Tonight's game against the Giants will mark the 600th game Ron Roenicke has managed with the Brewers. (h/t Mike Vassallo). With managers in the MLB often having short life spans, Roenicke has already managed the sixth-most games in team history.
Of course, managing a lot of games doesn't necessarily mean a ton of success. Ned Yost is one of the five managers with more games in the Brewers' dugout than Roenicke. He managed 959 games and had a 457-502 record. And as with nearly any manager, Roenicke is a polarizing figure among the team's fans. Unlike Yost, however, Roenicke has had success on the field.
This is Roenicke's fourth season with the team. He came on during 2011 and led the team to a 96-66 record. In 2012 the team had an 83-79 record. Last year was his only losing effort as the Brewers went 74-88 en route to a fourth place finish in the NL Central. This year, however, Roenicke has the team back on track as they have been in first place for all but four days.
Overall, Roenicke has a 315-284 record, good for a .526 winning percentage. That's the fifth-highest percentage in team history behind Dale Sveum (13 games managed), Harvey Kuenn, George Bamberger, and Buck Rodgers.
Still, Roenicke makes questionable decisions and will be second-guessed. Again, this is true of virtually any manager, good or bad. But some decisions stand out more than others, including his costly decision to start Mark Kotsay in center field for game three of the 2011 NLCS. Another poor decision? Starting Yuniesky Betancourt in 192 games rather than literally any other option. A fan giveaway to play shortstop/first base would have been a better choice.
For any perplexing managerial decisions he makes, Roenicke does seem to be a 'players manager', though. How much value is in that? The Brewers have seemingly had a great clubhouse atmosphere since he came on board, but there's no way of telling how many wins that gives the team. It's much easier to second-guess obviously poor decisions on the field.
Overall, however, I think we should be reasonably happy with the job Roenicke has done. He's had good teams, sure, but he's done a pretty good job of maximizing talent with a few misses here or there. What say you? Are you happy with the job Roenicke has done over the last 599 games or do you think another manager would have been better?