Baseball’s Most Handsome Managers

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OXON HILL, MD — This is the fourth year I have done these rankings (here’s last year’s). They started as a total lark, but I’m starting to worry that I have tapped into some sort of cosmic energy with them which somehow ties in with The Fate of Man.

I don’t presume that I have any power here. I’m just a conduit. All I know for sure is that, if I rank you in, say, the bottom ten on this list, bad things may very well happen to you. To wit:

I think the lesson here is obvious: be handsome. Everything else is secondary.

Which skipper is the most handsome this year? See below to find out. But first, the disclaimers:

  • No baseball manager is ugly. All of them have inner beauty, I’m sure.
  • This is a subjective list, obviously. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I will privately judge you for thinking unattractive managers are handsome, but that reflects poorly on me, not you. Let no one besides you dictate your feelings.
  • Finally, because some of you will inevitably offer a neanderthal comment about all of this, let me head it off by assuring you that this is merely a list of aesthetic handsomeness, not one of love or longing. I hate that even in 2016 I feel as though I have to say it, but I will say that I am a totally straight man making these judgments. If you find something wrong or amiss with that, I feel sorry for you. There is far too much beauty among people in the world for us to fail to acknowledge 50% of it merely because we’re worried about appearing less than traditionally masculine or feminine. Free your mind, the rest will follow.

The rankings:

DETROIT, MI - APRIL 04:  Manager Brad Ausmus #7 of the Detroit Tigers watches the action during the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park on April 4, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Orioles 10-4. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

1. Brad Ausmus: Back on top after a one-year absence. I’m not gonna lie, I had no idea whether I’d put him here or give Mike Matheny a second year as my number one hunk. Two things happened last night, however, that helped me make up my mind.

First, just before going to dinner, I came across a late season photo of Matheny in which he was letting the mullet thing get out of hand (see below). Second, after getting back from dinner, I found myself standing next to Ausmus in the lobby of the Gaylord Hotel. He was with a group of friends, having a drink and chatting and, of course, was looking amazing. As I said above, I’m a perfectly straight dude, but even I can appreciate it when a man is in the 99th percentile of jeans-wearing. Indeed, the Tigers should change all coaches uniforms to jeans and a button down shirt next year and watch attendance soar.

But really, it wasn’t just the looks that put Ausmus back on top. It was how comfortable he is being a true Man of the People. A lot of the older managers hang out in the bars with the crowd at the Winter Meetings because they’ve seen it all and don’t give a crap. Bochy, Showalter, Leyland, Mackanin and those guys are always around. The younger set, who identify more with the front office types, are harder to find, presumably because they’re up in the suites with the suits, away from the hoi polloi.

Not Ausmus. He’s always down here with us plebes. He doesn’t give a crap, and there’s something dashing about that.

2. Mike Matheny: I’m gonna catch all kinds of hell from Cards fans for knocking Mathney down a notch after his first place finish last year, but I’m sorry, you gotta do something about that hair in the back, Mike:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Manager Mike Matheny #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on while the umpires review a call against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the third inning at AT&T Park on September 16, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Maybe that’s always been there, I don’t know. But I’m really noticing it now and, for as little standing I have to criticize anyone’s hair, I’m not prepared to make a mullet-wearing man my Most Handsome Manager. Don’t get me wrong: he’s still leaps and bounds more handsome than the 28 men below him. Ausmus and Matheny are in their own league. They should probably pull a John Laroquette and take themselves out of the future running in order to make it fair for the other guys. But you have to make distinctions somehow. Get a haircut and check back with me next December, Mike. Or maybe wait for Ausmus to get fired, which could totally happen in 2017. Then you can assume th top spot again.

3. Dave Roberts: A big leap from last year. As I’ve always said in these rankings how one carries oneself in the role of manager has a huge impact on one’s handsomeness, at least how I define it, so we had to see him in action before his ranking stabalized. Roberts came into a job with a stress level that made Don Mattingly look like this, often:

Ned Colletti, Don Mattingly

Roberts, however, dealt with the same stuff — the Yasiel Puig drama, the expectations that come with the Dodgers payroll AND he dealt with Clayton Kershaw getting injured — yet he always looked cooler than the other side of the pillow:

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 16: Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts reacts prior to game two of the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on October 16, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

That’s what handsome is.

