Who Are The Top 5 Managers in Royals History?

I'm curious as to how you guys would rank the top managers in Royals history. The headline here says "Top 5" but really any variation on the debate is interesting and acceptable. Of course, part of the problem is that it is really hard for anyone -- players, media, fans -- to evaluate what makes a good manager. Tactics are a jumble. As opposed to football or basketball, the baseball manager has less direct impact on the game. Similarly, the long regular season makes individual games a balance of long and short term goals. A football coach basically coaches every game like it's an elimination game. In baseball, there's a radical difference in how an elimination game and a July tilt against the Twins would be handled. Clearly, a good manager is one that gets the most out of his talent. I am open to the idea that, say, Buddy Bell might have been a better manager than Whitey Herzog. The problem is that bad teams are under-studied and quickly forgotten and no one has much of an idea as to what their potential (good or bad) might have been. Or rather, they just don't care.

The leader of men aspect also gets extremely muddled and confused. Even for the actors themselves, the on-the-field results end up coloring post-facto observations. No one wants to believe they lost because they weren't good enough. No, they just weren't united, or focused, or having enough fun, or having too much fun. So every year, in Royals country, we hear about the team's new attitude, new approach, new culture. That doesn't mean those issues don't matter, it's just really dangerous to go down that road.  

To get the discussion going, here are the Royals managers by winning percentage:

 

 

Rk Mgr Yrs From To G W L W-L% ▾ G>.500 BestFin WrstFin AvRk
1 Whitey Herzog HOF 5 1975 1979 714 410 304 .574 106 1 2 1.3
2 Jim Frey 2 1980 1981 232 127 105 .547 22 1 5 1.9
3 Dick Howser 6 1981 1986 770 404 365 .525 39 1 3 1.7
4 John Wathan 5 1987 1991 557 287 270 .515 17 2 6 3.7
5 Jack McKeon 3 1973 1975 420 215 205 .512 10 2 5 3.2
6 Hal McRae 4 1991 1994 563 286 277 .508 9 3 6 4.2
7 Billy Gardner 1 1987 1987 126 62 64 .492 -2 2 2 2.0
8 Bob Lemon HOF 3 1970 1972 425 207 218 .487 -11 2 4 3.2
9 Mike Ferraro 1 1986 1986 74 36 38 .486 -2 3 3 3.0
10 Bob Boone 3 1995 1997 387 181 206 .468 -25 2 5 3.9
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/17/2011.

 

Ned Yost, by the way, is 11th in team history in winning percentage.

Longevity, also, should probably be taken into account.

 

Rk Mgr Yrs From To G ▾ W L W-L% G>.500 BestFin WrstFin AvRk
1 Dick Howser 6 1981 1986 770 404 365 .525 39 1 3 1.7
2 Tony Muser 6 1997 2002 748 317 431 .424 -114 3 5 4.1
3 Whitey Herzog HOF 5 1975 1979 714 410 304 .574 106 1 2 1.3
4 Hal McRae 4 1991 1994 563 286 277 .508 9 3 6 4.2
5 John Wathan 5 1987 1991 557 287 270 .515 17 2 6 3.7
6 Tony Pena 4 2002 2005 483 198 285 .410 -87 3 5 4.1
7 Buddy Bell 3 2005 2007 436 174 262 .399 -88 5 5 5.0
8 Bob Lemon HOF 3 1970 1972 425 207 218 .487 -11 2 4 3.2
9 Jack McKeon 3 1973 1975 420 215 205 .512 10 2 5 3.2
10 Bob Boone 3 1995 1997 387 181 206 .468 -25 2 5 3.9
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/17/2011.

 

Tony Muser managed the Royals for 748 games, the second most in team history. How do we account for this?

Other questions to consider: which managers had the most talent to work with? Who had post-season success and failure? Who was brought in to win and who was hired to teach and mentor?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Royals Review

You must be a member of Royals Review to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Royals Review. You should read them.

Join Royals Review

You must be a member of Royals Review to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Royals Review. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker