Tuesday, Jul. 13, 2010

Hiring and Firing Billy Martin

George Steinbrenner was notorious for changing up his staff. From 1973 to 1990, 19 managers came and went; so did five team presidents, 15 pitching coaches and 13 general managers. But no one was hired and fired more than Billy Martin. The fiery manager and domineering owner had a love-hate relationship — when it was good, the team won pennants; when it was bad, sparks flew, often in front of television cameras. The former second baseman went to work for "the Boss" in August 1975; the two would later butt heads over bringing on outfielder Reggie Jackson — together, they formed a trio of volatile egos. Though the tension calmed enough for the Yankees to take the 1977 World Series, the following season came to a head when Martin told reporters Jackson and Steinbrenner deserved each other because "one's a born liar and the other's convicted." The comment ended Martin's first stint as Yankees manager. It was the first of five total hirings and firings for Martin. Steinbrenner was rumored to have been considering hiring him again in 1989 when Martin was killed in a car accident on Christmas Day.