PDA

View Full Version : How All 30 Managers Stack Up (Boston Globe)



Bob Borkowski
06-02-2009, 01:06 PM
Dusty at #10. Sounds fair to me, all things considered.


http://www.boston.com/sports/basebal...agerial_ranks/

By Nick Cafardo | May 31, 2009

In March 2008, with the help of scouts, front office people, players, and coaches, this reporter rated the managers 1-30. Here's a revised list, with previous rank in parentheses.


1. Tony La Russa, Cardinals: One of the best player evaluators, he amazingly keeps his team in the race and always maximizes performance. His body of work and current success put him in the top spot (4).
2. Terry Francona, Red Sox: Two championships in five years, and in contention again. Scores high with communication (3).
3. Jim Leyland, Tigers: Made a lot of roster changes after a disappointing '08, but he has the Tigers performing at a high level (1).
4. Bobby Cox, Braves: Probably the most respected manager in the game by his players. A fundamentally sound skipper (2).
5. Joe Torre, Dodgers: Tough times with the Manny Ramírez situation, but he can still take adversity and turn it into a positive (5).
6. Mike Scioscia, Angels: Survived a massive list of injuries to his pitching staff, and free agent losses like Mark Teixeira and Frankie Rodriguez. His teams are always well-prepared (6).
7. Charlie Manuel, Phillies: Easy does it, but he does it. Somehow wins with an average pitching staff. Great teacher of hitting (12).
8. Joe Maddon, Rays: State-of-the-art manager. Smart, innovative, and one of the great communicators (21).
9. Lou Piniella, Cubs: Facing adversity with injuries and underperforming key players. Hasn't changed his style; master motivator (10).
10. Dusty Baker, Reds: Experienced motivator whom players adore. Has the ability to minimize tough situations, as he did for many years managing Barry Bonds in San Francisco (11).
11. Bruce Bochy, Giants: Gets a lot of respect for his in-game maneuvers, knowledge of the game, and general demeanor (7).
12. Ron Gardenhire, Twins: Has a system that emphasizes fundamentals and personal responsibility. Players seem to flourish in the environment he creates (13).
13. Ken Macha, Brewers: Had a solid performance with the A's and has the Brewers near the top in NL Central with a subpar pitching staff (NA).
14. Cito Gaston, Blue Jays: Yep, the Jays are fading, but the two-time World Series winner has done a terrific job through the injuries and a thin roster (NA).
15. Joe Girardi, Yankees: The guy with the highest payroll always has the most to prove. Our panel was impressed with how he took a bad early situation and has regrouped (19).
16. Ozzie Guillen, White Sox: Emotional leader has had to deal with a diverse roster of young and old. Had the high of a championship in 2005, the in-between of last season's early playoff exit, and so far a challenging season with underachieving pitching staff (14).
17. Ron Washington, Rangers: Has advanced from his early days, when he was overwhelmed. An improving roster and farm system helps, and he does a good job juggling lineups and keeping players fresh (28).
18. Jerry Manuel, Mets: Runs the team with a nice, steady hand, but he'll always be judged by whether the Mets make the playoffs, and last year that didn't happen. Not the best tactician in the game or with his bullpen (NA).
19. Trey Hillman, Royals: Like Washington, he has an emerging roster and can teach young players. Has transformed the Royals from hapless to hopeful (29).
20.Eric Wedge, Indians: Tough going since winning Manager of the Year in '07. GM Mark Shapiro has taken responsibility for most of the downturn, but Wedge bears some blame (8).
21. Bud Black, Padres: To have this team around .500 after the misery of '08, and with a challenging roster, Black deserves credit for keeping it together (17).
22. Fredi Gonzalez, Marlins: Loves the teaching aspect, but the rap is he doesn't manage the game well. Works well with younger players (27).
23. John Russell, Pirates: Got his rookie season out of the way and is now considered far more savvy in his second season. Younger players are progressing and the Pirates seem less pathetic (30).
24. Dave Trembley, Orioles: Good communicator and motivator. The recall of catcher Matt Wieters "might make him smarter" according to one American League GM (26).
25. Bob Geren, A's: Poor Geren got a new offense, but injuries have decimated this team again. Hard to judge him when the A's constantly change direction (25).
26. Cecil Cooper, Astros: Has the rap, true or not, that he throws players under the bus in the media and never fully has their trust. On the positive side, he emphasizes discipline (24).
27. Manny Acta, Nationals: Trying to juggle a young rotation, a poor bullpen, and a good lineup in a poor environment (18).
28. Don Wakamatsu, Mariners: Has done a good job changing the culture and making players accountable. Solid during a game, but the sample size is small (NA).
29. A.J. Hinch, Diamondbacks: Former farm director was a controversial selection to replace Bob Melvin because he's never managed. The hope is his knowledge of the young players will lead to success (NA).
30. Jim Tracy, Rockies: A 562-572 record with the Dodgers and Pirates isn't stellar, but he is a good, solid manager who can run a game. Replaced the fired Clint Hurdle, who went 18-28 and had lost the team (NA).
__________________

Unassisted
06-02-2009, 02:34 PM
"Has the ability to minimize tough situations, as he did for many years managing Barry Bonds in San Francisco."

