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner once accomplished the feat in 102 days.
History augurs poorly for incoming Dodgers manager Glenn Hoffman, the first major league manager since 1946 to have a brother (Padres' closer Trevor) playing in the same league. In '46 Bill Dickey ran the Yankees while his brother George caught for the White Sox, but Bill didn't last the season; in fact, there have been only two previous same-league manager-player brother acts in this century, and neither lasted even two years.
The tradition of Dodger Dignity may have been rooted at least in part in how badly things turned out the last time they dumped a skipper in midstream. Manager Bill Barnie of the 1898 team (then known as the Bridegrooms) was booted in favor of his prot�g�, Mike Griffin, the popular team captain. Four games later Griffin quit, and Brooklyn president Charlie Ebbets managed the team for the rest of the season. Griffin, who had continued to play centerfield for the Bridegrooms, was reappointed as Brooklyn's player-manager for 1899 at a salary of $3,500. But Ebbets, his franchise foundering, had to merge the team with his National League rivals in Baltimore, the Orioles, who brought their own skipper, Ned Hanlon, with them. Griffin, offered a raise to $3,800 but not managerial duties, refused to report to spring training, claiming he had been guaranteed the manager's job. Brooklyn released him, and he eventually ended up with the St. Louis Perfectos.
At that point Griffin gave up all hope of managing but demanded his $3,500. When he didn't get it, he quit baseball, leaving behind five straight .300 seasons and a lawsuit—ultimately successful—for part of that blasted salary.