A rookie manager rarely equals huge success for the Chicago White Sox
Gene Lamont - 1992
Gene Lamont would become the White Sox manager in the early 90s.
Gene Lamont, like Grifol this year, took over a loaded White Sox roster in 1992 and guided it to an 86-76 record and third-place finish in the American League West.
They went 94-68 in 1990 and 87-75 in 1991, finishing second both years under manager Jeff Torborg (who left to take over the New York Mets and lost 90 games in 1992).
Frank Thomas hit .323 with 115 RBI, Steve Sax stole 30 bases, Robin Ventura drove in 93 runs, Tim Raines scored 102 runs and stole 45 bases and Lance Johnson stole 41 in 1992. Even George Bell hit 25 homers and drove in 112.
A 26-year-old Jack McDowell went 20-10 with a 3.18 ERA while three relievers (Bobby Thigpen, Roberto Hernandez, and Scott Radinsky) all saved between 12 and 22 games.
The quiet Lamont just kind of sat back and let the team run on autopilot, a sound strategy because the roster was full of leaders like Carlton Fisk, Ventura, Thomas, Bell, Raines, Johnson, McDowell, Thigpen, and others.
Hurting Lamont in 1992, though, was an injury to Guillen that limited him to just 12 games. Lamont then had to split shortstop between Craig Grebeck, Esteban Beltre and Dale Sveum.
Guillen's injury, though, was likely the biggest reason the 1992 Sox under Lamont didn't really hit its stride until August and September when it went 36-21.
The Sox got Guillen back in 1993, added veterans Bo Jackson and Ellis Burks and rookie Jason Bere, and won the West Division title in Lamont's second year. They were also in first under Lamont in 1994 when the season ended because of a strike in early August.