4. A.J. Hinch: The chin dimple pretty much ensures that he’ll always be in the top five.

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 06: Manager A.J. Hinch #14 of the Houston Astros talks with the media before playing the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park on July 6, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

 

5. Joe Maddon:

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 04: Manager Joe Maddon of the Chicago Cubs speakds to the crowd during the Chicago Cubs victory celebration in Grant Park on November 4, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs won their first World Series championship in 108 years after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game 7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

A big jump for Joe who, in recent years, I’ve held down a bit because I felt like he was trying too hard to be the cool dad which, as a dad, I can tell you is never a great look. But as I noted with Ned Yost the past couple of years, winning begets swagger which begets handsomeness and seeing Maddon walking around the Winter Meetings this week with a championship under his belt has allowed me to see him in a different light. He’s still trying too hard — he was wearing some sort of down vest that looks like it came from Pro Glamping Illustrated or something — but when you win a World Series, you can wear whatever the hell you want and still look good.

6. Bud Black: A top-10’er in the first two years of this list due to his status as the Gold Standard of the Silver Fox set but, sadly, AWOL last year as he was without a gig. He’s back now, baby, with a bullet. Just saw him yesterday too, as he gave his first Winter Meetings presser as the Rockies manager:

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Nice blazer, Bud. Lookin’ good as always.

7. Ned Yost: Yost takes a tumble as the winning swagger from the past two Winter Meetings just isn’t there:

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-11-53-49-am

The glasses are sliding down the nose ever so slightly. The body language during his presser was more clenched and less expressive than we’ve seen in the past. None of us deal well with adversity, but going from World Series champ to missing the playoffs has taken a subtle but perceptible toll on his Ned’s hunkiness.

8. Pete Mackanin: Pete has been hanging out in the bar here every evening with a group of people, one of whom I presume is his wife. They’re a happy bunch. Laughing and enjoying themselves, sitting at a table with some food as opposed to walking around with drinks. He dresses smartly. From what I’ve observed, he talks some, but doesn’t dominate the conversation. He may be the smoothest manager for a 90+ loss team I’ve ever seen.

9. John Farrell: Still looking good, even if he’s down a few notches.

10. Torey Lovullo: New kid on the block:

FORT MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Torey Lovullo #17 of the Boston Red Sox poses for a portrait on February 28, 2016 at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

It’s an open question if he’ll keep that smile on his face after being in charge of the Diamondbacks. That job probably takes a toll.

11. Terry Francona: He remains the Most Handsome Bald Manager in Baseball. At least I think so. I haven’t seen a pic of Lovullo with his hat off lately. If I remember correctly he’s receeding, but I don’t think he’s truly and fully bald yet in the way Tito proudly is.

12. Brian Snitker: Since he took over in May this is his first time in the rankings. As with any new guy, this could go in a lot of different directions going forward. On the one hand: piercing eyes and rugged jaw:

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 20: Manager Brian Snitker #43 of the Atlanta Braves looks on from the dugout before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on May 20, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

On the other hand, he doesn’t really wear anger well:

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 23: Brian Snitker #43 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after being ejected by third base umpire Mike Everitt #57 from arguing the call on the video review initiated from Emilio Bonifacio #64 being called out at homeplate against Travis d'Arnaud #7 of the New York Mets to end the seventh inning at Turner Field on June 23, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

However:

KISSIMMEE, FL - FEBRUARY 25: Brian Snitker #43 of the Atlanta Braves poses during Photo Day on February 25, 2008 at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, Florida. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

If Snitker brings back that soup strainer one day, he may be a darkhorse top-five’er.

13. Andy Green: A guy with the cheekbones and jawline he sported a year ago. . .


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. . . should not be hiding it behind this much facial hair:

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 16: Manager Andy Green #14 of the San Diego Padres looks on from the bench in the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 16, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Cliff McBride/Getty Images)

Clean it up, Andy.

