Managerial Duties

As we embark on another season, managerial strategies are criticized more than anything else. Players have all of the opportunity in the world, but it’s up to the manager to decide which ones are going to get a chance. When thinking about this fact and considering what to write about, I thought, “who is the best manager in Reds history?” Well that’s officially one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever asked myself. Sparky Anderson is and always will be the greatest – period. That got me thinking more though, who is the most overlooked manager in Reds History?

There are currently 13 former Reds managers in the Hall of Fame. You can see the list here. Many of the guys on the list managed less than 2 years with the Reds while having tremendous careers elsewhere. That would obviously take them out of consideration. Also, I think that in order to be considered the “most overlooked”, they should be someone who is overlooked by the baseball community as a whole. Now this will have to eliminate Pete Rose from contention because he’s been shunned, not overlooked. Don’t get me started on Pete, I don’t care if he throws at his own son at the company softball game, the all time hit king deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. For the record though, Rose is listed as the number 5 manager of all time in terms of games and number 6 in wins with 786 games and a 412-373 record. I’m aware that the numbers don’t add up and it’s driving me nuts, but that’s according to and we dare not question them…

Back to the topic at hand. Pat Moran should probably be considered with an NL pennant in 1915 with the Phillies and a WS Championship with the Reds in 1919 and an overall record of 748-586 and 425 of those wins came in a Reds uniform. Of course there is the whole “Black Sox” issue… The Chicago White Sox in 1919 were owned by former Reds player/manager Charles Comiskey and as a version of the story goes, the players initiated the scandal because of their hatred for him. That hatred was the only thing that actually brought the team together coincidentally enough. So, could Moran’s Reds have won the Series without it being thrown? On many accounts, that’s a big fat no. So, he’s out.

So, out of the top 5 managers in terms of wins, we have Sparky Anderson, another Hall of Famer in Bill McKutchnie (1938-46 with 744 wins), Jack Hendricks (1924-29 with 469 wins), Fred Hutchinson (1959-64 443 wins) and Pat Moran. Three have now been ruled out. We have Hendricks and Hutchinson remaining. Which one was better?

When comparing managers, I believe there are essentially 4 important criteria. Team wins, career wins, winning % and championships. In these categories, here’s how they stack up:

Reds Wins
Hutchinson 443
Hendricks 469
Advantage Hendricks

Career Wins
Hutchinson 830
Hendricks 520
Advantage Hutchinson

Reds Winning Percentage
Hutchinson .544
Hendricks .510
Advantage Hutchinson

Hutchinson 1 – NL Pennant in 1961
Hendricks 0
Advantage Hutchinson

Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe we have a winner! Fred Hutchinson! Ok, call the Hall of Fame now and reinstate his eligibility, anyone who has to go up against the M&M boys (Mantle & Maris) in a World Series should at least get consideration. I mean come on, they may have lost the Series 4-1 to the Yankees, but that team was arguably one of the greatest teams in history, let alone Yankees’ history.

If I had a vote, Fred Hutchinson, you’d get it!