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Ranking MLB managers by . . . handsomeness

Dec 10, 2013, 2:57 PM EDT


LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL — The thing about the Winter Meetings is that, if you have some silly idea, there are a lot of people around you drinking cocktails, convincing you that the idea is not silly. That, to the contrary, it’s important and vital and if you don’t follow through with that idea, you’re making a huge mistake. And, since you are drinking cocktails as well, you are easily persuaded.

This is the product of that dynamic.

All week I’ve half-jokingly noted that Brad Ausmus is a handsome, handsome man. As a result of that, people have asked me which manager is next handsome. And next handsome. And next handsome after that. And who’s the least handsome manager too. So, inevitably, it has come to this: a list ranking the managerial beefcake.

First, a couple of notes:

  • This is only one open-minded man’s opinion of managerial handsomeness. If you’re not into the Ausmus/Matheny types, I totally appreciate that. Maybe you’re more of a Ron Gardenhire or Fredi Gonzalez admirer. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Understand that I and others will privately judge you for thinking Gardenhire and Gonzalez are handsome, but that reflects poorly on us, not you. Let no one besides you dictate your feelings.
  • I, in no way, shape or form believe that any baseball manager is ugly. All of them have inner beauty, I’m sure. And even if you don’t buy that, realize that we are in a golden age of manager handsomeness. There are no Don Zimmers or Joe Torres around anymore. The bottom of this list would represent dashing managerial beauty a mere 15 years ago. So, let no one say that even my 30th-ranked manager is not handsome. In his own way. If you squint just right.
  • Finally, because some of you will inevitably offer a neanderthal comment about all of this, let me head it off by assuring you that this is merely a list of aesthetic handsomeness, not one of love or longing. I hate that even in 2013 I feel as though I have to say it, but I will say that I am a totally straight man making these judgments. If you find something wrong or amiss with that, I feel sorry for you. There is far too much beauty among people in the world for us to fail to acknowledge 50% of it merely because we’re worried about appearing less than traditionally masculine or feminine. Free your mind, the rest will follow.

And now, on to the rankings, with some comments:

source:  1. Brad Ausmus: When my girlfriend was here in Orlando over the weekend we were sitting in the lobby and Brad Ausmus came in the front door of the hotel. She sprung up, followed him and said “I’ll text you later.” And I wasn’t even mad, man. I get it. He’s movie star handsome. And this isn’t new. There are factions of female baseball fans who have been beating the Ausmus drum for years in various places on the Internet. He is probably the best looking manager in the history of baseball.

2. Mike Matheny: Of course it isn’t a blowout. The 1-2 in manager handsomeness is a close race, with Matheny right on Ausmus’ heels. I just think he is missing a moodiness and depth to his gaze the way Ausmus has it going on. That said: when I tweeted about Ausmus over the weekend what I assume to be the entire female population of Cardinal Nation responded to me to tell me I’m wrong. Easily The Best Fans of Handsome Cardinals Managers in Baseball. They ogle managers The Right Way.

3. Robin Ventura: Just a couple of years ago he’d be number one. Now he inevitably slides to three. Just an unbelievably tough market. Bonus: he’s got a sensitive side, I’ve heard. A lover, not a fighter. Definitely not a fighter.

4. Ned Yost: I know. I’m as shocked as you! But he was here in Orlando yesterday gliding through the hallways with a confidence and swagger befitting a 1980s nighttime soap anti-hero. Ned Yost: he’ll marry you, have affairs with your sister and simultaneously destroy your father’s (rival) business while enriching himself and building his legend.

5. John Farrell: Reasonable people could swap out Yost and Farrell. Maybe he’s the more urbane version of Yost’s nighttime soap star. The “Dynasty” to Yost’s “Dallas.”

6. Bud BlackAging so well. No Just for Men here. Gray is the new Black.


7: Bo Porter: Best mustache/goatee combination in all of baseball. Not just among managers. All baseball people. It’s usually an unfortunate look, but Porter makes it work, mostly because he understands that less is more. And he has fantastic eyes. Go on, tell me he doesn’t have fantastic eyes. Pfft, you’re just wrong, dude.

8. Ryne Sandberg: He’s always been good looking. I feel like Philly is going to age him, though.

9. Mike Redmond: Piercing eyes. Owned Tom Glavine during his career. What’s not to love?

10. Bob Melvin: His boss was played by Brad Pitt in a movie, yet Melvin is better looking than his boss. That’s just truth.

11. Don Mattingly: It’s like he was on a makeover reality show. He went from mullet and mustache, seemingly yesterday, to this formidable specimen. Nice glasses. Chin dimple. L.A. is treating him well.

