Ranking the Top 5 greatest Phillies managers in franchise history

Who are the greatest Phillies managers of all time since the franchise's inception in 1883?
Charlie Manuel ranks as one of the greatest Philadelphia Phillies managers after winning a World Series in 2008
Charlie Manuel ranks as one of the greatest Philadelphia Phillies managers after winning a World Series in 2008 / Elsa/GettyImages
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No. 1: Charlie Manuel

Mauch held the distinction of being the best manager in Phillies history until Charlie Manuel. The Northfork, West Virginia native served in the position for over eight seasons, lasting from 2005 to Aug. 16, 2013.

Manuel took over managerial duties after the franchise moved on from Larry Bowa, who was let go on Oct. 1, 2004, after nearly four seasons in the role. Bench coach Gary Varsho took over as interim manager for the final two games, with Manuel taking over to begin the 2005 campaign. The Phillies showed they were turning a corner during Bowa's tenure, finishing with 86 wins in three of his four seasons as manager.

Manuel couldn't break the club's cycle of underachieving that plagued them during Bowa's tenure following the Phillies' surprising 86-win season in 2001. Philadelphia fell short of the playoffs in 2005 and 2006, leading to questions about whether Manuel was the right person to help break the club's 13-year drought of not making the postseason.

Well, in 2007, Manuel proved his doubters wrong as he led the club to their first division title and playoff berth since 1993. The Phillies lost to the Colorado Rockies in a National League Divisional Series, but they had finally returned to the playoffs, and expectations were raised further in 2008.

Manuel led the Phillies to its second consecutive NL East title in 2008, the first time they won the division in back-to-back seasons since Ozark led them in 1977 and 1978. The Phillies also won their first playoff game and series and qualified for their first World Series in 15 years under Manuel.

Philadelphia won its first championship since 1980, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in six contests. The Phillies excelled in 2009 as they returned to the World Series but lost in six games to the New York Yankees.

Manuel led them to winning the NL East for a fourth consecutive year in 2010, but the club lost in the National League Championship Series in six games to the San Francisco Giants. 2011 marked the most wins for the Phillies during a regular season since 1977, as they set a new franchise record with 102 wins. The total currently remains the most in a single season for Philly. However, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated them in five games during the NLDS series that postseason.

The decline began in 2012, as they finished with 81 victories and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2006. The club regressed further in 2013, and Manuel was let go from his position before the season concluded. Ryne Sandberg, the third base coach and infield instructor took over as interim manager for the remainder of the year.

Manuel has the most regular season wins (780), playoff victories (27), and postseason appearances (five) of any manager in franchise history. His regular season record as manager for Philadelphia was 780-636, and he finished with a 27-18 playoff record with the team. He was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2014.

Current manager Rob Thomson has an opportunity to catch up to Manuel and potentially surpass him, as he currently has 19 postseason wins in two playoff appearances. The distinction of having the most regular-season victories looks like it will continue to belong to Manuel for a long time.