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Manager - How much difference can one make?

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It is commonly accepted that one manager is not worth more than another manager - that the results would be the same no matter who is at the helm.

However, if one looks at the standings over the last few years, it appears to me that a manager might make quite a bit of difference.

Bob Melvin in Oakland, Buck Showalter in Baltimore, Terry Francona in Cleveland, John Farrell in Boston, Clint Hurdle in Pittsburgh to name a few have turned teams around over the last couple of years while Mike Scioscia in Los Angeles, Bobby V. in Boston, and Charlie Manuel in Philadelphia to name a few have had major regressions over the last few years.

So my question is: Can one manager make more of a difference than another?
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  1. John Bonnes's Avatar
    I don't really know how this has been studied,but you're right that there is plenty of anecdotal evidence recently.
  2. old nurse's Avatar
    Bobbie V provided anecdotal evidence you can screw a team up. He only managed one year in Boston. They add talent and Farrell looks good. Notice that he did not make a Toronto team better.
    Manual has a lot of talent from the contending years playing for other teams. That the team is in such a decline that they are giving extended tryouts to jettisoned players like Young should be an indication of the dropoff of talent with the Phillies. Not to mention pitching injuries and old age.
    Cleaveland is dramatically improved, look at the talent they added or were lucky to find. Masterson stepped up. Is that the manager or the pitching coach.
  3. mnfireman's Avatar
    I think Farrell got more out Toronto than Gibbons is, and Toronto added a pile of "talent."
  4. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
    I believe that managers can make a huge difference. They can drive their players crazy or keep them upbeat. They can allow them to get sloppy or demand excellence. They can demand excellence while being total jerks or they can make every player proud of what they are accomplishing.

    I think there is a lot of evidence to support that.
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