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Eephus

Greatest Modern Manager

   61 members have voted

  1. 1. Greatest manager since 1986

    • Tony LaRussa
      18
    • Bobby Cox
      17
    • Joe Torre
      6
    • Sparky Anderson
      13
    • Gene Mauch
      1
    • Lou Piniella
      0
    • Tommy Lasorda
      0
    • Jim Leyland
      2
    • Dick Williams
      0

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26 posts in this topic

Poll options include all managers among top 20 in all-time wins who were active in any year from 1986 until present

Tony LaRussa........ 1979-2011 .. 5097 gm (2728-2365) 0.536 14 playoffs 3 champs 6 pennants

Bobby Cox........... 1978-2010 .. 4508 gm (2504-2001) 0.556 16 playoffs 1 champs 5 pennants

Joe Torre........... 1977-2010 .. 4329 gm (2326-1997) 0.538 15 playoffs 4 champs 6 pennants

Sparky Anderson..... 1970-1995 .. 4030 gm (2194-1834) 0.545 7 playoffs 3 champs 5 pennants

Gene Mauch.......... 1960-1987 .. 3942 gm (1902-2037) 0.483 2 playoffs 0 champs 0 pennats

Lou Piniella........ 1986-2010 .. 3548 gm (1835-1713) 0.517 7 playoffs 1 champs 1 pennants

Tom Lasorda......... 1976-1996 .. 3040 gm (1599-1439) 0.526 7 playoffs 2 champs 4 pennants

Jim Leyland......... 1986-2011 .. 3175 gm (1588-1585) 0.500 6 playoffs 1 champs 2 pennants

Dick Williams....... 1967-1988 .. 3023 gm (1571-1451) 0.520 5 playoffs 2 champs 4 pennants

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Why 1986? What about that year would denote the start of the modern era? Or are you just going for the best manager of the past 25 years?

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The greatest I've ever seen, and he was active but not in his heyday during your window, is Billy Martin. Managers are on the whole overrated, but Billy, from adapting his style to fit the talent he had, his preternatural game instinct, and Billy Ball to managing a bullpen, is tops. Think Pinella, sort of, without him constant churning and burning the pen.

Inside strictly your era, not listed but also important is Tom Kelly who got max results out of his teams, and they usually played the game the right way.

I imagine this poll given it's timing is somehow a nod to LaRussa and he's a curious case. He probably should have gotten at least one more title out of that late 80s As team, for they were absolutely loaded. But these last two titles were quite epic and the third one,'especially how they won it, really cements his status. I guess I place him third, despite the early disappointment.

I will say this of LaRussa though, far and away the most influenial manager of all time. I find it funny that he was so critical moneyball, when he was the first guy I ever saw with a binder in the dugout. He, along with Duncan's feedback, invented relief specialization, going batter to batter in every regular season game and the one inning closer as an absolute position of need. It was amazing how quickly it took hold and how unshakable it's been

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Gene Mauch is going to get shutout in this.

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Why 1986? What about that year would denote the start of the modern era? Or are you just going for the best manager of the past 25 years?

The cut line was set pretty arbitrarily at 25 years. I wanted to include some additional poll options. Ralph Houk missed out by a couple of years and Earl Weaver (and his .583 winning percentage) fell just short on number of wins. Dusty Baker and Bruce Bochy should enter the all-time top 20 in the next year or two.

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On that list I give the nod to Bobby Cox slightly over Sparky and TLR. My favorite manager just missed the cutoff. Whitey Herzog managed the heck out those early 80s Cardinal teams and made them play way better than their individual talents.

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It's early, but I might have to go with Joe Maddon fairly soon. The guy has a .510 winning percentage and three playoff appearances (including one World Series and one season of the greatest come-from-behind September in baseball history) in six years with a microscopic payroll in the freaking AL East. Hard to beat that.

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It's early, but I might have to go with Joe Maddon fairly soon. The guy has a .510 winning percentage and three playoff appearances (including one World Series and one season of the greatest come-from-behind September in baseball history) in six years with a microscopic payroll in the freaking AL East. Hard to beat that.

Actually, I can...with the guys in the poll

:loco:

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It's early, but I might have to go with Joe Maddon fairly soon. The guy has a .510 winning percentage and three playoff appearances (including one World Series and one season of the greatest come-from-behind September in baseball history) in six years with a microscopic payroll in the freaking AL East. Hard to beat that.

Actually, I can...with the guys in the poll

:loco:

Really? You think a record of, say, .600 with the Yankees is more impressive than a record of .510 with the Rays?

