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Six Greatest Baseball Managers From the Seventies to Present
Managing a baseball team can be a short lived career but these six managers all had great careers that lasted for years. They all had at least 1400 wins, 4 pennants, and a world series championship. I was going to do the best five managers but I couldn't decide which manager to leave off the list. All these are well deserving and could be arranged in any order.
6. Tommy Lasorda
Tommy Lasordas only Major League managing job was with the Los Angeles Dodgers a title that lasted 21 years. This is an accomplishment in it self, being with one team that long. He compiled a 1599-1439(.526) record (17th all time in wins) with 8 division titles, 4 NL pennants, and 2 world series championships. He was also a two time manager of the year. He has 31 postseason wins,6th all time. In his time he coached 9 NL rookies of the year showing the emphasis Lasorda and the Dodgers put on developing young players.
5. Joe Torre
5th in total wins with a 2310-1977 (.538) career record Joe Torre had a great career with his best years being with the New York Yankees. He also had stops with the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, St.Louis Cardinals, and the Los Angeles Dodgers all together totaling 29 years as a manager. In his 12 years with the Yankees he won 10 AL East titles,6 pennants, and 4 world series titles. He also holds the record for postseason wins with 84. A little side note on Torre is that he was very good ballplayer as a catcher with a career .297 batting average. He was a 9 time all star.
4. Tony Larussa
Tony Larussa managed for 33 years in the majors with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland A's, and the St. Louis Cardinals. The 33 years puts him tied for 2nd all time behind Connie Mack and tied with John McGraw for most years managing in the majors. Larussa has a 2728-2365 (.536) career record (3rd all time with wins) with 6 pennants and 3 world series. With a world series championship with the A's and two with the Cardinals he was the only second manager to win a title in both leagues. His 70 postseason wins rank him second all time. Larussa became the first manager to win the manager of the year 4 times.
3. Bobby Cox
Bobby Cox ranks 4th all time in wins with a 2504-2001 (.556) career record. He managed the Atlanta Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays having two seperate stints with the Braves sandwiched around the Blue Jays. With his last go around with the Braves he led them to the division title every year, excluding the strike shortened season in 1994, from 1991-2005. He is 3rd all time with 67 postseason wins. He won his only world series in 1995 along with 5 pennants for his career. He won 4 manager of the year awards with his last one coming in 2005. He really turned the Braves around to where they are contenders every year. Bobby Cox has the distinction of holding the record for most ejections by a manager with a 158.
2. Earl Weaver
Earl Weaver has the best winning percentage of the managers on this list with a 1480-1060(.583) record. He coached the Baltimore Orioles for 17 seasons winning 6 division titles, 4 pennants, and 1 world series. He had only one losing season while winning over 100 games five times. Weaver was known for utilizing stats in determining matchups thus making good use of platooning players. He was one of the first to utilize stats to the extreme like he did. He also did not believe in small ball. He couldn't stand the sac bunt or the hit and run claiming that was giving away outs. Weaver was very smart about the game. Weaver's 17 years as a manager in the majors is considerably less than the others on this list but his accomplishments rank him right up there at the top.
1. Sparky Anderson
Sparky Anderson was the first manager to win world series titles in both the AL and NL winning with the 1975 and 1976 Cincinnati Reds and the 1984 Detroit Tigers. He is 6th in all time wins with a 2194-1834 (.545) career record along with 7 division titles and 5 pennants. He managed for 26 years earning two AL manager of the year awards. His Big Red Machine of 1975 and 1976 is considered one of the greatest teams of all time compiling a 14-3 in the playoffs on their way to winning two world series. His .618 winning percentage in the postseason ranks third all time while his 34 postseason wins ranks 5th all time. He is considered the innovator in using relief pitching like we see it now. Any sign of weakness from a pitcher he would pull them from the game thus earning the nickname Captain Hook.
This list could go in any order. All these managers are great and were great for the game. Ten years we will be talking about different managers to add to this list. Someone like Mike Scioscia, Jim Leyland, Terry Francona, maybe Dusty Baker.