The best manager in every team's history

June 18th, 2020

No one loves a good debate quite like baseball fans, and with that in mind, we asked each of our beat reporters to rank the top five players by position in the history of their franchise, based on each player's career with that franchise. The rosters are set, and all that's left to decide are the managers.

All-time players by team: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | LF | CF | RF | DH | RHPs | LHPs | Relievers

These rankings are for fun and debate purposes only, and fans were able to participate in Twitter polls to vote for their favorites. Here are the No. 1 managers for every club, as chosen by's beat reporters.

American League East

Blue Jays: Cito Gaston, 1989-97, 2008-10
Key fact: Leads all Blue Jays managers in games (1,731) and wins (894)
Cito Gaston led the Blue Jays to their greatest moments as an organization, winning back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993 while becoming the first Black manager to win a World Series. No manager in Blue Jays history has topped Gaston’s 1,731 games or 894 wins, and if those records ever do fall, it will be many years from now. More >

Orioles: Earl Weaver, 1968-82, ’85-86
Key fact: Franchise's all-time leader in wins and member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame
Pitching, defense and the three-run homer ... and so much more. The incomparable Earl of Baltimore, the sorest loser who ever lived, Earl Weaver is remembered for many things and as the undisputed greatest Orioles manager of all-time. More >

Rays: Joe Maddon, 2006-14
Key fact: Led the Rays to four of their postseason appearances -- and lone World Series appearance in 2008
There’s no need to overthink this pick. Hiring Maddon from the Angels was seen as a somewhat risky choice, but he provided stability for a young Rays organization that had gone through three managers in its first eight years of existence. More >

Red Sox: Terry Francona, 2004-11
Key fact: His 744 wins rank second in team history behind Joe Cronin
When Francona arrived in Boston, the Red Sox hadn’t won the World Series in 86 years. That all changed in Tito’s first year at the helm -- 2004. Not only did the Red Sox win it all, but they became the first -- and still only -- team in MLB history to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a postseason series. Francona led the club to a second title in ‘07, and he remains a fan favorite in Boston. More >

Yankees: Casey Stengel, 1949-60
Key fact: Won seven World Series titles in 12 seasons with the Yankees
It was a tough call between Casey Stengel and Joe McCarthy, each of whom won seven World Series championships helming the Yankees, but we ultimately gave the edge to "The Old Perfessor" -- in part because of his reputation as an authentic and eccentric ambassador who made the game fun for millions. Stengel enjoyed a celebrated 54-year career in professional baseball, during which he became one of the game’s greatest managers, establishing a Major League mark by winning titles in each of his first five seasons (1949-53) and guiding the Bombers to 10 pennants. More >

AL Central

Indians: Tris Speaker, 1919-26
Key fact: Player-manager for 1920 world championship team
When a team boasts just two World Series titles, it’s hard for the winning duo not to take the top two spots on an all-time managers list. Lou Boudreau may have the most wins of all Indians skippers and an extremely convincing case to be No. 1, but Speaker will take top billing in these rankings. More >

Royals: Ned Yost, 2010-19
Key fact: 22-9 postseason record
Some may look at Yost’s regular-season record of 687-736 and wonder how a manager with a losing record could be listed as No. 1. It’s simple: Yost is the only manager in franchise history to guide the team to two World Series appearances (including winning the 2015 Fall Classic), and he did so while posting an amazing 22-9 playoff record. More >

Tigers: Sparky Anderson, 1979-95
Key facts: 1984 World Series title, ‘87 AL East title, franchise-record 1,331 wins
Anderson arrived in Detroit with championship credentials and molded a young Tigers club into a powerhouse. His efforts culminated in a magical 1984 campaign as the Tigers went wire-to-wire and brought a World Series championship back to the Motor City. More >

Twins: Tom Kelly (1986-2001)
Key fact: Led Twins to the only two World Series championships in club history
Kelly really made his two postseason appearances with Minnesota count. Hired without any previous Major League managerial experience, “TK” led the Twins from sixth in the AL West in 1986 to a division title and a World Series championship in ‘87. Four years later, Kelly seemed to pull all the right strings as the Twins prevailed in Game 7 of the Fall Classic. More >

