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Feeling Mauch-ish
2005-08-08 21:06
by Mike Carminati

Gene Mauch passed away tonight at the age of 79. Unfortunately, no one saw fit to put him in the Hall of Fame before he died, though I think someday it will happen.

As a manager he has the most wins of any manager who was eligible for but not in the Hall. I wrote about this and found that Mauch fit the de facto standards for Hall admission for managers (1596 wins and exceeding his team's expected winning percentage). Though if anyone thought the standards for Hall of Fame players was screwed up, they should take a look at the arbitrary fashion by which managers were picked.

I think there are three reasons why he is not already enshrined in Cooperstown. First, there are the collapses. He had only three teams that were serious contenders for a championship, and each time it ended in disaster. His Phils career built to the debacle of the 1964 season. As you are probably aware, the Phils were leading the NL by 6.5 games with 12 left to play. They lost ten straight games in arguably the worst collapse down the stretch ever. Then after leading two floundering franchises (Expos and Twins) he reached the playoffs twice with the Angels, 1982 and 1986. In 1982, they lost three straight and the ALCS after winning the first two games. In 1986, they were infamously one strike away from the Series. Then Donnie Moore helped blow a three-run lead in game five and they lost to the Red Sox, who would have their own share of problems in the Series, in seven games.

Second, he had a losing record and we hate losers. He is actually third among managers in losses and one of three with 2000 losses:

Connie Mack37313948
Bucky Harris21572218
Gene Mauch19022037
John McGraw27631948
Tony LaRussa21841887
Casey Stengel19051842
Sparky Anderson21941834
Bill McKechnie18961723
Leo Durocher20081709
Joe Torre18411620
Walter Alston20401613

Of course, he is "just" eleventh in wins:

Connie Mack37313948
John McGraw27631948
Sparky Anderson21941834
Tony LaRussa21841887
Bucky Harris21572218
Joe McCarthy21251333
Bobby Cox20661579
Walter Alston20401613
Leo Durocher20081709
Casey Stengel19051842
Gene Mauch19022037

(By the way, has him at 1901, but my numbers jibe with, so what the hey?)

And Mauch was sixth in games for a manager:

Connie Mack373139487755
John McGraw276319484769
Bucky Harris215722184408
Tony LaRussa218418874071
Sparky Anderson219418344030
Gene Mauch190220373942
Casey Stengel190518423766
Leo Durocher200817093739
Walter Alston204016133658
Bill McKechnie189617233647
Bobby Cox206615793645

Finally, I think Mauch gets the shaft because his career was spread among so many franchises diluting his image and impact. However, he is the only manager to win as many as 300 games with four different franchises:

Mgr# Franchises w/ 300 W
Gene Mauch4
Ralph Houk3
Leo Durocher3
Bill McKechnie3
Tony LaRussa3

By the way, he still is the Phillies' franchise leader in managerial wins. Here are all Phils managers with at least 300 wins:

Gene Mauch646684133219601968
Harry Wright636566122718841893
Danny Ozark594510110519731979
Jim Fregosi43146389419911996
Red Dooin39237077519101914
Eddie Sawyer39042381719481960
Burt Shotton37054992319281933
Bill Shettsline36730367718981902
Larry Bowa33730864520012004
Pat Moran32325758719151918

And now the three-hundred-win managers for his other three franchises:


Felipe Alou691717140819922001
Buck Rodgers520499102019851991
Gene Mauch499627112719691975
Dick Williams38034772719771981
Frank Robinson29130659720022005


Bucky Harris13361416277619241954
Tom Kelly11401244238619862001
Clark Griffith693646136419121920
Sam Mele52443696319611967
Gene Mauch37839477219761980
Ossie Bluege37539477219431947
Walter Johnson35026461719291932
Ron Gardenhire33326359620022005

The San Pedro Angels:

Bill Rigney625707133319611969
Mike Scioscia48943292120002005
Gene Mauch37933271119811987

Maybe his passing will spur some interest in his career, and maybe the Veterans Committee will straighten its voting procedures out, and then Mauch will actually get the plaque he so richly deserves. It would have been nicer if he didn't have to die to get it though.

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