Some recollections on some of the managers noted above:
For those interested, you can find the replay of the Yankees broadcast of the 1978 playoff game on Youtube. Incidentally, that one game playoff was the first one in the American League since the 1948 game. At the start of the broadcast, Phil Rizutto mentioned how he had talked with the late Joe McCarthy in the past about the 1948 playoff game, and McCarthy had defended the choice by saying Galehouse was the only one that had stepped forward saying he wanted to pitch that game, which was obvious bullshit.
I guess I don't understand why some posters above hate Eddie Kasko; his teams overachieved. But there were a number of warning signs about his successor, Darrell Johnson starting in 1974 when the Sox had a 7 game lead on August 23rd and finished in 3rd place 7 games behind the Orioles.
Johnson wanted the 1975 team to be aggressive on the base paths. Red Sox collected 66 stolen bases, third from the bottom in the league, but were caught 58 times. In Game 2, with the Sox were leading 1-0 in the bottom of the 2nd and had Evans on 2nd and Burleson on 1st and one out. Bill Lee was batting; while he hadn't taken an at bat in anger since 1972 (a season in which he had a triple and a home run), he did work hard on bunting and was in position for a sacrifice attempt. Instead, Johnson sends Evans to steal third on one of baseball's best catchers ever in Johnny Bench, handing the Reds an easy out, after which Lee strikes out to end the inning.
Still, Bill Lee pitches well, keeping the Reds off balance with his trademark breaking pitches all game, and the teams enter a rain delay after the 8th inning with the Sox clinging to a 2-1 lead. After the delay, Johnson surprisingly put Lee back in the game. Lee had been dealing with a hyperextended elbow (suffered during batting practice) most of September, during which he was limited to 4 starts (0-2, 7.04 ERA), and he didn't pitch an inning during the Sox 3-game sweep over Oakland in the ALCS. Lee's first pitch was hit hard by Bench for a leadoff double. It was a dubious decision by Johnson; it was the 4th time that Lee was going through the Reds lineup. The first 4 batters due up for the Reds were Bench, Perez, Foster, and Concepcion, all right handed hitters. Righties Dick Drago and Jim Willoughby were ready in the bullpen. Later in the inning, Concepcion would drive in Bench for the tying run with a grounder up the middle. Lee felt that Johnson misplayed the defensive setup, and should have had Denny Doyle playing more shallow to make the play on the slow running Bench. Lefty Griffey Sr would drive in Concepcion for the go-ahead run; a missed opportunity to have brought in left handed Rogelio Moret, who had an outstanding season.
In Game 3, Fred Lynn ran into a key out on the base paths in the 4th and the Sox holding a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the 5th, Rick Wise had been struggling, and was lifted after giving up 2 home runs and a triple in the inning. Down only 4-1 early, Johnson called upon rookie Jim Burton despite having a rested bullpen in reserve. Now, Burton wasn't exactly terrible; he actually had had a decent season, pitching 53 innings in a variety of starting and relief roles earning a 3.66 FIP and 2.89 ERA. And at least Burton was a lefty about to face 2 left handed batters in Griffey and Joe Morgan. But Moret had thrown far more innings and may have been the better choice. The Reds managed to scratch a run via Morgan's sacrifice fly to take a 5-1 lead. OK, this one is not so bad. But the 9th was worse.
The Sox had tied the game thanks to a Dwight Evans home run, and had a runner on 2nd (Burleson) and one out and the pitcher due up. Jim Willoughby had done well in his 2 innings of relief. But the Sox did have Juan Beniquez and Rick Miller and Doug Griffin (ok, probably not an option) available to pinch hit. While Willoughby did execute the sacrifice bunt well, the Sox were not able to take advantage and the Reds escaped without any further damage. Sparky Anderson had no such qualms about pinch hitting Ed Armbister for Eastwick in the 10th, and the rest was history.
Not much to say about Games 4 (Tiant threw something like 150 pitches in a complete game) or 5 (easy Reds victory). But Bill Lee mentioned soon after the Series ended that the Sox should have been up 3-2 going into Game 6 rather than down 3-2, and he wasn't wrong. Going with Tiant to start Game 6 may have been a mistake; the Reds were starting to figure him out in Game 4, and were it not for the heroics of Carbo, Fisk, Evans and others, the decision to start Tiant over a rested Lee or Wise would have been questioned more heavily than it was.
In Game 7, there was certainly an interesting decision point in the bottom of the 5th with the Sox having the bases loaded and 2 outs and Bill Lee batting. Modern day managers may have pinch hit here, but back in the day, it was conventional wisdom to keep the starting pitcher in as long as possible, and Lee was pitching a shutout at that point. The stupid pitch to Perez was on Lee, but the Sox still had a 3-2 lead at that point. But, for some reason, Johnson replaced Bernie Carbo with Rick Miller defensively to start the 7th, thereby burning a potential pinch hitter. I can accept Johnson putting in Moret to face a couple of lefties after Lee walked Griffey in 4 pitches. Batting Cooper for Willoughby was questionable, given that there were 2 outs and nobody on, and Willoughby had been pitching well. Drago was unavailable after pitching 3 innings the prior night, and Wise had pitched an inning as well. But, still, sending Jim Burton to start the 9th was inexcusable.
In 2003, John Henry wanted Theo to fire Grady Little after a series against the Cardinals in Fenway during which Little was out-managed by Tony LaRussa in 2 close losses.