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The best manager in the history of the Twins

Posted by mikelink45 , 05 March 2019 · 1,795 views

tom kelly paul molitor twins manager sam mele billy martin
The best manager in the history of the Twins
  • Cal Ermer
  • john goryl
  • Sam Mele
  • Tom kelly
  • Ray Miller
  • Paul Molitor
  • billy gardner
  • Billy Martin
  • Bill Rigney
  • Gene Mauch
  • Ron Gardenhire
  • Frank Quilici
  • Cookie Lavagetto

Who are our managers and who was the best? I have to say that I have a lot of questions about how to judge managers. They are given a roster to work with, they do not sign players or create the roster, they work with the GM and the GM is not judged like the manager. Right now we play in a lousy division which gives us 19 games a year versus the Royals, White Sox and Tigers plus the best team in the division is far below what the other division leaders do. What would our records be if we were in the East?

Our Managers began with Cookie Lavagetto, but he was replaced within the 1961 year in Minnesota so I cannot consider him to top this list.

Sam Mele 1961 – 1967. He had a world series and lost to Sandy Koufax in game seven. The record during his reign was 522 – 431 .546

Cal Ermer 1967 – 1968 145 – 129 .529

Billy Martin 1969 97 – 65 .599, playoffs and lost in three straight. Self-destructed off the field with players, marshmallow salesmen…

Bill Rigney 1970-72 208-184 .531, one playoff and lost in three straight.

Frank Quilici 1972 – 1975 280 – 287 .494

Gene Mauch 1976-1980 378-394 .490

Johnny Goryl 34 – 38 .472

Billy Gardner 1981-1985 268-353 .278

Ray Miller 1985-1986 109-130 .456

Tom Kelly 1986 – 2001 1140-1244 .478 2 World Series 16 – 8 playoff record

Ron Gardenhire 1068 – 1039 507 playoff record 6 – 21

Paul Molitor 2015 – 2018 305-343 471

1. Tom Kelly 1140
2. Ron Gardenhire 1039
3. Sam Mele 522
4. Gene Mauch 378
5. Paul Molitor 305

1. Billy Martin 599
2. Sam Mele 546
3. Cal Ermer 529
4. Bill Rigney 531
5. Ron Gardenhire 507

Best Average finish during their career span – I will eliminate the one year managers (Martin). The average comes from Baseball Reference:
1. Ron Gardenhire 2.7
2. Molitor 2.8
3. Rigney 3.0
4. Mele 3.2
5. Quilici 3.3
6. Mauch 3.6
7. Kelly 3.8

World Series has only Mele and Kelly

Most playoffs – Gardenhire (there were none around for Mele - he only had the WS and went to it.)

So who was the best? What a challenge. In recent times Tom Kelly has been sainted despite an overall .478 winning percentage. I wish I could say who got the most out of their talent level, but I do not have that data. I know the current Molitor haters would not like it that in the future, Molitor might look quire good in these rankings. Of Course Ray Miller and Billy Gardner are easy to rank the worst.

Certainly, for one year I would take Billy Martin, then Sam Mele, and then you can duke it out – was Kelly that good or was Gardenhire the guy that Twins fans got tired or over rated and the stats don’t count?

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Is Gardy really the only Twins manager with an above .500 winning percentage?


Is Gardy really the only Twins manager with an above .500 winning percentage?

No - Sam Mele, Cal Ermer, Billy Martin and Bill Rigney were over 500.They were our first four managers after Cookie Lavagetto was fired in year one.But in recent times Gardy is it!I know it surprises many since he left in such a losing streak.