How have baseball's greatest managers fared against the Yankees?

"Under .500 and in ninth place you say? Welp." - JimLeyland - Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have almost always been a challenge to opposing managers, so how have the best managers' teams played against them?

Jim Leyland's Tigers annually seemed to give the Yankees problems (especially in the playoffs) during his tenure as manager, which recently came to a close. However, even including that sterling 10-3 playoff record against the Yankees, he was an under-.500 manager in his career against them. Although that can partially be blamed on the 1998 Marlins' complete ineptitude, it's still remarkable that the Yankees have played so well when facing a manager with a reputation for running strong teams.

So how have other well-regarded managers fared against the Yankees throughout their 110-year history? I looked into the managerial records of all baseball managers with at least 1,000 victories, narrowing the pool to the skippers regarded as baseball's all-time best. (It was tricky since multi-season managerial splits are hard to find.) I included playoff games and established a minimum of 50 games managed against the Yankees to increase the sample size and ensure that these managers spent the equivalent of at least two or three full seasons of baseball in charge of teams that regularly faced the Yankees.

Without further ado, here's the list of the 36 qualifying managers:

Rank Manager G v. NYY W v. NYY L v. NYY W-L% v. NYY Years Active Teams v. NYY
1 Tony LaRussa 201 115 86 0.572 1979-2011 White Sox, A's, Cardinals
2 Hughie Jennings 302 170 132 0.563 1907-25 Tigers
3 Clark Griffith 192 107 85 0.557 1901-20 Senators
4 Earl Weaver 255 138 117 0.541 1968-86 Orioles
5 Dick Williams 140 74 66 0.529 1967-88 Red Sox, A's, Angels, Mariners
6 Mike Scioscia 139 73 66 0.525 2000- Angels
7 Chuck Tanner 72 36 36 0.500 1970-88 White Sox, A's
8 Terry Francona 173 86 87 0.497 1997- Phillies, Red Sox, Indians
9 Jim Leyland 77 38 39 0.494 1986-2013 Marlins, Tigers
10 Sparky Anderson 208 102 106 0.490 1970-95 Reds, Tigers
11 Joe McCarthy 51 25 26 0.490 1926-50 Red Sox
12 Bobby Valentine 140 66 74 0.471 1985-2012 Rangers, Mets, Red Sox
13 Ralph Houk 128 60 68 0.469 1961-84 Tigers, Red Sox
14 Whitey Herzog 77 36 41 0.468 1973-90 Rangers, Royals
15 Tom Kelly 172 78 94 0.453 1986-2001 Twins
16 John McNamara 103 46 57 0.447 1969-96 A's, Angels, Red Sox, Indians
17 Lou Piniella 182 81 101 0.445 1986-2010 Mariners, Devil Rays
18 Billy Martin 117 52 65 0.444 1969-88 Twins, Tigers, Rangers, A's
19 Joe Cronin 326 144 182 0.442 1933-47 Senators, Red Sox
20 Bobby Cox 84 37 47 0.440 1978-2010 Blue Jays, Braves
21 Al Lopez 315 138 177 0.438 1951-69 Indians, White Sox
22 Bill Rigney 181 77 104 0.425 1956-76 Angels, Twins
23 Connie Mack 1,022 418 604 0.409 1894-1950 A's
24 Steve O'Neill 221 90 131 0.407 1935-54 Indians, Tigers, Red Sox
25 Frank Robinson 79 32 47 0.405 1975-2006 Indians, Orioles, Nationals
26 Buck Showalter 104 42 62 0.404 1992- Rangers, Orioles
Jack McKeon 52 21 31 0.404 1973-2011 Royals, A's, Marlins
28 Jim Fregosi 93 37 56 0.398 1978-2000 Angels, White Sox, Blue Jays
29 Art Howe 83 32 51 0.386 1989-2004 A's, Mets
30 Chuck Dressen 104 39 65 0.375 1934-66 Dodgers, Senators, Tigers
Mike Hargrove 200 75 125 0.375 1991-2007 Indians, Orioles, Mariners
32 Jimmy Dykes 405 151 254 0.373 1934-61 White Sox, A's, Orioles, Tigers, Indians
33 Bucky Harris 570 212 358 0.372 1924-56 Senators, Tigers, Red Sox
34 Lou Boudreau 323 120 203 0.372 1942-60 Indians, Red Sox, Royals
35 Gene Mauch 104 38 66 0.365 1960-87 Twins, Angels
36 Ron Gardenhire 97 25 72 0.258 2002- Twins

Unsurprisingly, LaRussa is on top of this list--he was one of the greatest managers in baseball history, and almost all of his time spent managing against the Yankees occurred when they were in a 14-year playoff drought. Jennings, the first manager to guide the Tigers to the AL pennant is in second place. Like LaRussa, he faced the Yankees when they were not a very good team. This trend is mostly consistent throughout this ranking, which makes sense; if the Yankees were good, then opposing managers had problems.

The biggest victim of the Yankees' success is Gardenhire, whose Twins have never played well against the Yankees. They are the anti-Tigers. However, Gardenhire's hapless Twins were far from the only victims. Several Hall of Fame or future Hall of Fame managers were under .500 in their careers against the Yankees, most notably Anderson, McCarthy, Herzog, and Cox. Dick Williams seemed to succeed wherever he went though, and the Penguin's 2000-10 success against the Yankees is reflected here.

Which other managers are you surprised about on this list?

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