Frey led the Royals to the AL pennant in his first year as a major league manager,
1980, but was fired before the end of the 1981 season. His abilities as a judge of
talent and as a leader were not questioned, but he was considered deficient in tactical
judgment. Reappearing with the Cubs in 1984, he led them to a surprising division
title, but they were upset by the Padres when Frey left his ace, Rick Sutcliffe,
in Game Five a bit too long. The Cubs had won the first two games of the series.
Again falling below .500 the following season, he was fired in mid-1986 but moved
to the front office, replacing Dallas Green as GM. Frey's judgment of minor league
talent and several astute trades were instrumental in Chicago's 1989 title.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»August 31, 1981: Royals manager Jim Frey is fired and replaced by Dick Howser, whose Yankees lost to Frey's Royals in last season's American League Championship Series. Kansas City was 10-10 in the 2nd half of the season, 30-40 overall.
»October 6, 1983:
Jim Frey will manage the Cubs, succeeding interim manager Charlie Fox, who has returned to the front office after the season.
»August 8, 1984: The Cubs tighten their grip on first place in the National League East with a 7–6 win over the Mets at Wrigley Field, completing a 4-game series sweep. Keith Moreland leads the way with three hits and four RBIs. Hubie Brooks is 4-for-4 with four runs for New York. Davey Johnson gets tossed in the 7th after Bob Dernier gets hit by a pitch, a continuation of yesterday's beanballing. Cubs manager Jim Frey follows Johnson in the 9th when Smith throws behind George Foster.
»November 11, 1987:
Jim Frey, who managed the Cubs to the 1984 National League East title and spent last season as a broadcaster for the club, is named the club's director of baseball operations. His first major move will be to hire longtime friend Don Zimmer as manager on November 20th.