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Best MLB Managers of the 2010s

by Chris Brown

With the 2010s in the rearview mirror, 110 Sports has been taking a look back at the best in baseball over the past decade. We’ve counted down the position players as well as the best starters and relievers, so now we’ll round things out with the managers who stood above the rest in the last 10 seasons. Let’s dive right in, starting with a few honorable mentions:

Honorable Mentions

Ned Yost | KC 2010-19

With a career .473 winning percentage as a manager, Yost won’t go down as one of the best skippers in MLB history, but his achievements in the 2010s are unquestionable. In 2014, he led the Royals to their first playoff berth since 1985 and an American League pennant before falling to the Giants in seven games in the World Series. The next year, Yost became the winningest manager in franchise history and led the Royals to their first World Series title in 30 years. 

Dusty Baker | CIN 2010-13, WSH 2016-17

It may seem odd to include a manager who was fired twice in the decade on this list, but here’s the thing: Baker managed six seasons in the 2010s. His teams won 90+ games in five of those years. Baker’s old school tendencies sometimes led to frustration, but there’s no denying that he got results and made the teams he managed better.

John Farrell | TOR 2011-12, BOS 2013-17

Red Sox fans were certainly not happy by the end of Farrell’s tenure as manager, but the team won 93 games in both of his final two seasons. Boston surpassed 90 wins in three of his five years at the helm, and Farrell took the Red Sox from worst to first in the AL East in 2013, leading the team to a World Series championship that season.

Top 5

5. Joe Girardi | NYY 2010-17

Girardi’s sole World Series title as manager came in 2009, but he led the Yankees to five playoff appearances over the next eight seasons at the helm. He never posted a losing record as Yankees manager and surpassed the 90-win mark five times. Giarardi’s tenure in New York didn’t end on a high note, but in looking at his overall body of work, he effectively transitioned the Yankees from Joe Torre into a new era. His overall record as Yankees manager: 910-710.

4. Bob Melvin | OAK 2011-19

The A’s haven’t made it far in the playoffs during his tenure, but Bob Melvin has been at the helm for a team that’s finished top two in the AL West five times in the 2010s. Oakland won the division in both of Melvin’s first two seasons as manager. Then, after a series of down years, the team won 97 games in each of the final two years of the decade. As of the end of the 2019 season, Melvin ranked third in wins in franchise history and 44th in MLB history.

3. Terry Francona | BOS 2010-11, CLE 2013-19

Francona’s two World Series titles came in 2004 and 2007, but he’s still had a very impressive last 10 seasons. The Red Sox’s September collapse in 2011 was a rough ending to a highly successful stretch in Boston. He was a perfect fit for the Indians, though, leading them to a 92-70 record — a 24-game improvement from the previous season — in his first season at the helm in 2013. After a few solid seasons, Cleveland won the AL Central in back-to-back-to-back years, coming oh so close to a championship in 2016 before blowing a 3-1 series lead to the Cubs. Francona was 817-639 in the 2010s and his teams never had a losing season.

2. Joe Maddon | TB 2010-14, CHC 2015-19

No matter what the future brings for Maddon in Los Angeles, he’ll always be cemented in history as the manager who led the Cubs to their first title in 108 years. The Cubs reached the NLCS the seasons before and after that as well, and posted a 471-339 record during Maddon’s tenure. But he also deserves significant credit for his success with Tampa Bay. Under Maddon, the Rays won 90+ games in four of five seasons to start the 2010s, including in 2010 when the team won the AL East with a 96-66 record. He remains the franchise’s all-time wins leader.

1. Bruce Bochy | SF 2010-19

There was no other pick for the top manager of the decade than Bochy. The future Hall-of-Famer led the Giants to three (!) World Series titles in the decade (2010, 2012, 2014). He retired at the conclusion of the 2019 season, but not before becoming just the eighth manager to reach 4,000 career games and the 11th to win 2,000 games. Bochy, who is as widely respected as anyone in the game, is 11th all-time in managerial wins and a lock to be enshrined in Cooperstown within the next five years. 

Catch up on 110 Sports’ entire series looking back at the best MLB players at each position of the last decade here.

Photos by Dirk DBQ / Flickr (Bochy), Keith Allison / Wikimedia Commons (Francona), Doug Anderson / Flickr (Maddon)

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