12. Ron Roenicke: Another controversial choice. And I know he’s about the farthest thing from beefcake there could possibly be. But he looks like the guy who will marry you after you recover from that bad divorce and be a great role model to your kids. Just a super step-dad type, and that has abundant appeal.

13. Terry Francona: A textbook case of embracing baldness rather than fighting it. Does so much to take advantage of a bad set of genetic cards.

14: Joe Maddon: Maybe a niche taste. Certainly a silver fox — you can’t take that away from him — but he’s not in Bud Black’s league as far as that goes. And he doesn’t have the same apparent inner appeal that Roenicke has. He’s just as likely to be seen wearing socks with sandals in an RV as he is to be seen drinking wine and doing something suave. Plus: he’s the type who would probably tell you how smart he is, whereas true Adonises like Ausmus and Matheny are confident enough to let you talk more. That matters, I think.

source:  15. Joe Girardi: Definitely in better shape than any other manager. Maybe in better shape than any manager in the history of the game. But he’s got a bit too much drill instructor in him for me. He could use a bit of a softening around the edges. If you’re into the ruggedness he’s obviously way, way higher up your personal list.

16. Bryan Price: One of the best looking pitching coaches-turned-managers in baseball history, I figure. Bud Black probably is the top of that list. Farrell is up there too. But Price is likely third. Which, given that the competition beyond those three is Roger Craig and Jimy Williams, it’s not hard. But a fine looking man. I may have underrated him.

17. Matt Williams: Williams has maintained his playing days shape quite admirably, and like Tito he understands the realities of his hairline. I’d recommend powder for TV appearances. I know from experience.

18. John Gibbons: Sorta has a “Fall Guy”-era Lee Majors thing going on. I feel like he looks better in his second stint with the Jays than he did the first time around. Can’t put a finger on it, though.

19. Kirk Gibson: An unfortunate case. I feel like Gibson goes out of his way to look worse than he should given what he has to work with, which is not terrible. He scowls a lot. Seems to have a perpetual four-day growth. A tall, well-built guy who could use some time with a grooming expert. Smile, Gibby. It’ll improve everything.

20. Walt Weiss: Same as Gibson, really. Maybe there are personal reasons why they feel the need to hide behind stubble. But now we’re more in psychological territory than physical, and I’d like to keep this light.

source:  21: Fredi Gonzalez: He needs to have a long sit-down with Bo Porter about the in and outs of facial hair. It would also help if he didn’t look confused every single time the camera finds him, but that’s a baseball point, not a function of inherit handsomeness.

22. Lloyd McClendon: He has a winning smile, I’ll give him that. And if he flashes some of the fire he showed in his Pittsburgh days he could shoot up this list quickly. Maybe this should be a power ranking now that I think about it. We revisit it a few times a year with an added boost or deduction for in-season deportment. Hmm.

23. Buck Showalter: Rumor was that Showalter smiled once in 1992. No one was around with a camera, sadly, but we’re told it happened.

24. Terry Collins: He is a lot more relaxed as a Met than he was back in his Angels and Astros days, that’s for sure. And that goes a long way. There’s always something a bit unsettling behind those brown eyes, though. Maybe that appeals to the types who like the troubled ones, but I feel like life with Terry would be turbulent. Ron Roenicke would never be unpredictable like that. And maybe that’s boring, but he’s home for dinner every night and will always give you a reassuring hug. Terry has demons, I bet.

25. Rick Renteria: If jowls come into fashion he’s much higher than 25.

26. Mike Scioscia: If you met him for the first time today, sure, he’d not be bad. But we knew him back when. It’s like meeting the high school quarterback at the reunion and thinking only of what he was.

source:  27. Bruce Bochy: The opposite of Scioscia in that regard. Look at THAT unfortunate class picture. But even though he’s come a long way, let us not pretend he didn’t have a long way to go. But you know what they call a less-than-handsome man with two World Series rings? That’s right: a champion. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently, Bruce.

28. Ron Gardenhire: The jowls of Rick Renteria, the facial hair issues of Fredi Gonzalez and the troubling inner rumblings of Terry Collins. Just a bad combination.

29. Ron Washington: He’s a very funny man. He’s had much success as a manager. His players love him. Let us leave it at that.

30. Clint Hurdle: None of us are ever as bad as our worst days make us out to be. But some people’s worst days are worse than others.

I’d like to thank you all for your time and patience in this exercise. I feel like baseball history is better served by us having engaged in it.

  1. Stacey - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    How do you not include the Ausmus surfboard picture!?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      Don’t have the rights to it, sadly.