Does this mean that a key ability is going to waste in Dusty, now that the Reds seem to be bereft of moody stars? Or are there tough player-related situations this season that Dusty is handling so well that we don't even notice them?

15fan
06-02-2009, 02:49 PM
"1. Tony La Russa, Cardinals: One of the best player evaluators, he amazingly keeps his team in the race and always maximizes performance. His body of work and current success put him in the top spot (4)."

Joe Torre at #5 says "hello".

Count the number of rings that Torre has, then count the rings that managers 1-4 have.

durl
06-02-2009, 04:30 PM
"1. Tony La Russa, Cardinals: One of the best player evaluators, he amazingly keeps his team in the race and always maximizes performance. His body of work and current success put him in the top spot (4)."

Joe Torre at #5 says "hello".

Count the number of rings that Torre has, then count the rings that managers 1-4 have.

Good point. But don't most people think Torre SHOULD have won all those rings given the roster he had to work with? Not taking anything away from Torre, that's for sure. He knew exactly how to handle the players and the environment...a sign of a very good manager.

CaiGuy
06-02-2009, 04:39 PM
This is like a list of managers who have/had the best teams given to them by their GM.

oneupper
06-02-2009, 04:42 PM
This reads more like the team Power Ratings (standings).

I think Wedge, Acta, Gonzalez and Gardenhire are better than given credit for (to name a few).

westofyou
06-02-2009, 04:43 PM
Many folks have delved into the makeup of the manager, on the field in the clubhouse, with his players, with the fans etc… One interesting take was made in 1997 when Bill James tried to map the genealogy of the manager in his book “The Bill James Guide to Managers”

In the book James states that every manager is descended from one of three families, The Ned Hanlon family, Branch Rickey family or Connie Mack Family.
If we were to look at the “family” of managers in the context of the post war period what families would we have?

The Rickey based Dodger Family? - Dusty Baker is one

Rickey based Pirate, Reds family? -

It’s clear that Rickey still influences the managerial and organizational background of few franchises. In the future will managers be described as being from the Herzog or LaRussa family or Weaver family?

Other writers have explored the managerial makeup in-depth and on the surface, Thomas Boswell created one of my favorites and wrote in, “Why Time Begins on Opening Day” that all managers could be shoehorned into a specific family, or “types” of managers. They are as follows:

The Little Napoleon - Fiery, pugnacious and most often smart, they tend to burn out from their intensity and tend to alienate players on their own team quite often. Good examples are the Godfather John McGraw, Earl Weaver, Billy Martin and Lou Pinella.

The Peerless Leader - Quiet, folded arms and a stern gaze into the distance personify the peerless leader, they tend to be known for their no nonsense approach and fairness. The Godfather of this type would be Frank Chance. Recent types would be Frank Robinson, Jerry Narron, and Buck Showalter.

The Tall Tacticians - Similar to the above they tend to be quiet and stern, the difference lies in what Boswell called “Class” and the inability to ever get fired for something that they did, often living more on reputation then results. The Godfather of this would be Connie Mack. With recent examples being Gene Mauch, Davey Johnson, Tony LaRussa and Jim Leyland.

The Zeppo of this quartet would be the Uncle Robby, a necessary role in a world of intensity.

The Uncle Robby - The Uncle Robby is noted by a hangdog look on most occasions and possesses an affable demeanor that often puts everyone at ease and relaxes the clubhouse. Often after one of the above flame out the Uncle Robby is hired to smooth the corners out in the clubhouse. Uncle Robby’s are usually of the attitude that screams, “Let em play.” Of course Uncle Robby is Wilbert Robinson and some of his followers are Jack McKeon, Tom Lasorda, Don Zimmer and Dusty Baker

An interesting concept in my opinion and also a fun history exercise that helps you see the depth of the games past and how it all intermingles.

TRF
06-02-2009, 04:58 PM
woy, Jack McKeon seems to fit into both the Little Napoleon and the Uncle Robby classifications. Does he come from a particular family as posed by James?

westofyou
06-02-2009, 05:22 PM
woy, Jack McKeon seems to fit into both the Little Napoleon and the Uncle Robby classifications. Does he come from a particular family as posed by James?

Jacks long tenure was kind of split in two and it also involved a large generational change, I'd say that he might have evolved into a different type of manager due to the aforementioned, I'm sure some guys fit in two buckets here and there.

Mario-Rijo
06-02-2009, 05:33 PM
woy, Jack McKeon seems to fit into both the Little Napoleon and the Uncle Robby classifications. Does he come from a particular family as posed by James?

