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Connie Mack = Most overrated manager of all-time

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  • #16
    Actually, your inclusion of Anderson as #4 instead of Mack is interesting.

    Mack had two dynasties, Sparky one.
    Mack built those dynasties by himself, Sparky had a GM.
    Mack won nine pennants and five World Series titles, Sparky five and three, with two other division titles to his credit.
    Mack had to adjust from deadball style play to the lively ball play of the late 20's and beyond. Sparky didn't.

    I don't think Mack's sorry 17 year coda (at least partially economically induced) at the end of his career obliterates the advantages he has over Sparky.

    I can certainly see your top three over Mack, and LaRussa isn't done yet, and has some definite points in his favor, so I'm willing to hold off on that one. I think I'd put Mack about fourth myself, but there is some room for subjectivity there. However, I wouldn't put Sparky over Mack.

    Jim Albright
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by jalbright View Post
      Actually, your inclusion of Anderson as #4 instead of Mack is interesting.

      Mack had two dynasties, Sparky one.
      Mack built those dynasties by himself, Sparky had a GM.
      Mack won nine pennants and five World Series titles, Sparky five and three, with two other division titles to his credit.
      Mack had to adjust from deadball style play to the lively ball play of the late 20's and beyond. Sparky didn't.

      I don't think Mack's sorry 17 year coda (at least partially economically induced) at the end of his career obliterates the advantages he has over Sparky.

      I can certainly see your top three over Mack, and LaRussa isn't done yet, and has some definite points in his favor, so I'm willing to hold off on that one. I think I'd put Mack about fourth myself, but there is some room for subjectivity there. However, I wouldn't put Sparky over Mack.

      Jim Albright
      Yeah, I guess you have a point

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      • #18
        Managers

        You are comparing two completely different eras of baseball here. Not only did Mack own the team he managed but the talent was in much shorter supply then as well. Then add to that the lack of specialized coaching and physical training. Baseball has become so pinpointed since his time. Today's managers do far less managing than those days. The talent is thick and top notch across most of the board in modern baseball and even the worst teams of today would run circles around the teams of those days. When the athletes themselves are that much better the managing aspect becomes more limited. We are now talking about more guidance of talent than actually plotting out an entire game. Joe Torre has the easiest time of them all. Give me nine guys that good and I'll look like a HOF manager as well. Coaching is what Mack did then. He would not have been the manager in today's age that he was then. He would be a coach. This statement is true in any sport. It may be most eveident in football. Take the greats of their time(in their prime) and put them on the field now, against today's best, and it's a slaughter. Today's players are bigger, stronger, and faster. I'm not meaning to detract from Mack but you can't compare them. What about Ali vs Tyson? In their prime Tyson beats Ali hands down. Too fast, too strong, it's a different era. Do you really think Cy Young could muster 500 wins in modern baseball? HOF is described as the best among your position when you played, or managed in this case. You can't compare across eras. Plain and simple.

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        • #19
          One thing that seems to be omitted here. The two dynastic teams, 1910-14 and 1929-31, are usually ranked among the greatest of all time. The 29-31 team is often compared to the 27 Yankees. Mack built these teams and managed them to greatness.
          I don't know where I would rank him. But I don't think I would use the word "overrated."

          Welcome back ARod. Hope you are a Yankee forever.
          Phil Rizzuto-a Yankee forever.

          Holy Cow

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Soxrock View Post
            Again, I admitted overrated was the wrong word. But he still isn't top 5 in my mind, because the order for me in that is:

            1) Stengel
            2) McCarthy
            3) John McGraw
            4) Sparky Anderson
            5) Tony La Russa
            I find it interesting that you put Stengel number 1. His record was just barely over .500 and he won 100 games just once. He was considered a clown in Boston and Brooklyn.
            http://www.baseball-reference.com/ma...tengca01.shtml
            HOF yes. Ahead of McGraw and McCarthy, no.

            Welcome back ARod. Hope you are a Yankee forever.
            Phil Rizzuto-a Yankee forever.

            Holy Cow

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            • #21
              OK, I was too harsh on you about Connie Mack.

              But, as a Tiger fan all my life. I will never allow Sparky Anderson be called great and let it go unchallenged.

