Baseball Manager

Baseball Manager

Managers in baseball are very important to the success of the team. The decisions made by managers have direct impacts on how well the team performs, so they are often looked at as the faces of ball clubs. Read on to learn all about managers and what goes into their multi-faceted role in baseball.

Manager Definition

The manager of a baseball team is the person that oversees on-field operations of games and makes decisions before, throughout, and after the games in order to lead to team success. They are also often known as skippers and are largely in charge of day-to-day operations that occur for teams. Similar to head coaches in other sports, managers for Major League Baseball teams directly communicate with the players, the front office, as well as the media. Many former players go on to become managers due to the knowledge that they have about the game. Due to the high level of pressure to win in the modern game, MLB managers have an average tenure of roughly three seasons.

Manager Roles and Responsibilities

The managers “manage” the players on the team by setting clubhouse guidelines and making sure the team is prepared to play. For example, The New York Yankees have had a long history of players being forbidden to sport most kinds of facial hair in the clubhouse. Managers are then responsible for deciding pitching rotations and lineups. These skippers must take many different factors into consideration when determining the batting order each day. Recent success, health, head-to-head matchups with the opposing pitcher, morale, and more are used in order to construct batting lineups. 

During the game, managers are also responsible for deciding when to make substitutions. Putting new pitchers, baserunners, hitters, defensive replacements, and more into the game is a critical role managers don’t take lightly. Skippers use many of the same factors in order to make these decisions as well.

Throughout the game, managers help make the call on how the game should be played as well. This includes defensive positioning, hitting strategies, base running, and more. As technology becomes more integrated with baseball, managers also decide when to challenge calls made by the umpires. When not in games, the skipper oversees the practices as well. Off of the field, the managers communicate with the front office as well as the media, as they are the closest person to the players on the team.

Manager Skills

Managers are required to have a vast knowledge of baseball as well as the rules of the game. This allows them to make educated decisions day in and day out that can directly lead to winning. To add to that, being able to make difficult decisions allows managers to make an impact on the game. Determining when to make specific substitutions or play a certain defensive scheme can heavily impact the outlook of a game. 

Managers are also required to have great communication skills as they are responsible for talking to the players, the front office, and the media. Making sure that all players are satisfied and on the same page is important for team success. The manager communicates with the media in order to update them on players and stories about the team.

Best MLB Managers

Here are some of the best MLB managers of all time:

  • Joe McCarthy (Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox)
  • Tony La Russa (White Sox, Athletics, Cardinals)
  • Joe Torre (Mets, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees, Dodgers)
  • Casey Stengel (Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, Mets)
  • Bobby Cox (Braves, Blue Jays)


What is a manager in baseball?

A baseball manager is a person that oversees the on-field operations of games and makes decisions before, throughout, and after the games to lead to team success. The manager in baseball is equivalent to a head coach in football or basketball. Managers are responsible for many of the day-to-day decisions that occur around the ball club. They are also responsible for communicating with the players, the front office, and the media. Managers are considered to be the face of ball clubs.

What does a manager do in baseball?

Baseball managers are required to do many strategic things for their baseball teams. During the games, managers are responsible for setting lineups, calling for specific hitting strategies, defensive positioning, hitting and pitching substitutions, challenging plays, and more. Off the field, managers communicate with the players, the front office, and the media. They also run practices, monitor the locker room, and set guidelines for the players on the team to follow.