I would think Showalter fits into Little Napoleon as well, he seemed to alienate players like nobodys business.

Sea Ray
06-02-2009, 06:14 PM
Interesting that this author doesn't even get into evaluating the in-game managing tendancies of these managers which is what us Redszoners discuss all the time. My guess is Bob Boone would rank at the bottom of all time Reds managers because of the way he managed a game during the 9 innings

RedsManRick
06-02-2009, 08:02 PM
So the worst manager in baseball is "a good, solid manager who can run a game". Hmm.... I didn't realize all of the managers hailed from Lake Woebegon.

Is the ranking one team record or managerial acumen? It it's the latter, then I would argue the authors of the list have an awful time telling the difference.

15fan
06-02-2009, 08:56 PM
Good point. But don't most people think Torre SHOULD have won all those rings given the roster he had to work with? Not taking anything away from Torre, that's for sure. He knew exactly how to handle the players and the environment...a sign of a very good manager.

Sure.

But the thing is that you could say the same thing about LaRussa in Oakland. He had as dominant of a roster in the late 80s & early 90s as any team in the past quarter century.

But he only notched 1 WS.

Go back and look at the LA roster that whipped the A's in 1988. And then compare the 1990 Reds against the 1990 A's. How on earth does anyone take those two A's teams and go a combined 1-8 against the 88 Dodgers & 90 Reds?

Those are two of the biggest choke jobs by a manager in any sport in my lifetime.

Torre, on the other hand, delivered 4 in 5 years.

If the criteria, as listed by the author, includes "body of work", it's absurd that anyone else in the game is ranked ahead of Torre on that list.

RFS62
06-02-2009, 09:07 PM
Go back and look at the LA roster that whipped the A's in 1988. And then compare the 1990 Reds against the 1990 A's. How on earth does anyone take those two A's teams and go a combined 1-8 against the 88 Dodgers & 90 Reds?

Those are two of the biggest choke jobs by a manager in any sport in my lifetime.






Couldn't agree more.

But couldn't you say about the same about the Reds in the early '70's, before the breakthrough in 1975?

Stewie
06-02-2009, 10:36 PM
The Uncle Robby - The Uncle Robby is noted by a hangdog look on most occasions and possesses an affable demeanor that often puts everyone at ease and relaxes the clubhouse. Often after one of the above flame out the Uncle Robby is hired to smooth the corners out in the clubhouse. Uncle Robby’s are usually of the attitude that screams, “Let em play.” Of course Uncle Robby is Wilbert Robinson and some of his followers are Jack McKeon, Tom Lasorda, Don Zimmer and Dusty Baker

An interesting concept in my opinion and also a fun history exercise that helps you see the depth of the games past and how it all intermingles.

This more or less describes what the Phillies did a few years back when they replaced good ol' Larry Bowa (obviously a Little Napoleon) with Charlie Manuel after Bowa pretty much destroyed the locker room.

BCubb2003
06-02-2009, 11:11 PM
I think hiring managers has often gone in cycles. The hard guy with all rules comes in and gets every to sharpen up and focus, until things wrong and everybody's playing tight and getting on each other, then the easygoing guy comes in and loosens everybody up, until they're playing sloppy and act like they don't care. Rinse and repeat.

*BaseClogger*
06-03-2009, 01:09 AM
Terry Fracona is the best manager in baseball IMO...

blumj
06-03-2009, 04:55 AM
So the worst manager in baseball is "a good, solid manager who can run a game". Hmm.... I didn't realize all of the managers hailed from Lake Woebegon.

Is the ranking one team record or managerial acumen? It it's the latter, then I would argue the authors of the list have an awful time telling the difference.

The author is Nick Cafardo. He isn't really known for putting a lot of thought or effort into his work. He's almost single-handedly ruined the whole Sunday paper experience for a lot of Boston fans.

blumj
06-03-2009, 05:14 AM
Terry Fracona is the best manager in baseball IMO...
He won his 500th game with the Red Sox last night, only the 3rd Red Sox manager to ever get 500.

15fan
06-03-2009, 08:42 AM
Couldn't agree more.

But couldn't you say about the same about the Reds in the early '70's, before the breakthrough in 1975?

Sure could.

But we're not arguing that Sparky is the best manager in the game. We're arguing against TLR being the best manager in the game. ;)

George Anderson
06-03-2009, 10:22 AM
Couldn't agree more.

But couldn't you say about the same about the Reds in the early '70's, before the breakthrough in 1975?

I don't think the Reds of the early 70's ranks with the choke jobs LaRussa's teams did in 88' and 90'. The 88' and 90' A's were pretty heavy favorites to win the WS while the 72' Reds were favored against the A's but not to the degree the 88' and 90" A's teams were favored against the Dodgers and Reds respectively. If I recall in 70' Baltimore was the favorite against the Reds.