After eliminating ten managers in the quest for the best Phillies manager of all time, there are 15 left in round two. Here they are, with their win percentage, Pythagorean win percentage (if their Pythagorean win percentage is better than their actual win percentage, it’s in parenthesis) and whether or not they ever took the Phillies to the post-season:


Manager

W-L

Years

WPCT

P-WPCT

Post-season?

Harry Wright

636-566

1884-1893

.529

(.530)

NO

Bill Shettsline

367-303

1898-1902

.548

.527

NO

Billy Murray

240-214

1907-1909

.529

.529

NO

Red Dooin

392-370

1910-1914

.514

.503

NO

Pat Moran

323-257

1915-1918

.557

.548

YES

Ben Chapman

196-276

1945-1948

.415

.392

NO

Eddie Sawyer

390-423

1948-52, 1958-60

.480

(.486)

YES

Steve O’Neill

182-140

1952-1954

.565

.547

NO

Mayo Smith

264-282

1955-1958

.484

.473

NO

Gene Mauch

646-684

1960-1968

.486

.483

NO

Paul Owens

161-158

1972, 1983-84

.505

.495

YES

Danny Ozark

594-510

1973-1979

.538

(.540)

YES

Dallas Green

169-130

1979-1981

.565

.535

YES

Jim Fregosi

431-463

1991-1996

.482

(.487)

YES

Charlie Manuel

354-294

2005-2008

.546

(.548)

YES

I am going to eliminate nine managers in this round. They are Fregosi, Sawyer, O’ Neill, Murray, Chapman, Smith, Mauch, Dooin and Wright.

Here’s my thinking.

  • Jim Fregosi. Despite taking the Phillies to the World Series in 1993 (where they lost to the Blue Jays and Joe Carter), his overall winning percentage with the Phils is both below .500 and below is Pythagorean winning percentage.
  • Steve O’ Neill. A fantastic .565 winning percentage is tied with Dallas Green for the best of the group. The difference between his winning percentage and Pythagorean winning percentage is also impressive. He managed so few games, though, just one full season. He took over for Eddie Sawyer in ’52, managed all of ’53 when the Phils finished third but 22 games out of first in the eight-team National League and just 77 games of the 1954 season. Despite the impressive numbers elsewhere, it’s just not enough games.
  • Eddie Sawyer. Like Fregosi, Sawyer took the Phils to the World Series and lost but also had a winning percentage that is both below .500 and below is Pythagorean winning percentage. Sawyer’s Phillies edged out the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the NL by two games in 1950. They were swept by the Yankees in the World Series. That stint with the Phils ended in 1952, but the team brought him back again late in the decade — Sawyer’s Phils went a miserable 94-131 in ’58, ’59 and one game of the 1960 season.
  • Billy Murray. Has a solid .529 winning percentage with the Phils, but never took the team to the post-season and did not outperform his Pythagorean win percentage. Very solid, but not enough to be considered the organization’s best of all time.
  • Ben Chapman. Huge difference between his winning percentage and his Pythagorean winning percentage, the second best of the group after Dallas Green. Still, his teams were miserable, his .415 mark is the worst winning percentage of the group by a lot and he never finished better than sixth in the NL. He embarrassed the organization with his treatment of Jackie Robinson in 1947.
  • Mayo Smith. The difference between Smith’s Pythagorean and actual winning percentages is impressive, but he won less than half of his games at the helm of the Phils and never saw the post-season with the team. In his best year with the team, 1955, the Phillies finished fourth in the eight-team National League. He would have an impressive run with the Tigers late in his career, beating the Cardinals to win the 1968 World Series.
  • Red Dooin. Dooin posted more wins than Pythagoras suggests he should have, but his team finished higher than fourth in the NL just once in the years he managed — in 1913 the Phils finished second, but 12 1/2 games behind the New York Giants, who apparently were getting calls at the line of scrimmage a hundred years ago as well. The difference between his winning percentage and Pythagorean percentage is the fifth-best of this group.
  • Gene Mauch. Mauch won less than half the games he managed, but still leads the organization with 646 victories. He finished higher than fourth in the NL just once and when he did it was memorable. In 1964 the Phillies were 90-70 with 12 games to play and lead the National League by 6 1/2 games. They went 2-10 the rest of the way and finished a game behind St Louis. Mauch’s ’61 Phillies lost 23 in a row at one point and finished a hide-your-eyes bad 47-107.
  • Harry Wright. Wright is a legendary manager who is in the Hall of Fame, but not for anything he did in Philadelphia. Between 1872-1878, Wright won championships six times in seven years. His Boston Red Stockings of the National Association, for which Wright was a player manager who saw significant time on the field through 1874, won the National Association in ’72, ’73, ’74 and ’75. As manager of the Boston Red Caps, he won the National League 1877 and 1878. He didn’t have quite the same success in Philadelphia, though. He did lead the Quakers to a second-place finish in the NL in 1887, when they finished 3 1/2 games behind the Detroit Wolverines. That was as good as it got for him in Philadelphia — when you compare him to the rest of the list he is also hurt by posting a winning percentage worse than his Pythagorean winning percentage.

Six left. Green, Manuel, Shettsline, Moran, Ozark and Owens.