Not every manager employs what the Indianapolis Indians skipper calls a “closed-door policy.” Then again, not every manager has 200 career wins.
Following Tuesday’s 7-2 victory over the Pawtucket Red Sox, Tribe manager Dean Treanor notched his 200th career victory as skipper of the Indians, becoming just the 14th manager in Indianapolis’ 100-plus-year history to amass 200 career wins. While Treanor is quick to give the credit to the talent of the players in the locker room, he also realizes it takes a certain style of leadership to navigate the tough seasons of Triple-A baseball.
“It’s not easy, and I’ve been very fortunate to have the quality of players that we’ve had,” Treanor said. “But that’s why the door to my office is closed a lot, there are a lot of meetings, there are a lot of one-on-ones and I’ve been fortunate to have a great staff too and that helps and it adds to it.”
Treanor’s “closed-door policy” has led the manager to a 200-142 record and the second-best winning percentage (.585) among all Indians skippers with at least 200 wins, trailing only Hall-of-Famer Al Lopez, who posted a 277-182 record and .603 winning percentage from 1948-1950. What makes this feat even more impressive is the amount of roster turnover that occurs on a daily basis as players are called up to the Majors, or sent down to the lower levels of the Pirates system. Both of which result in far different attitudes for the players being shipped in or out.
“For all the dynamics involved, guys coming up, guys going down, guys can be bitter,” Treanor said. “The toughest is to get these guys on the same page.”
Easier said then done of course.
The trick, Treanor suggested, has been establishing a solid clubhouse chemistry for the 144-game seasonal grind. Since taking over at the helm prior to the start of the 2011 campaign, the Tribe’s skipper has managed over 100 different players with over 100 unique personalities en route to his 200-win milestone. And while winning has certainly been a top priority for Treanor, it can sometimes take a back seat to the importance of the team’s overall chemistry in the locker room.
“You can’t forget the character quality, we’ve got some great guys here as you know, and this being the third year in a row now that the clubhouse has been very strong character-wise,” Treanor said. “I think that if you walk through there (the clubhouse), or if you’re there at any time, you see how close these guys are, and I think that shows on the field. I think in baseball they always talk about how you don’t need chemistry in the clubhouse, but I really believe you do.”
The results continue to speak for themselves. If the Tribe were to continue on Treanor’s pace of a .585 winning percentage through the 90 remaining regular-season games, the Indians would average roughly a 54-36 record to give Treanor 254 career wins at the conclusion of the season, tying him with Kerby Farrell (254-205) for ninth in career triumphs among all-time Indianapolis Indians managers.
Of course in baseball, there’s no guarantee a team can follow the predicted average throughout the conclusion of the season. But no matter what happens through the final two-thirds of the 2013 campaign, Treanor can always say he’s part of the elite group of Indians managers to reach the 200-win plateau.
Even if he refuses to accept much of the due credit.
“You know, 200 wins is nice,” Treanor said. “But what it really does is point to the quality of players we’ve had in Indianapolis.”