    • mick2014 - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:19 PM

      Ausmus looks like the Mexican bozo comedian “Cantinflas”, Washington looks like homie dee clown! Bunch of clowns running the circus.

  2. spudchukar - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    How is Price the best looking pitching coach turned manager, and ranks behind Bud Black?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      That was a mistake in the first draft. Forgot Farrell too. The oversight has been remedied.

  3. nickmiller63 - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    This is a travesty. Focus on your day job.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      This is my day job. I’m a blogger.

      • Bill Baer - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        Rank HBT bloggers by handsomeness next.

        wait, on second thought, don’t

      • historiophiliac - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:10 PM

        I don’t understand. Bloggers…daylight? What?

    • baseballisboring - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:52 PM


  4. riotpunch26 - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Craig you are a misandrist. How dare you rank managers in this way?! This has nothing to do with their ability to manage.

    • tfbuckfutter - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      I agree. Completely frivolous and pointless.

      It’s not like this is an election for public office we’re talking about here.

      This is serious.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        It’s about pretty, not height.

      • tfbuckfutter - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        I vote based on who has the most televangelisty-hair.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:14 PM

        You’re supposed to vote for tallest…and reddest tie…and least doggie diarrhea on their car roof.

      • tfbuckfutter - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:36 PM

        Don’t push your politics on me, hippy.

      • gloccamorra - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:50 PM

        This is the internet! Frivolous? Check. Pointless? Check. Travesty? Check. Outraged comments? Check.

        Were you expecting something else?

      • historiophiliac - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:15 PM

        I love you too much to leave you ignorant.

      • tfbuckfutter - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:43 PM

        I vote for how I want, how I want, where I want, and when I want.

        You might think that means my votes never get counted, but you’re wrong….that’s not the reason.

        The reason is because I live in Florida and generally if you don’t vote for the worst possible choice on a ballot, they just throw your vote in the garbage can.

      • tfbuckfutter - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:44 PM

        I also spell “who” and “how” whyever I want.

  5. babyfarkmcgeezax - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    They’re all more handsome than Craig and his steroid-infused, beach ball size mellon head, that’s for damn sure. And I guess it’s no surprise that Craig would only rank one African-American manager in his top 20, considering his support of a team that celebrates and promotes racism.

    • babyfarkmcgeezax - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:35 PM


  6. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    There is no way this post will end well….

  7. runteddyrun - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Must be slower than expected at the Winter Meetings….

  8. gdobs227 - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Clint Hurdle may be dead last on this list, but he broke “the streak.” That’s more than enough for me to want to give him a man-kiss on the lips!

    • paperlions - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      I think he should get more credit for his chameleon-like ability to change color. You think just any manager can turn purple? I assume that looked worked better when he managed the Rockies.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:16 PM

        So, now you admire Sammy Sosa’s ability to wax…waxy.

      • paperlions - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:22 PM

        I am still not convinced that is really Sammy. I think a wax museum made the vampire wax sammy and have been travelling around the world with it taking photos, kind of like the little garden gnome in Amelie

      • historiophiliac - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        I loved that movie. +1 for you for seeing it.

      • paperlions - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        I miss going to the video store. I used to go and browse through the international movies and find things to rent that I may have never heard of otherwise. European movies usually entertain me more because they are less prone to treat the audience like they have to have their hand held.

        I think the best movie I have ever seen is a Brazilian movie called City of God (in English, anyway). Based on a true story, and truly fantastic story telling.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:29 PM

        Oh, I love that one too.

        Most of the guys I know around here don’t read much — and they certainly don’t read movies.

      • paperlions - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        I hear ya. Sometimes I just want to be entertained, but sometimes I want something more, and reading subtitles is a small price to pay to some of the fantastic movie/story telling experiences that are out there.

      • yahmule - Dec 10, 2013 at 8:26 PM

        Knockout Ned Yost.

  9. yahmule - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    What the hell? No pictures? You expect us to look all these guys up?

    Second, Ned Yost looks like he lost an acid fight.

    • gloccamorra - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      You don’t know all 30 major league managers? Okay, there’s a couple new ones, but Craig gave you a couple links to others. For you part-time baseball fans waiting for the next Olympics, Google is your friend.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        No, I don’t know all 30 major league managers by sight. I know mine and a few others. It doesn’t make you less of a baseball fan not to recognize all the managers right off. Also, you’re around here enough to know that yahmule is too and he is not a part-time baseball fan. What’s with the testiness there?