              First, a monkey could've managed the Big Red Machine. In fact, one did. The pitching on those teams were very good. The 1st version of what was known as The Big Four I remember was the 1970s Reds. Don Gullett, Gary Nolan, Ross Grimsley, and Wayne Simpson. All young pitchers that came up like the recent A's and Tigers have. He truely mismanaged his pitching staff but that offense was so overwhelming, he could do almost anything and still overcome his mistakes. He pulled his pitchers often for no reason, developing the nick-name "Captain Hook".

              He arrived in Detroit in 1979. Without knowing the team, he announced that the team would be ready in 5 years. 5 years later, WS Champs. Now, for the truth. True brethern know that the Tigers were at most, 2 years away when Sparky arrived. Ralph Houk had done his job, built the team back up, honed a management replacement in Les Moss who was managing a contending team early on, and the farm was full. The nucleus was already in place with young unknowns, Jack Morris, Milt Wilcox, Dave Rozema, Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammell, Lance Parrish, Aurelio Lopez, Tom Brookens, and Dan Petry was slated to join from AAA. Sparky had to be the star of the team. He rid the team of all its known stars such as Rusty Staub, Jason Thompson, Ron LeFlore, Steve Kemp, and even some favorites such as Aurelio Rodriguez and John Hiller and replaced them with "his players" in the form of Champ Summers and Rich Hebner type players and set the club back 3 years. He rarely gave young players a chance and usually gave up on them quickly. In fact, Roger Craig took control of the 1984 pitching staff and deserves as much credit for the WS as anyone. 1987 was Sparky's good year but, deserves sole credit for the poor showing in the playoffs. Almost every post season move he made was more than a little bizzar... mostly leaving a revived Willie Hernandez under utilized while the big choke, Mike Hennemen, lost game after game. Then there was the speedy, hot hitting Scott Lusader sitting on the bench and fat old Darrell Evens trying to play 3B while the Twins were making it obvious trying to hit it his way. Yeah, that's your great manager!

              Ultimately, he had two very good solid teams and just couldn't build new ones as they aged. Sparky's biggest asset is that he amused the media, nearly copying Casey Stengel's speech and mannerism.
              Last edited by HDH; 08-31-2007, 04:14 PM.
              In the 1920's, Harry Heilmann led the AL with a .364 average. In addition, he averaged 220 hits, 45 doubles, 12 triples, 16 homers, 110 runs, and 130 RBI.

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              • #22
                during the years the a's won, only mr. mack could have managed them to the pennant and championship. during the years they lost, any manager would have lost. battlin bake, the dodger dynamo
                Last edited by dodger dynamo; 10-11-2007, 12:05 AM.

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                • #23
                  In 1913, Shibe offered him a substantial ownership stake in the Athletics, in order for him to resist the temptation to go to New York to manage the Yankees. Reflex dictates that this job would've been quite a plum, but nothing could be further than the truth: at that time, the newly named Yankees were a second rate club with poor ownership, and an uncertain future.

                  The only reason Connie Mack got to keep his job was because of that stake. If he didn't have that, he surely would've been fired early on during the 1915-1921 devastation. By the late '30s, he assumed total control of the American League Club of Philadelphia, and no one alive was gonna wrest him from that dugout...although, given the events that happened, it would've been well if someone had attempted this. It would've saved everyone the sight of an eighty six year old drifting in and out of senility, calling for pinch hitters who hadn't been with the A's for thirty odd years, trying to manage a team in a pennant race.

