Major League Baseball has been going through a very rough time with its fans over the past few years, and for good reason. The steroid era has fans wondering if they can believe anyone or trust that any of their favorite players are actually clean. Fortunately for the game, the league remains a very competitive one, and one in which any team has a chance to win and go from the bottom to the top. The Tampa Bay Rays proved how far a team can go in one year last year, and the Rockies did so the year before. Given that there is so much talent in baseball and the teams are so equal, the job of a manager becomes that much more important. The role of a successful manager of a baseball team is to put his team into a position to win the most games possible, and having them playing their best baseball when it counts. A manager needs to know all the important baseball statistics, but they also need to know how to handle people and gain the trust of these terrific athletes.
Top Five Current MLB Managers
1. Tony LaRussa- LaRussa has taken his teams to five World Series appearances and has won two titles, one in each league. LaRussa is well known for his love of statistics and analyzing them in every possible way to try gain an edge on the opponent. LaRussa has done a great job of keeping his teams consistently good year in and year out.
2. Joe Torre- Torre is certainly a figure that is loved by many and hated by many, but his record is a very impressive one. He won four times the World Series with the Yankees and already has made some progress with the Dodgers in his first year with the team. Torre does a good job of helping his great player’s gel and work well together.
3. Mike Scioscia- Scioscia is sometimes overlooked out on the left coast, but what he has done with the Angels is amazing. In the last seven years the Angels have won 90 or more games five times, and have a winning record in six of the seven years. His World Series title in 2002 came as a surprise to many and put the Angels on the map.
4. Bobby Cox- Bobby Cox is the most consistent manager of them all, and while his Braves have hit a rough streak of late, don’t count on it to last too terribly long. The Braves made the post season an amazing 14 straight years and participated in five World Series in the 1990’s, winning one.
5. Ron Gardenhire- Gardenhire doesn’t have a championship, which is why he can’t go any higher on this list, but he does a better job than anyone in the league of getting a ton out of marginal talent. The Twins always have one of the lowest payrolls, and everyone suspects they will fall apart, but they continue to win which says a lot about the manager.
Honorable mention: Lou Piniella, Jim Leyland, Terry Francona