A baseball manager is unlike any other sport's coach, and not just because he actually wears the same uniform as his players.
A manager is like a brain. In fact, the assembly of a baseball club in general is something straight out of Frankenstein. The general manager brings the pieces of the body together. If he's good, they'll fit together and work in unison. Of course, those body parts are none other than the players themselves. Good ones work for a long time. Bad ones need to be replaced.
But none of those pieces work at all without the brain—the manager. Dr. Frankenstein can stitch body parts together until he's blue in the face, but they won't move without the brain. The better the brain, the better his players. That's why even the most talented teams need someone calling the shots. Be it a rag-tag group of rookies or a squad of wily veterans, the manager is an integral part of the club.
The Philadelphia Phillies have had some good ones, but they've had their fair share of bad ones as well.
The history of managers in Philadelphia show an interesting trend. Losers for a long time, that attitude is reflected in the legacy of certain leaders. Sure, some teams aren't exactly, well, talented (and I won't hold that against them), but when the culture changes, it seems like a new leader appears.
With the recent success of the Phillies organization, a large portion of the fanbase knows just one, maybe two, managers. However, it's important to know the roots and deep history of this organization's leadership. It's time to weed out the good from the bad, separate the best from the above average.
But just how do you value a manager?
For myself, personally, there is no given measurement. The obvious watermark is team success. As the Boston Red Sox showed us in 2011, even talented teams fall apart at the seams with weak leadership, and a team's success, no matter the level of talent, reflects its manager's leadership. On the flip side, it is also understandable that when bad teams have good results, that manager is certainly doing something right as well. That was accounted for.
When compiling this list and ordering it just so, I took into account a number of different factors and worked them into a points system of sorts, and while I won't list them all, some of the major considerations were win totals, average win totals by season, win/loss percentage and—most importantly to the fans—titles and accomplishments.
To simplify the results, five letter grades were made available—A through F. It would be silly to evaluate interim managers and men in similar situations, so please note that managers had to serve at least one full season as manager to be considered for this list.
So, without any further ado, let's take a look at the last 25, full-time managers of the Philadelphia Phillies and slap a letter grade next to each one's name.