Must be easy for you to decide who the coach of the year is every year in every sport- the guy whose team had the best record! Or is it the one who wins the championship? Why even bother with a manager of the year award at all? Just attach it to the World Series trophy with duct tape!

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It's early, but I might have to go with Joe Maddon fairly soon. The guy has a .510 winning percentage and three playoff appearances (including one World Series and one season of the greatest come-from-behind September in baseball history) in six years with a microscopic payroll in the freaking AL East. Hard to beat that.

Actually, I can...with the guys in the poll

:loco:

Really? You think a record of, say, .600 with the Yankees is more impressive than a record of .510 with the Rays?

Must be easy for you to decide who the coach of the year is every year in every sport- the guy whose team had the best record! Or is it the one who wins the championship? Why even bother with a manager of the year award at all? Just attach it to the World Series trophy with duct tape!

I think a manager has to win a WS in order to reach the Pantheon. The post-expansion managers with the most wins over .500 are Jimy Williams, Dusty Baker and Ron Gardenhire. I'd slot Maddon in with those guys before the likes of LaRussa or Sparky.

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It's early, but I might have to go with Joe Maddon fairly soon. The guy has a .510 winning percentage and three playoff appearances (including one World Series and one season of the greatest come-from-behind September in baseball history) in six years with a microscopic payroll in the freaking AL East. Hard to beat that.

Actually, I can...with the guys in the poll

:loco:

Really? You think a record of, say, .600 with the Yankees is more impressive than a record of .510 with the Rays?

Must be easy for you to decide who the coach of the year is every year in every sport- the guy whose team had the best record! Or is it the one who wins the championship? Why even bother with a manager of the year award at all? Just attach it to the World Series trophy with duct tape!

I think a manager has to win a WS in order to reach the Pantheon. The post-expansion managers with the most wins over .500 are Jimy Williams, Dusty Baker and Ron Gardenhire. I'd slot Maddon in with those guys before the likes of LaRussa or Sparky.
I think you're right in terms of the general public perception. I just have a different perspective I guess. I think the postseason is a crapshoot so the best thing a team can do is get there consistently, so I give the most credit to managers who do that more regularly than you would expect.

I also personally think baseball manager is the most overrated position in sports. A monkey could do it. A computer could definitely do it better than any manager who has ever lived. So with that perspective in mind, I think over the last decade or so Maddon's done far and away the most impressive job of getting the most from his players and otherwise staying out of the way.

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It's early, but I might have to go with Joe Maddon fairly soon. The guy has a .510 winning percentage and three playoff appearances (including one World Series and one season of the greatest come-from-behind September in baseball history) in six years with a microscopic payroll in the freaking AL East. Hard to beat that.

Actually, I can...with the guys in the poll

:loco:

Really? You think a record of, say, .600 with the Yankees is more impressive than a record of .510 with the Rays?

Must be easy for you to decide who the coach of the year is every year in every sport- the guy whose team had the best record! Or is it the one who wins the championship? Why even bother with a manager of the year award at all? Just attach it to the World Series trophy with duct tape!

I think a manager has to win a WS in order to reach the Pantheon. The post-expansion managers with the most wins over .500 are Jimy Williams, Dusty Baker and Ron Gardenhire. I'd slot Maddon in with those guys before the likes of LaRussa or Sparky.
I think you're right in terms of the general public perception. I just have a different perspective I guess. I think the postseason is a crapshoot so the best thing a team can do is get there consistently, so I give the most credit to managers who do that more regularly than you would expect.

I also personally think baseball manager is the most overrated position in sports. A monkey could do it. A computer could definitely do it better than any manager who has ever lived. So with that perspective in mind, I think over the last decade or so Maddon's done far and away the most impressive job of getting the most from his players and otherwise staying out of the way.

I agree the on the field tactical decisions of a baseball manager aren't as complex as in basketball, football, hockey or soccer. But you can't underestimate the people management involved with keeping 25 egos pointed in the same direction working together over a seven month period. Maddon seems like he does a good job with this. This has always been Dusty's strength IMO although he gets criticized for the stuff that happens between the lines.

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It's early, but I might have to go with Joe Maddon fairly soon. The guy has a .510 winning percentage and three playoff appearances (including one World Series and one season of the greatest come-from-behind September in baseball history) in six years with a microscopic payroll in the freaking AL East. Hard to beat that.

Actually, I can...with the guys in the poll

:loco:

Really? You think a record of, say, .600 with the Yankees is more impressive than a record of .510 with the Rays?

