I'M just wondering how Expos fans rank the best managers in the franchise's history.
Who is #1?
I'll nominate five individuals: Gene Mauch, Dick Williams, Jim Fanning, Buck Rodgers and Felipe Alou.
Some qualifications of the candidates:
MAUCH: It took a special person with infinite patience (despite his reputation for having a bad temper) to assume command of an expansion team that was supplied with little talent, to shepard the Expos team through the first seven years of their existence.
WILLIAMS: The only Hall Of Fame manager in the group - although cases could be made for Mauch and Alou. Guided the team to their first above .500 finish (1979) and then their first pennant race, in 1980, where the Expos entered the final three games of the season tied for the NL East division lead with Philadelphia, only to lose a head-to-head confrontation with the Phillies and finish one game behind.
FANNING: An organization man who stepped in and did a decent job, twice, after the firings of Williams and Bill Virdon. In his first full year in command he led the team to a fine 86-76 third-place finish in 1982.
RODGERS: Led the team to some respectable years in the late 1980s, including a 91-71 finish in 1987, where the Expos finished just four games behind the division-winning St. Louis Cardinals.
ALOU: Took over the team in the early 1990s, in a rebuilding mode, and they quickly became winners. The 1994 team was a certain division winner and possible World Series team when the strike of 1994 derailed them. Alou finiahed his managerial career at age 71 with the Giants in 2006. He got his chance to manage late, when he was already in his mid-50s, but made the most of it. His final career numbers with the Expos and SF Giants were 1033-1021 with a .503 winning percentage and I believe he is still the winningest manager born in a Caribbean country (Dominican Republic).
-Dennis Orlandini - (PHILLIES FIEND 55).