White Sox: Ozzie Guillen, 2004-11
Key fact: Led club to first World Series title since 1917 in 2005
Guillen is one of three White Sox managers to have won a World Series title, and he presided over a 2005 four-game Classic sweep of Houston to end an 88-year championship drought for the organization. Guillen followed up that 11-1 postseason run with a 2008 American League Central crown captured via the 1-0 “Blackout Game” division tiebreaker win over the Twins in Chicago, recognized as quite possibly the most exciting single game in franchise history. More >

AL West

Angels: Mike Scioscia, 2000-18
Key fact: Led club to only World Series title in 2002 during 19-year run as club’s skipper
The Angels have had 21 managers since their inception in 1961, but Scioscia towers above the rest. Hired after a decade with no Angels postseason appearances, Scioscia guided the franchise to seven Octobers and its first World Series championship. More >

Athletics: Connie Mack, 1901-50
Key fact: Winningest manager in MLB history with 3,731 victories, almost 1,000 more wins than second-place John McGraw
Tony La Russia had a strong run, but there’s no denying Mack and his records that won’t be touched for the foreseeable future. He was manager and part-owner of the Philadelphia A’s for 50 years, the longest tenure by a coach or manager with one team in North American professional sports history. More >

Astros: AJ Hinch, 2015-19
Key fact: Led Astros to three straight 100-win seasons from 2017-19, and won '17 World Series
Hinch inherited a club that had averaged just 58 wins over the prior four seasons and helped build it into an AL powerhouse that captured the franchise's first World Series title.

Mariners: Lou Piniella, 1993-2002
Key fact: Led Mariners to MLB-record-tying 116 wins in 2001
“Sweet Lou” is fondly remembered for his emotional outbursts and epic umpire showdowns, but he became a Mariners legend because he turned a franchise that hadn’t been to the playoffs in 16 years into a winner. Piniella’s 840 wins with Seattle dwarfs the next closest manager (current skipper Scott Servais with 321). Of the Mariners' 17 full-time managers and three interim skippers during their 43-year history, the only one besides Piniella with a winning record is Lloyd McClendon, who went 163-161 from 2014-15. More >

Rangers: Ron Washington, 2007-14
Key fact: Washington led the Rangers to American League pennants in 2010 and ’11
There is no doubt that Washington is the greatest manager in Rangers history. He led the club to the only two pennants in franchise history in 2010 and '11, and he was a savant when it came to defense and fundamentals. "Wash" was willing to spend all day teaching and working with any player who would listen. More >

NL East

Braves: Bobby Cox, 1978-81, 1990-2010
Key fact: 14 consecutive NL East division titles
Braves fans will be forever thankful for the fact former owner Ted Turner gave Cox a second chance. Four years after firing Cox as his manager, Turner brought Cox back -- first as general manager and then manager midway through the 1990 season -- and Cox turned Atlanta into the “Team of the ‘90s.” More >

Marlins: Jack McKeon, 2003-05, ‘11
Key fact: Led Marlins to 2003 World Series championship
A 72-year-old McKeon inherited a youthful 16-22 club from Jeff Torborg and guided it to a big upset win over the Yankees in the 2003 World Series. His 281 wins are the most by any skipper in club history. More >

Mets: Gil Hodges, 1968-71
Key fact: Led Mets to 1969 World Series championship
Hodges took over in 1968 and increased the Mets’ win total from 61 to 73 to 100 en route to the franchise’s first World Series title. To this day, living members of the ‘69 Mets remain disappointed that Hodges is not in the Hall of Fame, believing he should be enshrined there based on his managerial career alone. More >

Nationals: Dave Martinez, 2018-present
Key fact: Led Nationals to 2019 World Series championship
When the 2019 Nationals began their season 19-31, manager Dave Martinez encouraged his team to “go 1-0” every day. That mindset helped Washington make an improbable turnaround and capture its first World Series title. More >

