Been awhile but here we go...
By using a completely untested method that takes into account a team's performance in comparison with how that team's record panned out, I have attempted to find a method to grade the NFL and MLB's finest without simply looking at the win and loss records of the teams they oversee.
Not every roster is equal and this method takes into account the so-called Pythagorean records (Records the teams "statistically" should have had) and see how the team performed in contrast to them. Now many factors can be taken into account besides the individual who is put in charge of coaching the franchise itself but patterns over the years suggest otherwise.
I DON'T consider this a method to grade who is the best, etc. It's simply one of many factors one could use to grade the performance of the Manager/Head Coach.
Here's what I found...
The Difference Makers
- Ozzie Guillen (+ 3.50 wins/per season)
- Ron Gardenhire (+ 3.17 wins/per season)
- Joe Torre (+ 1.77 wins/per season)
- Bob Melvin (+ 1.60 wins/per season)
- Bobby Cox (+ 1.11 wins/per season)
The “Other” Difference Makers
- John Gibbons (- 3.67 wins/per season)
- Clint Hurdle (- 3.60 wins/per season)
- Eric Wedge (- 3.00 wins/per season)
- Joe Maddon (- 2.50 wins/per season)
These are the guys who can make or break your team. With 162 games in a season, only a few can make the difference. It’s fitting that three of the top five carry World Series rings while Gardenhire and Melvin always seem to find a way to get either a young or seemingly weaker team to post season contention.
Hurdle and Wedge were both considered for Manager of the Year but in past years teams with talent have under achieved under their watch (Ex. 2006 Cleveland Indians). Gibbons and Maddon seemingly aren’t helping dethrone the Red Sox and Yankees.
Should Be Hired
... Maybe a Few Years Ago
Jerry Manuel won Manager of the year in 2000 and Ken Macha’s departure has signified a rebuilding period for the Athletics. Felipe Alou and Frank Robinson both helped younger Expos squads reach winning records despite smaller payrolls, but it is very unlikely either would be hired again. The same applies to Jack McKeon (+ 0.77 wins per season).
Not Quite Managing Material
- Alan Trammell (- 5.67 wins/per season)
- Buddy Bell (- 4.00 wins/per season)
- Larry Bowa (- 1.75 wins/per season)
- Phil Garner (- 1.55 wins/per season)
- Grady Little (- 1.50 wins/per season)
Even though Trammell overlooked some of the worst baseball franchises in recent memory, he certainly didn’t help much. Grady Little, Phil Garner and Larry Bowa (Despite being one of my favorite managers in recent memory) consistently led their teams to underachieve whether in the playoffs or playoff races.
Won’t Hurt You Either Way
- Bob Brenly (+/- 0.00 wins/per season)
Got a great roster, Brenly will have it play great. Got an awful roster, it’ll play awful.
- Tony LaRussa (+ 0.86 wins/per season)
- Mike Scioscia (+ 0.75 wins/per season)
- Terry Francona (+ 0.75 wins/per season)
- Willie Randolph (+ 0.67 wins/per season)
- Dusty Baker (+ 0.64 wins/per season)
- Bruce Bochy (+ 0.54 wins/per season)
- Charlie Manuel (+ 0.20 wins/per season)
All respectable managers who deserve the posts they currently hold.
- Tony Dungy (+ 0.58 wins/per season)
- Marty Schottenheimer (+ 0.45 wins/per season)
- Dick Jauron (+ 0.43 wins/per season)
- John Fox (+ 0.33 wins/per season)
- Mike Shanahan (+ 0.29 wins/per season)
- Jeff Fisher (+ 0.29 wins/per season)
- Mike Holmgren (+ 0.25 wins/per season)
- Lovie Smith (+ 0.25 wins/per season)
Mixed amongst the list of big names is Dick Jauron who has led injury riddled Buffalo Bills rosters to respectable finishes. There’s a reason he was hired despite having a losing record in Chicago.
On The Rise
- Mike McCarthy (+ 1.50 wins/per season)
- Mike Nolan (+ 1.33 wins/per season)
- Eric Mangini (+ 0.50 wins/per season)
- Gary Kubiak (+ 0.50 wins/per season)
- Romeo Crennel (+ 0.33 wins/per season)
Surprisingly Nolan nears the top of this list. McCarthy should be a successful coach for many years to come even without John Madden’s golden boy.
The Not So Elite
- Norv Turner (- 0.78 wins/per season)
- Jon Gruden (- 0.50 wins/per season)
- Herman Edwards (- 0.29 wins/per season)
Sure Gruden has a ring but Dungy built the team that won it.
Deserve That Interview
- Mike Martz (+ 1.00 wins/per season)
- Jim Mora Jr. (+ 1.00 wins/per season)
- Jim Fassel (+ 0.71 wins/per season)
- Dave McGinnis (+ 0.67 wins/per season)
- Steve Mariucci (+ 0.63 wins/per season)
- Jim Haslett (+ 0.33 wins/per season)
Maybe a couple seasons ago...
- Dan Reeves (+ 0.59 wins/per season)
Jim Mora Jr. has already been appointed successor to Holmgren while Fassel nearly received the Redskins opening instead of Jim Zorn. McGinnis never truly had much talent to work with but made the most of it. I’d personally love to see Haslett receive another post.
- Mike Mularkey (- 1.00 wins/per season)
- Bill Callahan (- 1.00 wins/per season)
- Dennis Erickson (- 0.67 wins/per season)
- Brian Billick (- 0.67 wins/per season)
- Dom Capers (- 0.38 wins/per season)
- Butch Davis (- 0.33 wins/per season)
- Mike Tice (- 0.25 wins/per season)
I honestly can’t see any of these hired again with the exception of maybe Billick.
Won’t Hurt You Either Way
- Wade Phillips (+ 0.17 wins/per season)
- Bill Belichick (+ 0.08 wins/per season)
- Marvin Lewis (+/- 0 wins/per season)
- Andy Reid (-0.11 wins/per season)
- Tom Coughlin (-0.17 wins/per season)
- Jack Del Rio (-0.2 wins/per season)
Belichick is hurt by his tenure with the Browns in which the impending move ultimately affected the team’s performance. Fortunately for Coughlin’s sake this system means absolutely nothing for playoff play as was seen this past season.
Coming soon... NBA Head Coaches...