A fair argument can be made that Russell got a raw deal in LA. He finished the 1996 season, managed all of 1997 and was let go 74 games into the 1998 season. That was probably not enough time to get an idea of how good of an in game manager he was. And he did have a good teacher in Lasorda. Perhaps Russell's short stay in LA is the reason he has not gotten job since. However, during Alston's time, the Dodgers won 4 World Series titles (1955, 1959, 1963 and 1965) and 3 more NL Pennants (1956, 1966, 1974). Lasorda's tenure saw the Dodgers add two more World Series (1981, 1988) and two more NL Pennants (1977, 1978). The Dodgers also won 3 more division titles under Lasorda (1983, 1985 and 1995). 2013 was the 4th NL West Division title since Lasorda left (2004, 2008, 2009). After making it as the NL Wild Card in 1996 and 2006, they were swept out of the Division Series both seasons.
As I said earlier, Alston managed the Dodgers for nearly 23 full seasons. He managed 3558 games and finished with a record of 2040-1613. Lasorda was not as dominant, but managed a little over 20 seasons in the big leagues. He managed 3040 games and finished with a 1599-1439 record. Russell finished with a 173-149 record in his full season and two half seasons. Since Lasorda retired as Dodgers' manager, the team has gone 1469-1340. That covers 2809 games. Lasorda finished with a .526 career winning percentage. The Dodgers winning percentage since Lasorda left is .523. So you can make a case that Russell should be sitting with a record of 1469-1340 over 16 1/2 seasons as Dodgers manager. The thing that kept Lasorda around was his representation of the Dodgers franchise and being the embassador for the team. It also helped that he won. He has brought two WS Championships and two more NL Pennants during his time, as the Dodgers play this season hoping to gain their first NL Pennant since 1988. You may not be able to make a case the Dodgers have been bad since Lasorda left. But not winning Pennants and World Series titles does get old and can explain why the Dodgers have switched managers so often since 1996. However, it would have been awesome if the Dodgers could say they have had three managers in the last 59 seasons. Add in the managerial career of Wilbert Robinson (1914-1931, 18 seasons as Brooklyn Robins manager) and that would have been 4 managers in 76 of the last 100 seasons. From 1914 until Lasorda's leaving of the Dodgers in 1996, the team had three managers in 60 of those 82 seasons.