Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Framing hot starts by Mets, Red Sox historically

Callaway, Cora are third and fourth rookie managers since 1900 to start season at least 9-1
MLB.com @AndrewSimonMLB

The Mets and Red Sox both entered 2018 with first-year managers and high hopes, and so far, things could not be going much better.

Both clubs won again on Tuesday, as New York's Mickey Callaway and Boston's Alex Cora became just the third and fourth managers since 1900 to begin their managerial careers at least 9-1. More potential history is on the line on Wednesday night, with the Mets playing at Miami and the Red Sox hosting the Yankees.

The Mets and Red Sox both entered 2018 with first-year managers and high hopes, and so far, things could not be going much better.

Both clubs won again on Tuesday, as New York's Mickey Callaway and Boston's Alex Cora became just the third and fourth managers since 1900 to begin their managerial careers at least 9-1. More potential history is on the line on Wednesday night, with the Mets playing at Miami and the Red Sox hosting the Yankees.

For any club to open a season winning at least 10 of its first 11 games is rare. It's happened just 23 times since at least 1908, most recently in 2013, when the Braves began 10-1.

Only twice during that time have two teams accomplished that feat in the same year. If the Mets and Red Sox both win on Wednesday, they would join the 2003 Giants and Royals, as well as the 1966 Indians and Orioles in that exclusive club.

So how did those previous instances turn out in the end? It's a mixed bag.

In 2003, the Giants showed absolutely no ill effects from going all the way to Game 7 of the World Series the year before. Manager Dusty Baker's club won its first seven games and 13 of its first 14, eventually cruising to 100 victories and the National League West title, as Barry Bonds captured the third of his four straight NL Most Valuable Player Awards. However, the Giants fell to the Marlins in the NL Division Series.

The Royals were a completely different story. Kansas City entered 2003 looking for its first postseason berth since 1985 and first winning record since 1994, having lost 100 games just the year before. In his first full season as manager, Tony Pena guided his club on a nine-game winning streak to begin the year. The Royals began 11-1 and led their division into mid-August before fading to finish 83-79.

There was a similar dynamic in 1966. The Orioles were the powerhouse, having won at least 94 games in both of the previous two seasons -- despite missing the postseason in an era when it was World Series or bust. Baltimore added Frank Robinson via trade the previous offseason, and he went on to win the American League MVP Award in '66. The O's began 12-1, finished 97-63 to win the AL by nine games, then swept the Dodgers in the World Series.

The Indians didn't have the same sort of star power -- or the same ultimate results in 1966. Cleveland reeled off 10 straight victories to begin the season, then four more following its first loss. The club led the AL into June but soon suffered a 14-26 stretch and wound up at .500 (81-81). Manager Birdie Tebbetts stepped down that August.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.

Boston Red Sox, New York Mets