Describing the many managerial styles

From intense managers to emotional managers to laid-back managers, there are all kinds presently in the majors.

Originally Published: June 13, 2005
By Steve Phillips | ESPN Insider
Micromanaging the managers
Every time a manager criticizes a player or an umpire or another manager, I get called upon to comment about it since I'm the supposed "expert" in the area because of my experience with Bobby Valentine (when Bobby was the New York Mets' manager, I was the general manager).

Bobby is a brilliant baseball mind, and I learned a lot about the game from him, both as a player and as an executive. He managed with passion and emotion. That passion, which made him so good at times, is also the thing that got him in trouble at times. Bobby has very strong convictions regarding his beliefs and knowledge of the game. He maintains those strong convictions, even in the face of criticism. He believes he's right and sticks to his guns no matter who disagrees with him. That's a good trait most of the time.

Bobby Valentine
Bobby Valentine was the manager of the Mets for parts of seven seasons (1996-2002).

That emotional nature, though, led to Bobby's often not thinking about what he said before saying it. He didn't often consider the ramifications of comments before making them. The filter most of us have that enables us to skim our thoughts before they become words just wasn't there at times for Bobby. So I knew that every couple of weeks there would be a fire of some sort to put out. We won a lot of games together, so despite the outward appearance, it wasn't all bad. It just took a lot of work.

Managing with passion and emotion
Every time White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen says something about Magglio Ordonez, Frank Thomas or Carlos Lee, I get a call to comment on it. When a manager criticizes his front office, I get calls because, well, I had to deal with that, too.

Having worked with Bobby and replaced Bobby, and now having analyzed managers around the game, I've developed strong feelings about which managerial styles work and which don't. A manager's style is what creates the environment around a team and helps (or hurts) players fulfill their potential. Obviously, regardless of a manager's style, he must have good players and the tactical and strategic ability to manage games.