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Ranking the Current MLB Managers
Managers don’t throw a single pitch. They don’t take a single grounder, get a single hit, or score a single run. Yet having the right manager is the key to winning. Managers, like Joe Madden, get a lot of credit for their team’s success but when teams fail, managers take a bulk of the blame (Terry Francona). I’ve decided to take a look at the 30 MLB managers and rank them based upon success, managing ability and who’d I want as my guy if I were starting a team today.
- Joe Maddon, Rays: Maddon has won and won consistently since getting to Tampa in 2006. He’s finished 1st, 3rd, 1st, and 2nd in baseball’s toughest division with a payroll about a quarter of that of his competitors. Credit for this must be given to the Rays’ front office but Maddon has done a great job.
- Ron Washington, Rangers: Some may question Ron’s methods and not always agree with his in game decisions but you just can’t argue with success. Washington’s clubs have won the AL pennant in each of the last two seasons.
- Charlie Manuel, Phillies: Manuel took over the Phillies in 2005 after being fired mid-season by the Indians. Since then, the Phillies have finished no worse than 2nd in the NL East and Manuel’s clubs have won at least 90 games in each of the last four seasons, including 102 last year. He’s also got a World Series ring from 2008.
- Jim Leyland, Tigers: Leyland is perhaps the most experienced manager on our list, he’s manger for most of the last 35 years. Though he hasn’t won a championship since 1997 with the Marlins, there’s a reason he’s still around, Leyland can win with just about any team and is willing to make the tough decisions to do so.
- Mike Scioscia, Angels: As manager of the Angels for the past 11 seasons, Scioscia has won 100 games once and 90 games five times. He’s made it to the post season 6 times and won one world championship. He is also extremely involved in front office moves, or at least he was until this last year when he took a more conventional manger’s role.
- Ron Roenicke, Brewers: Ok, I know, he’s only had one year of managerial experience but hear me out on this one. The Brewers went all in before the season started and it payed off in major part because of the manager. The Brew Crew won 96 games last year and made it to the NLCS. Roenicke did a great job with his pitching staff and handled the whole K-Rod situation like a veteran. I think he’s going to become a big name in managing.
- Ron Gardenhire, Twins: Last year was a disaster but not of Gardenhire’s doing. His best two players were hurt. Though he has never won a playoff series as a manager, Ron’s clubs have made the postseason in 6 of his 9 seasons in Minnie.
- Buck Showalter, Orioles: Ok, this might be a little high for the manager of a last place team but give Buck a chance. Baltimore is only his most recent stop, he’s previously been a manger for a bunch of other successful teams and won 100 games in Arizona in 2009. He gets big points for the “I’d want to start a team with him at the helm” factor.
- Bruce Bochy, Giants: The 2010 champs had a disappointing year this season mostly because they couldn’t hit. Bochy gets major credit for keeping all his young starters happy, developing Madison Bumgarner into a really good player, and sitting through all those edge-of-your-seat Brian Wilson saves.
- Joe Girardi, Yankees: Girardi was a managerial phenom in Miami before going to New York and winning the Series in his first year. He does a great job handling New York and dealing with all the major personalities on the roster. Plus, the way he weathered that rotation and AJ Burnett to win the division last year was impressive. After the Top 10, the quality of names on this list drops dramatically. There’s a big gap between numbers 10 and 11.
- Kirk Gibson, Diamondbacks: Kirk took a last place team and won the NL West with them. He’s secured himself in his job in the desert, let’s see if he can repeat the magic next season.
- Freddie Gonzalez, Braves: Freddie would have been much higher on this list if not for the Braves’s September collapse. He did a poor job of holding his team together, all they had to do was win 1 more game to make it but they couldn’t get it done. Terry Francona lost his job this winter in a similar situation.
- Clint Hurdle, Pirates: I was very impressed with the Pirates play for most of this season, though they did drop off a lot towards the end. Maybe Hurlde is the right guy to finally turn this franchise around.
- Terry Collins, Mets: Collins is really a stop gap until the Mets turn things around and GM Sandy Alderson can get a manger he really wants for the long haul. That said, Terry did a good job with a crappy team.
- Davey Johnson, Nationals: This season will be a big test for the veteran manger. He’s got a really good team, what can he do with it in a really tough division?
- John Farrell, Blue Jays: Like Johnson, this season will be big for John Farrell. He left his job as Boston’s pitching coach to manage the Jays and did a fine job last year. Now he’s got a little experience managing, let’s see what he can do.
- Bobby Valentine, Boston: A wealth of baseball knowledge with a surprisingly small amount of success in the MLB. He’s got a big job ahead of him.
- Don Mattingly, Dodgers: Donnie Baseball was ok in his first season and had to deal with a lot of off field stuff but he should have won more games considering he had the Cy Young award winner and MVP runner-up.
- Bud Black, Padres: He had a real good season in 2010 but is a decidedly average manager.
- Dusty Baker: Dusty’s had a lot of success in his managerial career but if you need a good, young pitcher run into the ground, he’s still your guy.
- Ned Yost, Royals: Another guy facing a big year . The Royals finally have all their pieces, let’s see what Yost can do with them.
- Jim Tracy, Rockies: He’s a ok manager. What? I got nothing.
- Ozzie Guillen: Marlins: He’s a loudmouth pain in the rear. How long can he continue to live off that one World Series Championship?
- Brad Mills, Astros: He can’t really be blamed for the fact that he’s got a AAA team in the pros.
- Manny Acta, Indians: Name something about Manny Acta. I can’t either.
- Eric Wedge, Mariners: He was ok with Cleveland until he got fired, now he’s ok in Seattle. Moving on.
- Bob Melvin, A’s: His GM just traded away any half way decent player. Good Luck.
- Dale Sveum: If the Cubs and Red Sox were fighting over him he must be good, right?
Mike Matheny, Cardinals and Robin Ventura, White Sox: Both new managers. You’ve got to show me at least one game before getting ranked, sorry.