Friday, June 24, 2005

Rank Managers

Over at ESPN SportsNation, they're asking:

Who is the best of the best, when it comes to the men on the bench in MLB? Do you put Joe Torre at the top of the heap, or are you more impressed with what Ron Gardenhire does with limited resources? How about Bobby Cox and his dynastic Braves or the innovative Tony La Russa? Heck, even Buddy Bell has a winning record with the Royals this season! Help settle SportsNation's rankings....

It's your chance to register your rankings of the Top 5 managers in the game, or go wild and rank all 30.

Looking over the rogue's gallery, it occurs to me that I have a negative or nil opinion about the vast majority of the lot. You know, when Gardy is criticized by fans, there is always someone ready to insist that the man in charge must really know best, as if there is a rigorous screening process to ensure that only the wisest and most qualified leaders of men could be entrusted to manage a major league baseball team. But look over the 30 pictures and tell me how far you get into your rankings before you're up against managers who make you shrug, or guys you'd never even want interviewed for a job in the Twins dugout, and guys who may not even be qualified to manage the team's laundry, truth be told.

I have a little trouble settling on five active managers I'd want in the Twins dugout, and a lot of trouble selecting ten. This doesn't make me any more grateful for our blessings to have Gardy in charge, as some lesser of possible evils. Instead, it confirms for me that there isn't anything sacred about the field manager's job or most men who hold it. There are a few great ones. Some lousy ones. Many who could win if you give 'em the horses, but could just as well be fired, retired, or recycled if not. I'd lump Gardy with the majority in the last category.

How does Gardy rate with you?

For what it's worth, these are the current rankings in the poll:

1. LaRussa
2. Cox
3. Torre
4. Robinson
5. Scioscia
6. Gardenhire
7. Showalter
8. Guillen
9. McKeon
10. Francona
11. Baker
12. Piniella
13. Alou
14. Bochy
15. Tracy
16. Mazzilli
17. Randolph
18. Trammell
19. Yost
20. Manuel
21. Garner
22. Hargrove
23. Melvin
24. Macha
25. McClendon
26. Wedge
27. Bell
28. Gibbons
29. Miley
30. Hurdle


At 6/24/2005 9:43 AM, Anonymous Jim H. said...

I like McKeon mainly because he's old, seems to have a good time, and will candidly say that the manager isn't very important.

As for the rest, I'm with Mr. Wig. If these were racehorses, the middle of the pack would be very crowded.

At 6/24/2005 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do tend to give the manager the benefit of the doubt in situations that aren't cut and dried. My reasoning is simple: 1. The manager is in a position to have specific day-to-day knowledge that I don't have. There may be aches and pains, personal problems or other issues affecting a specific player that aren't public knowledge. 2. The manager has been involved in organized baseball for a long time. While this doesn't guarantee knowledge or success, it does mean the manager has had the opportunity to view the game from a vantage point few of us will ever reach.

None of that means I don't cringe when Gardy (or any other manager) does something that I don't agree with. But I do recognize that they might just know something I don't.

At 6/24/2005 3:25 PM, Blogger amr said...

Gardy is the only one they pictured without a hat. I doubt I knew half of those men.

At 6/24/2005 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a bunch of crap. If you want to talk about best managers or coaching value. It's Leo Mazzone. He's saved the Braves pitching staff over a half run of ERA throughout the years according to some very thorough analysis. That's huge. So the answer is #31. None of the above. Leo Mazzone is the most valuable coach in the game.

-Andy Wink
MVN Twins Killings

At 6/24/2005 5:03 PM, Blogger frightwig said...

#29 in the poll got fired today. Clint Hurdle, don't answer your phone!

At 6/24/2005 5:18 PM, Blogger SBG said...

At least he knows that the left fielder must hit first in the lineup.


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