Major League Baseball is a multi-billion dollar industry, with a large portion of that rightfully going to the salaries of more than a thousand players; they are the people who decide if a team wins or loses and winning teams generate more revenue than losing teams do. The annual salaries and multi-year contracts of the ballplayers are widely known and discussed, but what is almost never publicized are the salaries of those intrepid men who manage and coach these players. Very few manager salaries are publicly available, and out of those that are, they are considerably less than that of the highest paid players.
Eric Wedge was hired on October 18, 2010 to finish out the Seattle Mariners dismal season in which they won only 61 games. Before then he was best known for leading the Cleveland Indians to their first division title in over a decade, as well as, winning the Manager of the Year Award, both in 2007. Because of his impressive history, Seattle signed him to a multi-year contract hoping he could turn the team around. Since he took the helm, their best record was a paltry 0.463 to give them last place. Despite the team’s woes, their skipper is expected to be paid a base salary in 2013 of $1.9 million.
Joe Maddon was hired to manage the Tampa Bay Devil Rays starting in 2006. Before that year, the best record the team had ever garnered was 0.435, giving them a fourth place finish. Maddon came to a demoralized team and helped to rebuild it, leading them to their only World Series appearance in 2008. Since that year, the Rays have consistently made the American League Eastern Division a three-way fight between them and the Yankees and Red Sox. Because of his managerial consistency and winning record, Maddon has a contract which provides a base salary of $2 million a year.
The New York Yankees have been known over the last two decades as a team with bottomless pockets. Many of the highest paid players have been found on that team, and Joe Torre, the manager before Girardi, was also well paid. In 2007, Girardi signed a three-year contract that was reported to be worth $2.7 million a year. Since then he has led his team to a World Series title and two divisional titles. Currently, his salary is worth $3 million a year.
The Philadelphia Phillies hired Charlie Manuel in 2004. Since then, and despite some strong dislike from Philadelphia sports commentators, Manuel has earned a record of 813 wins and 645 losses for an average of 0.558, and he holds the record for the most wins for a Phillies manager. Because of this impressive performance, including a World Series title and a consistent presence in the National League East, Manuel earns $4 million every year.
In 2000, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hired Mike Scioscia from the Dodgers. Since that time, he has become the longest tenured manager in baseball and has turned the Angels from a perennial underdog into a regular contender. In 2002, the Angels won the World Series and since then, they have won the division five times and never been ranked less than third place. Because of his impressive leading of the team, Scioscia earns an impressive $5 million a year.
The manager of a baseball team is nicknamed the “Skipper” for a reason. Like the captain of a boat, the manager must make the hard decisions necessary to lead the team to a championship. The top players are paid much more than the top managers, Alex Rodriguez is paid $30 million dollars every year, but the players are not paid that much for very many years and they typically retire early. A manager, however, will stick with a team for many years, and a good manager will continue to be worthy of that salary for decades.
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High school athletic director and sports enthusiast Sam Johnson enjoys sharing with his readers facts and statistics about many different sports. Sam was also pleased to help find some of the best masters in sports management online for others who would love to begin a career in the sports industry.
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