14. Paul Molitor: He didn’t get uglier. Some guys just moved ahead. Even if he did get uglier, the memory of Young Paul Molitor will likely buoy him for years:

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15. Jeff Bannister: Many of you tell me that I’ve been underrating him:

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 02: Manager Jeff Banister #28 of the Texas Rangers looks on as the Rangers take on the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Park in Arlington on October 2, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Fair. People underrate the Rangers every year too.

16. Joe Girardi: Holding steady with his intimidatingly strong arms.

17. Dusty Baker: Dusty can’t help being one of baseball’s oldest managers and time, of course, is undefeated, but he’s so damn comfortable and relaxed all the of the time that he’s way higher on this list than anyone his age has a right to be.

18. Craig Counsell: I suppose he is far more conventionally handsome than I give him credit for, but something about Counsell doesn’t sit right with me:

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 3: Manager Craig Counsell #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers spitswhile watching the game against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fourth inning at Busch Stadium on July 3, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

He turns 47 next season yet he still looks like that kid who hangs out in front of the drug store, opening Donruss packs and yelling “sweet!” after finding a Mark Grace Rated Rookie before peddling off on his Mongoose.

19. Bob Melvin: I feel like he’ll be the Oakland manager until he dies of old age, so it’ll be interesting to see him slide down the list as time takes its inevitable toll. Heck, given how the A’s seem to be tied to Melvin forever, maybe they’ll pull a Jeremy Benthem kind of deal with him and let him manage as a corpse in, like, 2059 or something. That would certainly impact his rating here. Though whether he’d go up or down I have no idea.

20. Kevin Cash:

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 1: Manger Kevin Cash #16 of the Tampa Bay Rays yells from the dugout during the third inning of game against the Detroit Tigers on July 1, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

I’ve never gotten the appeal. People tell me I’m so wrong on him and that I should have him in the top 10 — and I suppose there’s a “Mark Ruffalo avec Mail Pouch Tobacco” vibe to all of this — but I just don’t see it.

21. Don Mattingly: It was a rough year in Miami, especially at the end of it, for obvious reasons. Matingly has seemed to have his seasons end with some level of stress and tumult every single year. He hasn’t made his appearance at the Winter Meetings pressers yet, but I’m hoping he’s relaxed and recharging.

22. Bryan Price: I feel like this is the last year he’ll be on this list. Then again, I’ve been saying this for years.

23. Scott Servais:

scott-servais

“What is it going to take to get you into a new Buick? My manager says I can throw in the all-weather floor mats at cost!”

24. Buck Showalter: Showalter was poised to be way higher on this list and all he had to do was put that killer outfit he just picked up and he would’ve been gold. For reasons only he can explain, however, he left it in the drawer. Baffling.

25. Terry Collins: He already has gray hair, but at the moment it looks like a past-his-defensive-prime Curtis Granderson is going to be his everyday center fielder this season. If so, his gray hair may get gray hair.

26. John Gibbons: He’s not at the Winter Meetings this week due to dealing with a flu. This is what he looked like late in the season when he was healthy:

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 3: Manager John Gibbons #5 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on from the dugout during the first inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 3, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Imagine what Gibbons looks like sick.

27. Rick Renteria: Welcome back to the managing ranks, Rick. Baseball always needs a manager in your particular mold.

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 02: Rick Renteria #17 of the Chicago White Sox in the dugout before the game against the Minnesota Twins on October 2, 2016 at U. S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

28. Bruce Bochy: Given the health scare last spring, allow me to say that I think Bochy is one of the most handsome men baseball has ever seen and the only reason he is listed at 28 right now is a computer glitch that is preventing me from changing it. Bad, computer! Bad! Bruce Bochy is an adonis! (no one tell him about this, OK?)

29. Clint Hurdle: Hurdle’s handsomeness is directly proportinal to his happiness. He has a very pleasant smile and gives off an admirable rugged charm when things are going well. But we all remember what happens when he’s angry:

Clint Hurdle red face.bmp

With the Pirates reportedly dealing Andrew McCutchen, one can only assume Hurdle is going to be angry more in 2017.

