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Friday, January 6, 2012
Bruce Bochy: Hall of Fame manager?


In writing these Hall of Fame pieces this week, I often find myself going on random tangents. Mostly, I blame Jim Caple. Anyway, I was talking with Caple the other day and I think he brought up Gene Mauch, which in a roundabout way made me realize that Bruce Bochy is 25th on the all-time list for games managed. Plus he's won a World Series title. In other words: Does Bochy have a shot at the Hall of Fame?

Fourteen of the 24 managers ahead of Bochy on the games managed list are already in the Hall of Fame. Of those 14 Hall of Famers, 12 did win at least two World Series titles, the exceptions being Leo Durocher (who won one) and Wilbert Robinson (who won zero). Three managers who managed more games and won World Series are surefire future Hall of Famers: Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre.

That leaves the following guys who have managed more games than Bochy:
In addition, there are seven Hall of Famers elected as managers who managed fewer games then Bochy: Miller Huggins (three World Series titles), Earl Weaver (four pennants, one World Series), Ned Hanlon (five pennants in the pre-World Series era), Al Lopez (.584 win percentage, two pennants, no World Series titles), Frank Selee (four pennants in pre-World Series era) and Billy Southworth (four pennants, two titles).

As for Bochy, his career winning percentage is under .500 (.497) but he has made five playoff appearances and won two pennants and a World Series and accomplished that without managing one of the iconic big-market franchises. If he manages three more seasons, he'll move up to 17th on the list of games managed (assuming Baker and Leyland keep managing). I've never thought of Bochy as a Hall of Fame candidate, but he's done a lot of things that certainly warrant consideration.