Bobby Cox: Where Does He Rank Among Top 10 Managers All Time?

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2010

Bobby Cox: Where Does He Rank Among Top 10 Managers All Time?

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Bobby Cox walked off the field for the final time Monday night after his Braves fell to the Giants in Game 4 of the NLDS.

    Despite holding the record for most ejections by a Major League manager, few of Cox's counterparts have exhibited more class on the diamond.

    Cox retires with 2,504 wins, good for fourth all-time in MLB history.  Under his guidance, the Braves reeled off a string of postseason appearances that has never been matched in professional sports.

    But exactly how much does his lack of success in the World Series hurt his standing among the greatest managers ever?

    Here's a look at where Bobby Cox ranks among the best managers in the history of Major League Baseball.

Honorable Mention: Lou Piniella

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Sweet Lou's legacy was tarnished during his years in Tampa Bay and Chicago, albeit for very different reasons.

    Piniella had little talent and no budget to work with when he took over on his bench for the hometown Rays.  When he became the manager of the lovable losers, a huge payroll and plenty of established veterans weren't enough to alter the course of history.

    The Reds' sweep of the Oakland A's in the 1990 World Series under his watch was one of the more surprising results in MLB history, and his success in Seattle solidified his spot as one of the best managers in baseball.

    Piniella was never able to lead the M's to a World Series, even in 2001 when Seattle won 116 games with the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez and the unforgettable Jay Buhner anchoring the team.

    In the end, the lack of postseason success is enough to keep Sweet Lou out of the top 10.

No. 10: Walter Alston

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    Alston managed the Dodgers to four World Series titles during his 22 seasons on the bench, signing one-year contracts to stay put before the start of each season.

    Under his watch, the organization moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, where his number 24 was retired in 1977 after he helped the team win five pennants in California.

    Alston finished his career with over 2,000 career victories.

No. 9: Tommy Lasorda

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    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    One of the most iconic figures in the history of Major League Baseball, Lasorda began his run in L.A. following the retirement of the legendary Walter Alston.

    When he finally walked away from the game as a manager 20 years later, he had racked up four National League Championships and two World Series' wins.

    The quirky Lasorda has long been regarded as an ambassador to the game and is still involved in the Dodgers' organization.

No. 8: John McGraw

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    McGraw ranks second all time in wins in Major League history and won three World Series' while operating in a managerial capacity.

    He managed for a whopping 33 seasons, racking up 10 National League pennants during his time with the New York Giants.

    The baseball-lifer held the record for most ejections prior to being overtaken by Bobby Cox.

No. 7: Connie Mack

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    Nobody has won more games than Connie Mack.  Nobody has lost more games, either.

    Mack should get credit for staying in the game for so long.  He managed the Philadelphia Athletics for 50 seasons, during which he spent time as part-owner of the team.

    Amazingly, Mack won only five World Series titles during his time on the bench.

No. 6: Sparky Anderson

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    The manager of the Big Red Machine led Cincinnati to incredible success during the 1975 and 1976 postseasons, culminating with two World Series wins.

    After being fired by the Reds in 1978, Anderson moved onto the Tigers in the following season and was a fixture in Detroit.

    He helped the Tigers win the World Series in 1990 and finished with 2,194 wins before retiring in 1995.

No. 5: Joe Torre

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Torre's success in New York can't be argued, but the exact impact he had on what were some of most talentedand highest-salariedteams in baseball can be debated at length.

    The former catcher has racked up over 2,300 wins while managing six different major league teams.

    He won four World Series titles with the Yankees and directed one of the best teams in baseball history in 1998.

    Torre was on the losing end of the the 2004 ALCS, when the Red Sox completed a historic comeback to shock the Yankees and the sports world.

    Now, it appears he might join Bobby Cox and finally walk away from the game.

No. 4: Casey Stengel

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    Stengel managed some of the greatest players in baseball history during his time with the Yankees.

    A glorious 11-year run in pinstripes featured seven World Series wins, including five straight titles.

    His success led to plenty of time in the spotlight alongside his players, and helped cement his place as one of the best managers ever.

No. 3: Bobby Cox

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Cox took over on the bench for the Braves in 1990 and never looked back.

    During his glorious run, Atlanta won a record-setting 14 consecutive division titles while building the organization from the ground up.

    Cox's greatest failure was the struggle to translate playoff appearances into World Series wins.

    The Braves managed to win just one World Series under Cox, knocking off Albert Belle and the Indians.

    Cox ranks fourth in career wins and It's unlikely his Braves' run of divisional supremacy will ever be matched, in any professional sport.

No. 2: Tony LaRussa

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    His legacy has been tainted by the steroid era, but Tony LaRussa's success as a manager is impossible to overlook.

    That doesn't mean you have to like him.

    LaRussa has won two World Series titles, the first with the infamous Bash Brothers in 1989 in Oakland and the second with a scrappy Cardinals team in 2006.

    He ranks third all time in Major League wins and has had success at all three managerial stops, including early in his career with the Chicago White Sox.

    It's still difficult to imagine the White Sox firing LaRussa and replacing him on the bench with Hawk Harrelson.

No. 1: Joe McCarthy

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    McCarthy's amazing .615 all-time winning percentage helps propel him to the head of his class.

    Like Casey Stengel, McCarthy managed his teams to seven World Series wins.

    He won four straight titles in New York in the late 1930's and remains the winningest manager off Major League Baseball's most successful franchise.

    Although seven managers have totaled more wins than McCarthy, his consistent run of success cannot be matched.