  10. tycobb420 - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Fantastic mid-December post. Here, here. I for one would welcome at least an annual power ranking. With managerial turnover being what it is, you can guarantee fresh material.

    Plus, we could informally track whether the scientifically-supported axiom that handsome people fare better in the job market plays out in the world of on-field baseball managers.

  11. seahawks80 - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    This entire article is stupid, the winter meetings are going on and this is all Craig Calcaterra could come up with?

    • babyfarkmcgeezax - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      I’m surprised that a Seahawks fan is critical of Craig. After all, Craig is the biggest fan of PED use.

      • yahmule - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:49 PM

        You’re stupid, but this made me laugh.

      • asimonetti88 - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        Well played, sir.

  12. beearl - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    I had heard that baseball writers do a lot of drinking down there at the Winter Meetings.

    Now we have substantial proof.

  13. cur68 - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    I have no opinion on this whatsoever. However, if Roger Bernadina becomes a manager he’d kick Giradi’s butt in the fitness department and leave Ausmus weeping in a corner with one smouldering look. That is all.

    • historiophiliac - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      Them’s fightin’ words! Eat ’em up, Tigers! Rowr.

      BTW, I see Canada went all 1812 on the Russians. Don’t get near-Canada bombed now.

      • cur68 - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:56 AM

        Relax. The whole thing turned into a debate over if Santa Clause was a Canadian or not. Dog forbid he was Russian, y’see! If y’all get bombed it’ll be with borscht and seal blubber, nothing more. That stuff washes right off.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:20 AM

        Please, Mister. Santa’s not a communist, is he?

      • cur68 - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:24 AM

        All that wealth distribution? The red suit? That Russian troika he swans around in? C’mon. Total Pinko.

  14. anxovies - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Washington was once a handsome man but the drugs got to him. I don’t know what Clint’s excuse is.

    • spudchukar - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      Bubblegum. Do it every time.

      • gloccamorra - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        So true! My dad warned my not to chew that stuff they put in with the baseball cards. Bazooka is the Chateau Lafite Rothschild of bubble gum. The baseball card stuff is Ripple/Thunderbird.

      • spudchukar - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        Did you listen?

  15. homergreenz - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Better yet, let’s rank them by how often they correctly use WAR in conversation:

    1. John Farrell
    2-30. Everyone else.

  16. mayorrobford - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Took yas long enough

  17. xjokerz - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    ahh..Craig judging the looks of other dudes… it must feel nice to come out of the closet.

    • aphillieated - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:16 PM


  18. myroncopesflask - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    I swear I just gave Washington some change and bag fries when I crossed the Clemente bridge on my lunhc hour.

  19. JuniorGriffey'sRecliner - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    I don’t know man, seems kind of strange for you guys to call out LoMo’s Rachael Ray comment yesterday and then post this today.

    Kind of makes you think maybe LoMo was being a little tongue in cheek too. Maybe we should all just have a sense of humor about these things and not take them so seriously.

    • gloccamorra - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      Men talking about and rating women is sexist. Men talking about and rating men is male bonding.

  20. maikoch - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Next post: Which MLB managers seem to be the best in bed.

  21. aphillieated - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    I knew Craig was g*y

    • koufaxmitzvah - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      Because Gay is such a dangerous word.

      Oh, it’s your intent. Got it.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 10, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        “Guy”? “Goy”? “Ga-” Oooooh. Hater afraid to use hate words. Okay.

  22. fusionix7 - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    I tried hard to evaluate your handsomeness rankings Craig. That final line before the list of managers “free your mind, and the rest will follow” threw me off though. I had to search the lyrics to remember who sang that song and now En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind” is stuck in my head.

    Onto the pressing issue though… I can’t argue with your top 5 and the descriptions are pretty spot on.

  23. planck16 - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    3 Things about this article:

    1) Caught me off guard that Craig has a girlfriend, I have seen his picture and have seen him on TV. God Bless her!

    2) If Craig is your boyfriend, then you probably ran after more than Brad Ausmus. The pool guy, the bus boy, and the doorman probably all got a pinch on the rear on the way by.

    3) I believe Craig put Clint Hurdle last to not appear racist as we all know that Ron Washington is by far the least attractive manager.

  24. bh192012 - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    I don’t think Ron Washington is attractive. Then he started coaching runners around 3rd base for Oakland, got slightly attractive. He became the Rangers manager. He stopped being attractive.

  25. psousa1 - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    When Clint Hurdle came up with the Royals in the 70’s looked like he came from central casting he was billed as movie star good looking and was supposed to be a superstar.

    This guy got the pirates to the post season. Never mind handsome list. Should be number 1 on Messiah list

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