Although a game of baseball is considerably longer when compared to other competitive sports like tennis or basketball, there is a reason behind it being “America’s favorite pastime”. A big part of that reason might be the passion that one experiences while watching a game of baseball. And when it comes to baseball, there is no greater stage than the MLB. All the best players and managers come to ply their trade in this league, and that is why MLB games routinely sell out huge stadiums.
However, one of the most important aspects of any baseball game is the animosity between different franchises and the rivalries that are on show. Players and managers come out to argue with the umpires over the smallest of decisions and that makes for great entertainment for the spectators.
The umpires in the MLB are notorious for ejecting players and managers over such altercations. But the umpires cannot be blamed for doing so. The intensity of these games leads the people involved to lose their temper and that in turn breaks the flow of the game. In order to ensure a seamless experience for everyone, the umpires have to take necessary actions, which include ejections. With that in mind, we take a look at some of the most ejected managers in MLB history.
#10. Joe Torre
Managing a storied franchise such as the New York Yankees comes with a lot of peripheral stuff that is required to uphold the franchise’s legacy. However, according to Joe Torre, being polite to the umpires wasn’t one of them. With 66 ejections to his name, Torre was famous for picking up a fight with the umpires at almost every call. He was a manager who was not afraid of speaking on behalf of the team.
As soon as a call was made against the Yankees, Torre was first on the scene and never refrained from using profanity. That is the reason why he was ejected so frequently by the umpires. By the end of his career, he had developed a name for himself for being very short-tempered.
However, Joe Torre was a fantastic manager and took the Yankees to a whole new level. In fact, his feats with this franchise led him to receive the manager of the year award on two occasions.
#9. Jim Leyland
Leyland had a rather funny way of arguing with the umpires. He used to stroll up to them like he had no intention of opposing the decision, and then slowly transformed into a raging ball of fire. This was the reason why Leyland was a crowd favorite everywhere he went. Even the umpires used to get caught off guard with his rather interesting technique of complaining.
In some special games where there was a lot riding on the team’s performance, Leyland lost his temper quite early. In fact, there have been a couple of occasions where he was ejected in the first inning itself. However, that does not take anything away from the fact that he was a fantastic manager and his 3 MOTY awards are proof of that.
#8. Rob Gardenhire
For a player, getting ejected 73 times is a big deal and is enough to tarnish a legacy. However, when a manager gets ejected 73 times, it should open up an inquest. Rob Gardenhire is not at all bad as a manager. In fact, he is considered one of the best managers in the league. But he has this uncanny knack of picking up ejections quite frequently.
Generally, managers tend to lose their temper with the umpires only when their team is either playing really well or really subpar. In the case of Gardenhire, it was the latter. During his tenure with the Minnesota Twins, they did not perform as the MLB powerhouse they once were. Maybe that was the reason behind him losing his cool.
#7. Frankie Frisch
One of the oldest additions on our list, Frankie Frisch did not seem to mind the fact that he was a manager in a different era. In a time when the umpire’s decision could not be frowned upon, Frisch went right up to them and voiced his opinion. that is the reason why he was served up with 80 ejections through the course of his management career.
Frankie Frisch had a storied playing and managerial career during the ’30s and ’40s. In fact, he was adjudged as the MVP in a handful of seasons and was always in and around the top of the list when it comes to discussing the best players of all time. Even as the manager, Frisch boasted a .514 win-loss percentage. However, the factor that made him stand out from the rest was his short temper and passion on the sidelines.
#6. Paul Richards
Richards is another one of those managers who were a part of the golden era of the MLB. He coached the White Sox and the Orioles in some of the most storied periods in their respective histories. However, his legacy will forever be remembered as the manager who used to pick fights with the umpires over every single decision in the game.
More often than not, Paul Richards was given the directions to watch the rest of the game from the clubhouse. Even then he kept voicing his grievances and one time refused to leave the field. That might be the reason behind the fact that he was ejected 80 times during his managerial career.
Apart from this obvious problem, Paul Richards was one of the best managers going around in that era. The way he led both those franchises was a thing to behold and inspired many managers of future generations.
#5. Tony La Russa
MLB fanatics will remember La Russa as a hot-headed manager who was brilliant at producing results. That is what Tony La Russa was all about. He was of the opinion that nice guys don’t last in the world of baseball and his thinking was evident from the way he functioned.
Never one to back down from a fight, the rushing figure of La Russa was a regular sight for the umpires whenever they gave a call that went against his team. Getting ejected 87 times is quite a big deal. However, if you can deliver three World Series victories and four MOTY awards, then suddenly everyone will start to overlook your issues.
There is no doubt about the fact that Tony La Russa is one of the greatest managers of all time. However, a part of his legacy will always be associated with the fact that he was never afraid to give the umpire a piece of his mind.
#4. Leo Durocher
When you are the manager of one of the biggest franchises in MLB history, upholding the image of the team is expected of you. However, with Leo Durocher, the reality was quite the contrary. He was one manager who always stood up for his team and opposed almost every decision that went against them.
Durocher was famously quoted saying, “I never did say that you can’t be a nice guy and win. I said that if I was playing third base and my mother rounded third with the winning run, I’d trip her up.”. That shows the competitive spirit that guy had. He always had a bone to pick with the umpires too. After one game, he was asked whether he respects the decision-making of the umpires. He replied, “I never questioned the integrity of an umpire. Their eyesight, yes,”
#3. Earl Weaver
One of the greatest and most respected managers in the history of the game, Earl Weaver was very proficient at what he did. He was renowned for resurrecting the graph of the Baltimore Orioles. In fact, many analysts are of the opinion that Weaver was the one who sowed the seeds of the Orioles franchise we see today.
However, Earl Weaver was also known to pick a fight with the umpires on numerous occasions. When asked about these altercations, he replied, “The job of arguing with the umpire belongs to the manager because it won’t hurt the team if he gets thrown out of the game.” Maybe that is the reason he racked up 94 ejections during his 17-year tenure.
#2. John McGraw
Arguably one of the greatest managers in New York Giants’ history, John McGraw was epochal during his baseball days. Under his tutelage, the Giants franchise flourished and brought in three World Series Titles. However, that wasn’t all that McGraw was known for. The umpires in MLB had a different image of him, an image that resonates with some managers to this day.
To them, he was a brash manager who just wanted to pick a fight without any reason. That is one drawback of being fiercely competitive. Being in control of one’s emotions becomes very tough. That is why McGraw had so many outbursts which resulted in ejections left and right. He was sent to the clubhouse on an astonishing 132 occasions. However, that did not stop him from getting inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1937.
#1. Bobby Cox
If McGraw was renowned for starting the trend of having altercations with the umpires, Bobby Cox surely took it to the next level. Standing atop 161 ejections, this is surely a record that no other manager will ever be able to break. Cox was one of the most animated people during his days as the Braves’ boss.
However, that does not take anything away from the fact that he was a fantastic manager. Cox won five NL Pennants and also has one World Series victory under his name. That is why he is fondly remembered by the Braves faithful. Never one to let close calls slide, Bobby Cox was always at the throat of the umpire and that is now a part of his epochal legacy.
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