Padres' all-time top managers: Cassavell's take

June 16th, 2020

SAN DIEGO -- 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 their career while playing for that club.

Padres' all-time team: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | LF | CF | RF | Bench | RHP | LHP | Relievers

This week, we’re following up our player rankings with the Padres’ top three managers, according to AJ Cassavell. These rankings are for fun and debate purposes only ... if you don’t agree with the order, participate in the Twitter poll to vote for your favorite skipper.

1) Bruce Bochy, 1995-2006
Key fact: Bochy's 951 career victories are most in franchise history -- putting him more than 300 wins above his next closest competitor.

Nationally, Bochy is known best for his tenure in San Francisco where he captured three World Series in a five-year span from 2010-14. But Bochy got his managerial start in San Diego -- where he spent five seasons as a player -- and he made an instant impact. Widely beloved by his players, Bochy presided over the two most successful eras in franchise history. He arrived in 1995, as the Padres began their turnaround from cellar-dweller into legit contenders. Bochy won National League Manager of the Year in '96 as the Padres won the National League West, then he skippered San Diego to the '98 pennant.

Following that '98 season -- widely regarded as the best in franchise history -- the Padres failed to sign a handful of stars, ushering in another era of rebuilding. Bochy handled that expertly as well, and upon the Padres' arrival at Petco Park in 2004, they were contenders again. San Diego won 87 games in '04, then took home consecutive division titles in '05 and '06. With only one year remaining on his contract, however, Bochy was given the opportunity to interview with the Giants, and left following the '06 campaign.

2) Dick Williams, 1982-85
Key fact: Williams is the only manager in Padres history without a losing season.

Williams was a three-time pennant winner and two-time World Series champ when he took over a Padres team on the rise in 1982. He led them to consecutive .500 finishes at the start of his tenure, before his '84 masterpiece. The Padres blended big-name veterans with up-and-coming stars, and Williams oversaw it seamlessly. The Padres won the '84 pennant, rallying from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Cubs in the NL Championship Series, before losing to Detroit in five games in the World Series. Gruff and sometimes combative, Williams got results. He's one of eight managers to win pennants in both leagues. But after the Padres fell to 83-79 in ‘85, Williams was ousted.

3) Jack McKeon, 1988-90
Key fact: McKeon went 193-164 as Padres manager, giving him the highest winning percentage in franchise history.

McKeon is a member of the Padres Hall of Fame largely because of his work as general manager, where his penchant for wheeling and dealing earned him the nickname "Trader Jack." He was the architect of the Padres' 1984 pennant winner (and the man who ultimately cut ties with Williams). But after unsuccessful managerial stints from Steve Boros and Larry Bowa, McKeon took the reins midway through the '88 season.

Despite Bowa’s 16-30 start, McKeon helmed San Diego to an 83-win season. Then, the Padres flirted with contention in the NL West in 1989 before finishing 89-73 and three games behind the first-place Giants. McKeon gave up the managerial role after a slow start to the '90 season, and he was let go as GM after the team finished 75-87.

Honorable mention
Greg Riddoch went 200-194 from 1990-92 as Padres manager, giving him the third-highest winning percentage in franchise history (putting him above Bochy). ... Bud Black's 649 wins from 2007-15 are second most among Padres managers. He won the 2010 NL Manager of the Year Award. ... We'd be remiss without mentioning beloved broadcaster Jerry Coleman, who spent 42 years in the organization in the booth -- and one as manager. Coleman's Padres went 73-89 in 1980, and he promptly returned to announcing duties.