Who are the best managers in MLB history?

Bruce Bochy is strengthening his case with the Rangers

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The Texas Rangers had never won a World Series -- until 2023. Bruce Bochy, in his first season as the Rangers manager, guided the team to glory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Bochy returned to the dugout after agreeing to a three-year deal with Texas prior to the start of the 2023 season. It was his first managerial role since leaving the San Francisco Giants in 2019.

The 68-year-old led Texas to a 90-72 regular-season record, tied for first with the Houston Astros in the AL West. The Rangers then proceeded to start the postseason 7-0, sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 in the Wild Card and the Baltimore Orioles 3-0 in the ALDS before delivering in crucial road games to beat Houston 4-3 in the ALCS.

When equipped with quality personnel, Bochy once again proved he can lead his team far, doing so once again in 2023.

But is Bochy one of the best MLB managers to ever do it? Let's look at 10 of the best, in no particular order:

Bruce Bochy: San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers

Most of the managers on this list are from the past, but Bochy is one of the few who bucks that trend. Bochy is most known for his even-year titles when the Giants lifted the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014, whereas the rest of the seasons didn't live up to the billing. But from a holistic lens, he's 10th all time in total wins, with only Dusty Baker as a current manager who has tallied more.

Bochy has also collected five pennants. The 14 managers, not counting Bochy, who have won at least five or more all went on to join the Baseball Hall of Fame. Maybe the main doubt is Bochy has more losses than wins (also the fourth-most losses), but when it's time to win, he's proven he can get it done. His four World Series wins makes him the just the sixth manager to reach that tally. He's cemented.

"Giants Talk" hosts Alex Pavlovic and Cole Kuiper discuss why Bruce Bochy actually left his position as manager of the San Francisco Giants.

Joe McCarthy: Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox

McCarthy managed from 1926 to 1950 for three different teams with the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in his collection. Though he managed in a completely different era, he still has the highest-ever winning percentage of a manager at 61.5%. He accumulated 2,125 wins while losing 1,333 games.

His time with the Yankees is where he is most remembered, as he won seven World Series titles with the club. He's tied with one other manager, who will appear on this list, for most World Series titles won all time. McCarthy also won nine pennants.

Casey Stengel: Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Braves, New York Yankees, New York Mets

The other manager with seven World Series titles? That would be Casey Stengel, who played as a right fielder before transitioning to a different role in the dugout. Stengel won two World Series as a player for the New York Giants in 1921 and 1922, with the rest coming as a manager for the Yankees from 1949-1958. That included a dominant five-year stretch from 1949-1953.

Stengel also has 10 pennants to his name, winning one in each of his 10 postseason appearances. His 50.8% winning percentage in the regular season is a common argument used against him, but it's hardly debatable with the number of rings on his fingers.

Tony La Russa: Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa holds up the championship trophy after a 6-2 win over the Texas Rangers in Game 7 of the World Series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. (Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The second-most winningest manager of all time (2,902), Tony La Russa never had a win percentage under 50% during his time with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics or St. Louis Cardinals. He played as an infielder in the 1960s and early 70s before becoming a manager from 1979 to 2011. He then returned to the White Sox in 2021 after a 10-year hiatus, but stepped down in 2022 after health issues.

La Russa won three World Series and six pennants across 14 playoff appearances. The first World Series title came with Oakland before he won two with St. Louis, the last being in 2011 that saw him retire after winning. He's the only manager to have done so.

John McGraw: Baltimore Orioles, New York Giants

Going back to the early 1900s, McGraw is the third-winningest MLB manager with 2,763 wins under his belt. He was a player/manager for one season with Baltimore in 1901-02 before managing the New York Giants from 1902-1932, when all the magic happened.

McGraw won three World Series titles in 1905, 1921 and 1922. If those years sound familiar, he coached Stengel in those wins. McGraw also won 10 pennants and posted a 58.6 winning percentage, good for fourth best among his peers.

Connie Mack: Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Athletics

In order to go to the most-winningest manager of all time, we have to start in the 1890s. Enter Connie Mack, who won 3,731 games as a manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Athletics from 1894 to 1950. That's nearly a thousand more wins than La Russa.

Mack won all five of his World Series titles with Philadelphia, the first in 1910 and the last in 1930. He also collected nine pennants. But the main knock on Mack is his rather poor winning percentage, as he lost more games (3,948) than he won. His 48.6 winning percentage is far from elite and a part-ownership in the Athletics aided his job security. Still, he didn't win 829 more games than the next-best manager for no reason.

Walter Alston: Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers

As far as success goes managing one club for an entire career, good luck finding better stories than what Walter Alston penned as a Dodger. Alston managed the team from 1954-1976, and despite carrying a nickname of "the Quiet Man," he made noise winning four World Series during his tenure.

Alston also won seven pennants in seven postseason appearances with the team and posted the fifth-most wins of any manager at 2,040. He paved the way for Tommy Lasorda to thrive right after.

Joe Torre: New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers

PHOENIX, UNITED STATES: New York Yankees manager Joe Torre stands on the mound with the Yankees infield players during a pitching change in Game 6 of the World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix. (MIKE NELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Joe Torre played as a catcher and infielder before becoming a manager, where he had stints with five teams from 1977 to 2010. But he didn't experience the same level of success with all five teams. He's most known for his time in the Bronx, where he won four World Series titles with the Yankees. He never won it elsewhere.

Torre won six pennants in 15 postseason appearances, and his 84-58 win-loss record in the playoffs is the most wins by a manager of all time.

Sparky Anderson: Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers

Sparky Anderson made his mark with two teams who hadn't yet appeared on this list. Anderson played just one season in MLB with the Philadelphia Phillies but struggled and played in the minors. He then proceeded to have successful runs with Cincinnati and Detroit.

He won two World Series titles with the Reds and one with the Tigers. Only La Russa joined Anderson thus far as managers to win it all through both the AL and NL. He also seized five pennants in seven playoff runs.

Miller Huggins: St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees

Like the managers before him on this list, Miller Huggins won three World Series championships. However, all three came with the Yankees. All six of his pennants also came with New York, so he never got the chance to deliver to St. Louis as both a player when he was a second baseman and later as a manager.

Still, Huggins posted a 55.5 winning percentage across his time for both teams from 1913-1929, winning 1,413 games and losing 1,134.

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