On the hot seat: Terry Collins, Bud Black

New York Mets manager Terry Collins and San Diego Padres manager Bud Black have something in common: Both have managed their clubs to four straight losing seasons. Something else: Both are signed only through 2015, putting them square on the managerial hot seat, especially as both clubs head into 2015 with loftier goals.

It's pretty rare for a manager to get a chance to manage the same club to four consecutive losing seasons, let alone five. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, for example, had four straight losing seasons and the club replaced him with Paul Molitor this season. When he managed the Pirates, Lloyd McClendon had four straight losing seasons but didn't make it through a fifth (he was fired with 16 games remaining). In searching through managerial records, here are managers I found who skippered at least five losing seasons in a row:

  • Connie Mack, Philadelphia A's, 10 seasons (1915-1924). Of course, he was also the owner of the team. Mack had won four pennants and three World Series from 1910 to 1914 and then sold off most off his big stars. The rebuilding process took a long time.

  • Connie Mack, Philadelphia A's, 13 seasons (1934-1946). Same situation. He tore apart a dominant franchise and couldn't win again. This one comes with an asterisk as Mack apparently didn't manage full seasons in 1937 and 1939 due to illness.

  • Bucky Harris, Washington Senators, six seasons (1937-1942). Harris had managed the Senators to the 1924 World Series title, when he was a 27-year-old player/manager. He later went to Detroit and then came back to Washington, but this time without success. He had a career losing record as a manager but nonetheless was elected to the Hall of Fame (he won a second title as Yankees skipper in 1947, but was fired a year later).

  • Gene Mauch, Montreal Expos, seven seasons (1969-1975). Mauch, who had managed the infamous collapse of the '64 Phillies, took over the expansion Expos and while they twice won 79 games, they never cracked .500. That didn't come until 1979.

  • Phil Garner, Milwaukee Brewers, six seasons (1993-1998). He won 92 games his first year in 1992 and kept his job after that, finally getting canned midway through the 1999 season.

  • Tom Kelly, Minnesota Twins, eight seasons (1993-2000). Kelly had managed the Twins to two World Series titles, so ownership remained patient. He finally broke .500 again in 2001 and then retired.

  • Bruce Bochy, San Diego Padres, five seasons (1999-2003). The Padres had reached the World Series in 1998 but suffered through a long tailspin. Bochy kept his job, however, and had winning seasons in 2004-2006, including two playoff appearances, before leaving for San Francisco in 2007 and finding an eventual path to the Hall of Fame.

Anyway, I may have missed somebody in the list above. Back to Collins and Black. I would say Black is universally well regarded, and as viewed as a victim of all those bad offenses in San Diego. He certainly has developed a good skill of building bullpens from non-prospects and guys found on the scrap heap. The park helps, of course, but it seems no matter who the Padres put in the bullpen, Black gets the most out of them.

Collins comes with more mixed reviews. I asked Mets fans on Twitter and a few suggested he's not very good at handling his relievers. But how much of that is simply a lack of talent? Since 2011, the Mets rank 28th in the majors in bullpen ERA, ahead of only the Rockies and Astros. It's probably safe to say, however, that Collins hasn't gotten the most out of his bullpens, even though he has the luxury of a good pitcher's park as well.

Regardless, both managers are on the hot seat in 2015. If either team gets off to a slow start, their jobs will be in jeopardy.