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Who's on the Mount Rushmore of managers?

Feb 19, 2010, 10:28 AM EDT

Rushmore.jpgThe whole “Mount Rushmore” thing is a bit played out, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. Yesterday ‘Duk at Big League Stew opened up the floor for baseball managers, wondering which for guys you’d include if they were building a managing Mount Rushmore.

My first answer is to punt to Chris Jaffe, who just wrote the best and most comprehensive book about managers you’ll ever read. Jaffe, commenting in a thread over at Baseball Think Factory says that it should be John McGraw, Joe McCarthy, Bill McKechnie, and Tony La Russa.

Hard to argue with that list. McGraw and McCarthy were among the most successful managers ever (though McCarthy was dealt an outrageously good hand with the Yankees and screwed up major while managing the Red Sox). McKechnie isn’t well known these days, but he may have been a better manager than either of the other two. He certainly had less to work with than they did. I don’t like La Russa that much, but I appreciate his skills and legacy. If you have to have a modern guy on there he probably deserves to edge out Bobby Cox if for no other reason than he has been more influential than Cox. Joe Torre obviously belongs in that conversation too.

Still, you’re leaving a lot of deserving guys off.  Casey Stengel for one. Earl Weaver. Sparky Anderson. Connie Mack. Maybe you have to make two Rushmores, one for pre-war and one for post-war.  Maybe it breaks down with McGraw, McKechnie, McCarthy and Mack on one, and Stengel, Weaver, Anderson and La Russa on the other.  Even better: make it a “Last Supper” instead of a Mount Rushmore. Then you can put in whoever you’d like.

Just don’t ask me who gets to be Jesus.

  1. Jacob - Feb 19, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    Either John McGraw or Connie Mack should be Jesus. No doubt about it.

  2. D-Luxxx - Feb 19, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    I vote Billy Martin as Judas.

  3. Fast Eddy - Feb 19, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Ole Casey has to be on the list, just because of his Caseyisms. He was one of a kind, and a good manager to boot. It didn’t hurt that he had the Yankee team. Forget the Mets. Mack and MCGraw head the list as far as I am concerned, however Casey follows closely.

  4. Mason - Feb 19, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    Can’t believe they forgot Joe Schultz. Must not have been poundin’ enough of the old Budweiser.

  5. big fan - Feb 19, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    Joe Torre? For many years one of the worst managerial records in baseball. Fired three times. Lucked into a job with a team that had already made the playoffs and had Jeter, Rivera, Pettite, Bernie Williams and Posada all in their primes. Won 4 WS in 5 years with the same core that he was not invovled in putting together. Single-handedly cost his team a chance at a few more with some bizzaro in-game managing (See Game 4 2003 WS, Jeff Weaver on the mound with Rivera in the bullpen; See Game 2004 Game 5 ALCS, extra innings, runner on base and not attempting a steal against Wakefield/Varitek).
    Fixated on playing his ‘favorite’ mediocre players (Enrique Wilson and Miguel Cairo) while ignoring better players who weren’t (Kenny Lofton). Blew out seasons or careers of Sturtze, Proctor, Quantrill, Villone, etc.
    On the other hand, maybe I demand too much as a Yankee fan.

  6. StreatorDave - Feb 19, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    Billy Martin was great. I saw him with the Texas Rangers & Yankees.
    Earl Weaver was another great manager
    Leo Durocher
    Lou Piniella
    Tommy LaSorda
    Sparky Anderson, especially with handling a mediocre pitching staff.
    Whitey Herzog

  7. Old Gator - Feb 19, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    Do the whole thing over in Casey Stengel and let it go at that. John McGraw would go better with Mt. St. Helens, and there’s probably a geyser somewhere that you could use as a mouth for a Nazca Line figure of Ozzie Guillen. I think there are one or two mud fumaroles at Yellowstone that you could convince people are really busts of Bud Selig – but hurry, that sucker’s gonna blow any day now.
    But really, when you get down to it, who’s on Mt. Rushmore per se isn’t the question. It’s how many Omar Minaya jackalope head plaques you can sell at the tourist shops in Keystone.

  8. BC - Feb 19, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    What, no Grady Little?

  9. smokehouse - Feb 19, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    Mack, McGraw, McCarthy, Stengel. End of question. Now, a new Mt. Rushmore? FDR, Reagan, Truman, Adams.

  10. Shely - Feb 19, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    I know that a lot of young guys don’t remember, however Fred Hutchinson was on the way to be one of the greatest. Unfortunately, he died at an early age as far as managers are concerned. Sparky Anderson has to be on the list like this.

  11. benedick - Feb 19, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    Stengel?? He managed 13 years without the Yankees and had losing records 12 of those years. How tough was it to manage and all-star team that had an extra farm team in the same league? Remember Roger Maris for Hank Bauer? He said some funny things, but nobody put Yogi Berra on the list and he was funnier.

  12. Old Gator - Feb 19, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    Sounds like much ado about nothing to me, Benedick. Yogi hasn’t got that priceless Kefauver Committee testimony. Perhaps just as well. I think I would have preferred to listen to Yogi testify before the House Un-American Activities Committe. The looks on the faces of those posturing neofascist assholes would have been even more priceless than the look on Kefauver’s face during Casey’s diatribe.
    Although in all fairness, Yogi jackalopes would probably outsell Omar jackalopes by fifty to one.

  13. Logitech Trackball - Feb 20, 2010 at 8:45 AM

    This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

  14. Kammy - Feb 20, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    Dick Williams.

  15. kountryking - Feb 20, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    Gil Hodges, New York (Miracle) Mets 1969

  16. kountryking - Feb 20, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    Gil Hodges, New York (Miracle) Mets 1969

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