Must be easy for you to decide who the coach of the year is every year in every sport- the guy whose team had the best record! Or is it the one who wins the championship? Why even bother with a manager of the year award at all? Just attach it to the World Series trophy with duct tape!

I think a manager has to win a WS in order to reach the Pantheon. The post-expansion managers with the most wins over .500 are Jimy Williams, Dusty Baker and Ron Gardenhire. I'd slot Maddon in with those guys before the likes of LaRussa or Sparky.
If this were a HOF debate, Maddon doesn't have enough time in to qualify, so to speak. Eephus is right in that - for better or worse - you're going to have to bring home a WS trophy to entered into the discussion. Well, between that and Manager of the Year, I suppose.

I would disagree that playoffs are a crapshoot. Yes, there are upsets and a team like the Cardinals rises up, get hot, and blows everyone away. (The prime example is the 87 Twins who won 83 regular season games and beat the Tigers & Cardinals.) On the whole, the deeper and more talented team will win. So Maddon can win in TB with a limited payroll; by your logic, Mike Hargrove is a sure-fire HOF manager for what he did with the Indians of the 90s.

Right now, Maddon is in with Williams, Baker, and Gardy - the class of good.

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I would disagree that playoffs are a crapshoot. Yes, there are upsets and a team like the Cardinals rises up, get hot, and blows everyone away. (The prime example is the 87 Twins who won 83 regular season games and beat the Tigers & Cardinals.) On the whole, the deeper and more talented team will win.

Deeper, really? The playoffs shorten the rotation to 3 starters and a spot starter. You also don't need to give position players days off or generally use any more than a few relievers. The playoffs are most certainly not about the deeper team.

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I would disagree that playoffs are a crapshoot. Yes, there are upsets and a team like the Cardinals rises up, get hot, and blows everyone away. (The prime example is the 87 Twins who won 83 regular season games and beat the Tigers & Cardinals.) On the whole, the deeper and more talented team will win.

Deeper, really? The playoffs shorten the rotation to 3 starters and a spot starter. You also don't need to give position players days off or generally use any more than a few relievers. The playoffs are most certainly not about the deeper team.
:goodposting:

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It's early, but I might have to go with Joe Maddon fairly soon. The guy has a .510 winning percentage and three playoff appearances (including one World Series and one season of the greatest come-from-behind September in baseball history) in six years with a microscopic payroll in the freaking AL East. Hard to beat that.

It may be a small payroll, but Tampa has a ton of talent. So really, Andrew Friedman deserves a ton of credit.Maddon may too, but citing the small payroll as a reason is not a good argument.

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It's early, but I might have to go with Joe Maddon fairly soon. The guy has a .510 winning percentage and three playoff appearances (including one World Series and one season of the greatest come-from-behind September in baseball history) in six years with a microscopic payroll in the freaking AL East. Hard to beat that.

It may be a small payroll, but Tampa has a ton of talent. So really, Andrew Friedman deserves a ton of credit.Maddon may too, but citing the small payroll as a reason is not a good argument.
I would give equal credit to Friedman too.Looking at Joe, he has gotten nothing out of the supremely talented BJ Upton and got very little out of Delmon Young before that. Even Longoria is a disappointment to me on the whole. He also has managed mostly pressure free games and after a terrific 2008, they were eliminated at home in back to back years by the Rangers, when momentum was with them in both cases. He's not a great game manager, but he does a good job with the pen and a great job with guys like Zobrist getting them around the diamond to put his best lineup out there. He's on the way, but he's not perfect.

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I think a manager's most important job is something we can't see or measure. Its how they manage the people and egos. Its what goes on inside the clubhouse and in the training room and on the road, etc.

During the game - they should basically just put their best 9 guys on the lineup and let them at it. And then figure out when and if to pull a pitcher. Too much more and they are just overmanaging.

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Can't believe Bobby Cox is winning this poll despite his postseason failures.

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even though TLR has been great in STL. shouldnt he have won more than 1 title in Oak??

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even though TLR has been great in STL. shouldnt he have won more than 1 title in Oak??

To be fair, he mad 3 WS appearances with Oakland. Can't win them all.

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During the game - they should basically just put their best 9 guys on the lineup and let them at it. And then figure out when and if to pull a pitcher. Too much more and they are just overmanaging.

Ahh, an American League fan I see. ;)

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Gene Mauch is going to get shutout in this.

:goodposting:

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Bobby Cox------16 playoffs----1 Championship------- EPIC FAIL

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