Teams would hire someone who had a reputation as being a player-friendly manager, only to find, after several years, that the club lacked discipline and players were openly taking advantage of the manager's easy-going ways.
As a reaction to that, invariably, a tougher, more authoritarian leader would be hired as the replacement, vowing to create a more orderly environment with more attention paid to details.
And, eventually, the pendulum would swing the other way.
In the current game, those managerial contrasts no longer exists. Every prospective manager is judged to be player-friendly -- the better to foster better communication and allow for the building of strong relationships. The days of Dick Williams - an unapologetic hard-ass who wouldn't think twice about offending a player and whose profane tirades could peel wallpaper -- are long gone.
But in the front office, where at least some evolution still exists, there are still some contrasts. In fact, few could be greater than the one between Dave Dombrowski, fired last month by the Red Sox, and Chaim Bloom, the man who was officially hired to replace him Friday afternoon.
That shouldn't come as much of a surprise. When Red Sox ownership finally, in the final week of the season, got around to offering a rationale for dismissing Dombrowski, they noted that Dombrowski had been the right man for the job when he was hired in 2015, but added that the same skill-set wasn't best suited for the Red Sox in 2020 and going forward.
How different are Dombrowski and Bloom? Let us count the ways: