MLB Playoff Race: Ranking Bruce Bochy, Bobby Cox and the 10 Contending Managers

Evan Walker@@EvanTheJetCorrespondent ISeptember 8, 2010

MLB Playoff Race: Ranking Bruce Bochy, Bobby Cox and the 10 Contending Managers

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    NEW YORK - JULY 20:  Manager Joe Girardi #28 of the New York Yankees argues with first base umpire Paul Emmel during the sixth inning againast the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on July 20, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Gira
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    This year in baseball is truly a race for October meant for the history books.

    Just about every division in baseball is up for grabs and the contending teams are overflowing with young and veteran talent.

    However, a championship-caliber team does not solely depend on its talent.

    It also depends on how you use and coach that talent.

    This slideshow will rank all of the managers at the helm of teams in the middle of the pennant race.

10. Bruce Bochy

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    PHOENIX - SEPTEMBER 06:  Manager Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants watches from dugout during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 6, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Giants defeated the Diamondba
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Despite their inconsistent pitching and mediocre offense, the San Francisco Giants find themselves only one game behind the San Diego Padres in the National League West.

    Bruce Bochy, the Giants skipper, is the only manager of a contending team with a career managerial record below .500.

    Bochy's managerial success peaked in the late '90s. His 1998 Padres won the pennant and he was named 1996 Manager of The Year.

    The Giants may be bound for October, but their success is due less to the man filling out the lineup card and more to their great pitching staff and situational hitting.

9. Ron Washington

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    ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 01:  Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington looks on prior to the start of the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Anaheim Stadium on July 1, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    This year is only Ron Washington's fourth year as a manager in the MLB and he is starting to get the hang of things.

    Washington and his Texas Rangers hold a comfortable seven-game lead in the American League West.

    Yes, Washington has admitted to some off-field issues, but his personal life has nothing to do with baseball.

    After managing the Rangers to two consecutive losing seasons, Washington is getting better with time and with the help of Cliff Lee and Josh Hamilton, Washington looks to go deep into the postseason for the first time in his career.

8. Jim Tracy

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07:  Manager Jim Tracy #4 of the Colorado Rockies speaks to reporters before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 7, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    The Colorado Rockies may not be in the playoffs quite yet, but if they continue this streak of winning and the division rival San Diego Padres continue to lose, they can contend for the National League Wild Card and possibly the NL West.

    In his nine-year managerial career, the 2009 Manager of The Year has a record of .511, but he has only led a team to first place one time and has not won a pennant, which is why he sits in the bottom part of this list.

7. Joe Maddon

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    ST. PETERSBURG - JULY 11:  Manager Joe Maddon #70 of the Tampa Bay Rays talks with reporters just before the start of the game against the Cleveland Indians at Tropicana Field on July 11, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Just because Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon does not exactly follow the "traditional" rules of baseball does not mean that he is a bad manager.

    In fact, Maddon has proven to be one of the best managers in the game and he has found this success with the wacky and unconventional tactics that make baseball purists want to jump off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

    In Maddon's four-plus years as Tampa's manager, he has a record of exactly .500 with one pennant and the 2008 Manager of The Year under his belt.

    Maddon and his Rays are on track for yet another playoff appearance this year, and they are once again overthrowing the Boston Red Sox as the second-best team in the AL East.

6. Ron Gardenhire

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 26: Manager Ron Gardenhire #35 of the Minnesota Twins in the dugout in the eighth inning against the New York Yankees during the game on May 26, 2010 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Yankees defeated the Twins 3-2. (Pho
    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Ron Gardenhire has quietly become one of the best managers in all of baseball.

    The Minnesota Twins under Gardy have had only one losing season and fallen short of first place just three times in nine seasons.

    Although Gardenhire has no pennants or World Series to his name yet, the Minnesota skipper is on track to bring the Commissioner's Trophy to the Twin Cities at some point in his managerial career.

5. Dusty Baker

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    CINCINNATI - AUGUST 29:  Dusty Baker the manager of the Cincinnati Reds watches the game against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on August 29, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Yes, Cubs fans, I know that Dusty Baker destroyed the careers of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior and possibly the Cubs' chances of a World championship.

    We've all heard it a thousand times, but the former Braves outfielder is also one of the greatest managers of our time.

    Baker managed Barry Bonds* and the 2002 San Francisco Giants to the World Series and although the Giants did not hoist the trophy, Baker had a .540 winning percentage with the Giants and .523 in his 17-year career.

    An even bigger accomplishment than the three Manger of The Year awards and high winning percentage is being able to coach the likes of Sammy Sosa* and Barry Bonds* without losing his mind.

4. Ozzie Guillen

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - MAY 16:  Manager Ozzie Guillen #13 of the Chicago White Sox talks to players in the dugout prior to the start of the game against the Kansas City Royals on May 16, 2010 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squir
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Ozzie.

    There really isn't much more to say about the best personality in baseball.

    Besides the incredible talent, the best part about watching a White Sox game is to see what Ozzie will say in the postgame press conference.

    Besides the HBO show and the self-promoting comments that we all love, Guillen's managerial accomplishments have been even better to witness.

    Ozzie led Chicago to the 2005 World Series and a clean sweep of the Houston Astros for the world championship. Guillen won Manager of The Year that year.

    His career managerial winning percentage is .531.

3. Joe Girardi

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    TAMPA, FL - MARCH 3: Manager Joe Girardi #28 of the New York Yankees carries the World Series trophy before play against the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 3, 2010 at the George M. Steinbrenner  Field in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Image
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Joe Girardi had huge shoes to fill when Joe Torre left New York.

    I would say that the Commissioner's trophy can fit in those shoes.

    The reigning champions of the world are once again the team to beat in baseball and it is partly due to the astounding management of Joe Girardi—and slightly due to the unlimited amount of money and talent in the Yankees organization.

    Since taking the reigns of the Yankees two years ago, Girardi has a .602 winning percentage, and his Bronx Bombers already have a reservation for October.

2. Charlie Manuel

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 31:  Manager Charlie Manuel of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on during batting practice before playing against the New York Yankeesin Game Three of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 31, 2009 in Philadelphi
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Charlie Manuel has never managed a team for a full season with a losing record.

    Since joining the Phillies in 2005, Manuel has a winning percentage of .554 and he led the team to two World Series...one victory.

    Manuel has managed the last two All-Star games and his Phighting Phillies are once again on track for another run into the postseason.

1. Bobby Cox

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    ATLANTA - APRIL 22:  Manager Bobby Cox #6 of the Atlanta Braves walks at the end of the dugout during batting practice before facing the Philiadelphia Phillies at Turner Field on April 22, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    You all knew it was coming.

    No matter if you're a Braves, Mets, Phillies, or Yankees fan, you know the legacy of Bobby Cox.

    I don't have to tell you about the 14 consecutive division titles, the five pennants, the fourth most managerial wins of all time, or the most ejections of all time.

    You know about Bobby Cox.

    Bobby Cox's Braves are bound for October one last time for their legendary manager's final farewell, and if they can accomplish what Cox did for 14 consecutive seasons, it will be a tale to tell for decades.

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