                  You have a choice: you can buy the Connie Mack of the legend, or you can buy this very human man with eccentric financial theories, monumental (although not exclusive to Mr. Mack, of course) stinginess, and the kind of racist bigotry that would have him foot the bill to have the loudest, nastiest heckler in Shibe Park follow Larry Doby around the whole American League, just so he could "n%$#@!" him to death. Either way, Philly baseball fans had no choice...they had Mr. Mack, year in and year out. The alternative, until the Carpenter family arrived, was so untenable, that watching baseball must indeed have been quite painful.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by musialfan View Post
                    You are comparing two completely different eras of baseball here. Not only did Mack own the team he managed but the talent was in much shorter supply then as well. Then add to that the lack of specialized coaching and physical training. Baseball has become so pinpointed since his time. Today's managers do far less managing than those days. The talent is thick and top notch across most of the board in modern baseball and even the worst teams of today would run circles around the teams of those days. When the athletes themselves are that much better the managing aspect becomes more limited. We are now talking about more guidance of talent than actually plotting out an entire game. Joe Torre has the easiest time of them all. Give me nine guys that good and I'll look like a HOF manager as well. Coaching is what Mack did then. He would not have been the manager in today's age that he was then. He would be a coach. This statement is true in any sport. It may be most eveident in football. Take the greats of their time(in their prime) and put them on the field now, against today's best, and it's a slaughter. Today's players are bigger, stronger, and faster. I'm not meaning to detract from Mack but you can't compare them. What about Ali vs Tyson? In their prime Tyson beats Ali hands down. Too fast, too strong, it's a different era. Do you really think Cy Young could muster 500 wins in modern baseball? HOF is described as the best among your position when you played, or managed in this case. You can't compare across eras. Plain and simple.
                    Muhhammad Ali would have beaten Tyson with ease during his Clay phase and before the 2nd Frazier fight. His height alone would give him an insurmountable advantage. Tyson was short, explosive and would have fought at considerable disadvantage. Ali would have exploited his every flaw. Ali was afraid of no one and his willingness to be punched would have unhinged Tyson. Tyson was a bully who was beaten by Douglas, I own the VHS have seen it many times, when Douglas showed no fear. Ali feared no one, not even the U.S. government. Once Tyson had been defeated it was all downhill.

                    Ali used defeat to his advantage like no one before or since.

                    Oh, this is about baseball?
                    Last edited by Steven Gallanter; 02-23-2011, 09:27 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Soxrock View Post
                      Again, I admitted overrated was the wrong word. But he still isn't top 5 in my mind, because the order for me in that is:

                      1) Stengel
                      2) McCarthy
                      3) John McGraw
                      4) Sparky Anderson
                      5) Tony La Russa
                      You started a Connie Mack overrated thread and La Russa is your fifth best manager ever?
                      "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post

                        You started a Connie Mack overrated thread and La Russa is your fifth best manager ever?
                        Bobby Cox won 14 divisions in a row in the midst of free agency and held together pitching staffs, with the best pitching coach ever, Leo Mazzone in a park above sea level. Somehow Cox is overlooked when great managers are discussed.

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                        • #27
                          My understanding is that Connie Mack had a brilliant baseball mind but was lousy at the business side of baseball.

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                          • #28
                            Mack managed, owned (partially for a while with Shibe), was general manager in essence, oversaw ballpark operations, scouted players and had a series of birdogs and contacts that he used to build the clubs talent. He even acquired the land even for the park with Shibe and oversaw it's construction. He was instrumental in the birth of the AL and in my opinion is one of the underrated people in the history of the game. The only guy in his or most any other era that can touch him is maybe McGraw. He birthed the idea of pre-game skull sessions with players too. After the early years of the 20th century the jobs in ballclubs became much more specialized and separate. Mack did them ALL. If the Federal League doesn't happen he very likely has a totally dominant run from 1905-1931 in the AL and people might be saying 'Yankees who' ? He never had a business outside of baseball to support the financial operation of the team like Ruppert, Somers, Wrigley and others. That was his only problem. And I'm a big fan of Stengel and Sparky.....

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Steven Gallanter View Post

                              Bobby Cox won 14 divisions in a row in the midst of free agency and held together pitching staffs, with the best pitching coach ever, Leo Mazzone in a park above sea level. Somehow Cox is overlooked when great managers are discussed.
                              Holy God you quoted a post from 7 years ago and you're still posting. Crazy. I have no idea what the hell I was thinking. I can't believe I didn't mention Stengel & McCarthy on top is insane. Bobby Cox is my #1 manager of all-time...
                              1. Cox, Bobby – Atlanta Braves
                              2. McGraw, John – New York Giants
                              3. Mack, Connie – Philadelphia Athletics
                              4. La Russa, Tony – St. Louis Cardinals
                              5. Alston, Walter – Los Angeles Dodgers
                              6. Anderson, Sparky – Detroit Tigers
                              7. McKechnie, Bill – Cincinnati Reds
                              8. Weaver, Earl – Baltimore Orioles
                              9. Anson, Cap – Chicago White Stockings
                              10. Herzog, Whitey – St. Louis Cardinals
                              11. Torre, Joe – New York Yankees
                              12. McCarthy, Joe – New York Yankees
                              13. Stengel, Casey – New York Yankees
                              "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Genuinely curious about Stengel. Was he really a great manager or just a mediocrity with an oversized, colorful personality? I know very little about him, so I'd like to get the input of those who are far more familiar with him and the era in which he managed.

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