30. Mike Scioscia: All of these pictures came via the Getty Images search. When you use it, a search field comes up with all sorts of image options. This is one of the options:

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-12-54-43-pm

You may not like everything I do on this website, but you had better thank me for not unclicking that box and looking for Mike Scioscia nudes. That would definitely make a person . . . feel something.

TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 23: Manager Mike Scioscia #14 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on August 23, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record

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TORONTO — Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run drive for the New York Yankees in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

The 30-year-old slugger drove a 94.5 mph belt-high sinker with a full-count from left-hander Tim Mayza over the left-field fence at Rogers Centre. The 117.4 mph drive took just 3.8 seconds to land 394 feet from the plate, and it put the Yankees ahead 5-3.

Judge watched the ball clank off the front of the stands, just below two fans who reached over a railing and tried for a catch. He pumped an arm just before reaching first and exchanged a slap with coach Travis Chapman.

The ball dropped into Toronto’s bullpen and was picked up by Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann, who turned it over to the Yankees.

Judge’s mother and Roger Maris Jr. rose and hugged from front-row seats. He appeared to point toward them after rounding second base, then was congratulated by the entire Yankees team, who gave him hugs after he crossed the plate.

Judge moved past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league mark until Maris broke it in 1961. All three stars reached those huge numbers playing for the Yankees.

Barry Bonds holds the big league record of 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001.

Judge had gone seven games without a home run – his longest drought this season was nine in mid-August. This was the Yankees’ 155th game of the season, leaving them seven more in the regular season.

The home run came in the fourth plate appearance of the night for Judge, ending a streak of 34 plate appearances without a home run.

Judge is hitting .313 with 130 RBIs, also the top totals in the AL. He has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

Maris hit No. 61 for the Yankees on Oct. 1, 1961, against Boston Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard.

Maris’ mark has been exceeded six times, but all have been tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year, and Bonds topped him. Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 during a four-season span starting in 1998.

McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans – perhaps many – until now have considered Maris the holder of the “clean” record.

Among the tallest batters in major league history, the 6-foot-7 Judge burst on the scene on Aug. 13, 2016, homering off the railing above Yankee Stadium’s center-field sports bar and into the netting above Monument Park. He followed Tyler Austin to the plate and they become the first teammates to homer in their first major league at-bats in the same game.

Judge hit 52 homers with 114 RBIs the following year and was a unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year award. Injuries limited him during the following three seasons, and he rebounded to hit 39 homers with 98 RBIs in 2021.

As he approached his last season before free agent eligibility, Judge on opening day turned down the Yankees’ offer of an eight-year contract worth from $230.5 million to $234.5 million. The proposal included an average of $30.5 million annually from 2023-29, with his salary this year to be either the $17 million offered by the team in arbitration or the $21 million requested by the player.

An agreement was reached in June on a $19 million, one-year deal, and Judge heads into this offseason likely to get a contract from the Yankees or another team for $300 million or more, perhaps topping $400 million.

Judge hit six homers in April, 12 in May and 11 in June. He earned his fourth All-Star selection and entered the break with 33 homers. He had 13 homers in July and dropped to nine in August, when injuries left him less protected in the batting order and pitchers walked him 25 times.

He became just the fifth player to hold a share of the AL season record. Nap Lajoie hit 14 in the AL’s first season as a major league in 1901, and Philadelphia Athletics teammate Socks Seabold had 16 the next year, a mark that stood until Babe Ruth hit 29 in 1919. Ruth set the record four times in all, with 54 in 1920, 59 in 1921 and 60 in 1927, a mark that stood until Maris’ 61 in 1961.

Maris was at 35 in July 1961 during the first season each team’s schedule increased from 154 games to 162, and baseball Commissioner Ford Frick ruled if anyone topped Ruth in more than 154 games “there would have to be some distinctive mark in the record books to show that Babe Ruth’s record was set under a 154-game schedule.”

That “distinctive mark” became known as an “asterisk” and it remained until Sept. 4, 1991, when a committee on statistical accuracy chaired by Commissioner Fay Vincent voted unanimously to recognize Maris as the record holder.