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.