Phillies: Charlie Manuel, 2005-13
Key fact: Franchise-most 780 wins as Phillies manager
Manuel is one of only two managers to lead the Phillies to a World Series title, but he’s also the winningest manager in franchise history and led the club to five consecutive NL East titles from 2007-11. More >

NL Central

Brewers: Craig Counsell, 2015-present
Key fact: .515 win percentage with Milwaukee
Perhaps charges of recency bias are fair, but because of the way general manager David Stearns utilizes the entire 40-man roster -- and then some -- Counsell has really had to manage. The Brewers went 20-7 after Sept. 1 in each of the past two seasons once rosters expanded, and Counsell skippered the Crew to a division title in 2018 and the NL’s second Wild Card in ‘19. More >

Cardinals: Tony La Russa, 1996-2011
Key fact: Franchise-most 1,408 wins as St. Louis skipper
La Russa wore No. 10 while in St. Louis to remind of his purpose: Win a 10th championship for the Cardinals. Well, he won Nos. 10 and 11, and also led the Redbirds to eight division titles, nine postseason appearances and three NL pennants. More >

Cubs: Frank Chance, 1905-12
Key fact: Led Cubs to four NL pennants, two World Series titles
Recency bias would have Cubs fans picking Joe Maddon for this honor. But Chance still holds a franchise-best .664 winning percentage (768-389), led Chicago to a record 116 wins in 1906 and back-to-back World Series titles in 1907-08. More >

Pirates: Danny Murtaugh, 1957-64, ‘67, ‘70-71, ‘73-76
Key fact: Led Pirates to 1960, ‘71 World Series championships
Nobody will wear Murtaugh’s No. 40 again in Pittsburgh. He skippered the Pirates to two World Series titles and ranks second on their all-time list with 1,115 wins. He also wrote out the first all-black starting lineup card in Major League history on Sept. 1, 1971. More >

Reds: Sparky Anderson, 1970-78
Key fact: Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000
The Big Red Machine had great players, but Anderson’s skills in the dugout and clubhouse helped Cincinnati put it all together during a dominant run of success in the 1970s. He is the club’s all-time leader in managerial wins with 863, led Cincinnati to four National League pennants (1970, ’72, ’75 and ’76) and two World Series titles (’75 and ’76). In his nine years, the team endured only one losing season. More >

NL West

D-backs: Bob Brenly, 2001-04
Key fact: Led D-backs to 2001 World Series title
Brenly came down from the broadcast booth in 2001 to change the atmosphere around the team, which had grown stifling under Buck Showalter, and allowed it to police itself. The ‘02 D-backs actually won even more games than the famous ‘01 title team. More >

Dodgers: Walter Alston, 1954-76
Key fact: Led Dodgers to four World Series titles
Alston tops the Dodgers’ all-time wins list with 2,040 and went from a relatively unknown manager in the Minors who backed into an opportunity to an all-time Hall of Fame skipper. It didn’t hurt that he managed the Boys of Summer and Sandy Koufax. More >

Giants: John McGraw, 1902-32
Key fact: Ranks as the franchise’s all-time winningest manager with 2,583 wins
McGraw is second to only A’s legend Connie Mack (3,731) on the all-time managerial wins list, but even Mack once declared, “There has been only one manager -- and his name is McGraw.” The Giants were a perennial winner under McGraw, capturing 10 NL pennants and three World Series championships. More >

Padres: Bruce Bochy, 1995-2006
Key fact: Winningest manager (951) in Padres history
Bochy presided over the two most successful eras in franchise history. He arrived in 1995 and won Manager of the Year in '96 as the Padres claimed the NL West title, then he skippered San Diego to the '98 pennant. He also delivered back-to-back first-place finishes in his final two seasons with the club in 2005 and '06. More >

Rockies: Clint Hurdle, 2002-09
Key fact: Winningest manager (534) in Rockies history
The 534-625 record over eight seasons doesn't tell the whole story. Hurdle took over for Buddy Bell in 2002 at the beginning of a long and painful rebuilding process, but his patience and inspirational spirit turned the Rockies around until they earned their first World Series ticket in 2007. More >