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View Full Version : Is Sparky Anderson a top 5 manager all time?



fearofpopvol1
08-03-2012, 05:27 AM
This is somewhat subjective, because it depends on how much you value championships vs. pennants vs winning percentage. It's also difficult to properly evaluate someone like John McGraw, who has some of the best numbers of any manager, but managed in a time before probably everyone on RZ was born.

I still think Sparky would be top 5, barely. Here is how I would go (in order)...

Joe McCarthy
Casey Stengal
Walter Alston
Joe Torre
Sparky Anderson

I think you could definitely make a good case for John McGraw over Sparky (and some of the others), but I truly believe that Sparky managed in a largely tougher era than McGraw did. I also think you could make a great case for Connie Mack, as he was around forever and racked up the most wins ever, but his overall winning percentage was much lower than Sparky's. Miller Huggins is another guy that could be considered too, but I give Sparky an edge because he won a world series in both leagues.

What do you think? Who is your top 5 and why?

Dan
08-03-2012, 07:02 AM
Sparky also contributed to the game. He's generally considered the father of modern bullpen usage. He brought about the idea of the specialized reliever.

cumberlandreds
08-03-2012, 08:13 AM
Sparky won a world championship in both leagues that has to rank him high just on that alone. Like Dan said he was the father of specialized relievers and not being afraid of using his relievers often.

RedsBaron
08-03-2012, 09:00 AM
Ranking managers is quite subjective and the expected duties of managers have changed over the decades. It is my understanding that John McGraw essentially functioned as manager, GM, director of scouting and virtual CEO for much of his tenure with the Giants, and of course Connie Mack as owner filled all those roles with the A's.
My top five, in no particular order, would include Joe McCarthy, Walter Alston, McGraw, and probably Casey Stengel and Sparky. While I don't like him Tony LaRussa has a case to be included. While he only won one World Series I think Earl Weaver was an excellent manager. Joe Torre has a case.
McCarthy was successful at several different venues. Alston won championships with an offense heavy team in Brooklyn (though the Dodgers pitching was good for its era) and then the following decade with a pitching lead team. Stengel never won much anywhere other than with the Yankees but his success there was without equal. McGraw won in the deadball and in the lively ball eras. Sparky of course won in both leagues.
I will say this: If I had major league talent and could play for any manager in history, I would pick Sparky. He was both a good manager and a good person.

redsmetz
08-03-2012, 09:43 AM
This piece covers the writer's Top 10, but it's a decent starting point for laying out the pluses and minuses of the leading candidates.

http://m.espn.go.com/mlb/story?storyId=6540410&wjb

He ranks Sparky at #9 and I'm not sure I can argue with it. There's a good number for consideration and with many of these "top" lists, there's a plethora of worthy candidates.

One who isn't on the list I've posted and who has not come up in this conversation (I think), is Bill McKechnie. Interesting read here and I'm going to have to check out the book mentioned, "1939".

http://www.baseball-fever.com/showthread.php?72430-Bill-McKechnie-A-Great-Manager-Who-Is-Often-Overlooked

Raisor
08-03-2012, 09:44 AM
Raisor is confused why Bob Boone is not in the top five.

George Anderson
08-03-2012, 10:30 AM
That is a tough question, obviously I am very fond of Sparky but I kinda gauge a manager not so much how many championships or games he won but instead how well did considering the amount of talent he had. When Sparky had talent in Cincy and early on in Detroit he was among the best, but later in his career when he didn't have talent it was not to pretty.

One guy that doesn't get alot of notoriety as a great manager was one of Sparky's mentors Gene Mauch. Gene is #9 on the all time win list but never won a pennant. He is however revered by many in the game as one of the best ever not only for game management but also for getting alot out of the talent he had in Philly, Montreal, Minnesota and California.

I know WOY will turn his stomach on this one but I hold high regard for Billy Martin. He never stayed in one place to long but when he was there his teams generally played above their talent level.

I am not saying Mauch and Martin are in the Top 5 of all time but I think they were very underrated and worthy of being mentioned as among the best.

westofyou
08-03-2012, 10:32 AM
Sparky top five?

Nah

Mine

McGraw
Stengel
LaRussa
Weaver
MCarthy

westofyou
08-03-2012, 10:33 AM
Martin was good, but he was a road flare manager, burns bright short time

cincrazy
08-03-2012, 11:15 AM
Sparky top five?

Nah

Mine

McGraw
Stengel
LaRussa
Weaver
MCarthy

How dare you!

Tom Servo
08-03-2012, 11:50 AM
Raisor is confused why Bob Boone is not in the top five.
Servo says this is one of his favorite archived threads for the first several responses.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7246

kaldaniels
08-03-2012, 11:52 AM
Servo says this is one of his favorite archived threads for the first several responses.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7246

Did he really say "points" instead of "runs", or was that a joke?

dfs
08-03-2012, 02:04 PM
Did he really say "points" instead of "runs", or was that a joke?

Bad.Old.Days.

My reds are 20+ games over 500. I refuse to remember Bob Boone.