There’s nothing that amps up a baseball game quite like a fight between a manager and an umpire. The skipper charging out of the dugout with his gums flapping angrily. The ump puffing up his padded chest announcing his presence with authority. And the most entertaining part, after the two jaw right in each other’s face, is when the ump violently gestures into the stands to signal the bench boss has been ejected.
Many managers have been tossed from many baseball games. But there are those select few who, over the history of the league, have turned getting ejected into an art form. Here’s a look at the 16 most ejected managers in MLB history. (We suspect the manager slated at No.1 probably isn’t being dethroned any time soon.)
16. Clint Hurdle
- Times ejected: 50
The Pittsburgh Pirates’ skipper isn’t afraid to speak his mind, whether it’s to criticize a player on an opposing team or to exchange verbal spats with another coach. But it’s Hurtle’s urge to argue with umpires that gets him thrown out of games early and often. And by “early” we mean it isn’t out of character for him to get tossed in the first inning like he did in 2016 in a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Next: The city of brotherly love didn’t include this hot-tempered manager.
15. Charlie Manuel
- Times ejected: 50
If you’re going to coach a Philadelphia sports team, you darn well better be up for a fight every now and then. And that’s exactly what Charlie Manuel did when he was the Phillies’ manager. Manuel also found himself pulled into a whirlwind of trouble surrounding umpire Bob Davidson in 2012. Both men were suspended one game for spewing profanities at each other at the tail end of a game, although Davidson’s suspension was due to repeat offenses. The two tangoed again the following year when Davidson botched a call at second base.
Next: This manager started his ejection career early.
14. Bill Rigney
- Times ejected: 51
Rigney coached a handful of teams in his life, including the Giants when they moved cross-country to San Francisco. But he’s probably known best for getting a rise out of umpires. By August of his first season as a manager, he had already been ejected seven times. Which makes it kind of amazing that he only got tossed from 51 games.
Next: Let’s go back in time …
13. Clark Griffith
- Times ejected: 58
If you want to see who inspired manager-umpire fights, Clark Griffith is a good place to start. What makes Griffith stand out on this list is that he’s one of few who spent part of his coaching career as a hybrid player-manager, a practice that is rarely seen on the modern MLB stage. (Pete Rose was the most recent player-manager from 1984 to 1986.) It isn’t entirely clear whether Griffith was ejected more while he was a hybrid or full-time manager.
Next: You can’t win three in five without getting into a few arguments …
12. Bruce Bochy
- Times ejected: 61
Bochy’s legacy will be that he led the San Francisco Giants to three championships in a five-year span. But the Orange and Black’s skipper didn’t get to that position without getting in a few umpires’ faces. The hulking former catcher towers over most umps when he jaws at them, creating some of the most entertaining scuffles at AT&T Park. He’s also well acquainted with some of the men who call the games behind the dish. As one Reddit member aptly said after a game in May 2018 that Bochy was tossed out of, it’s never good when you know the umpire by name.
Next: The man who brought theater to getting thrown out of a game …
11. Lou Piniella
- Times ejected: 63
The three-time Manager of the Year winner may be remembered more for his arguments with umps than his World Series win with the Cincinnati Reds. But that’s only because nobody threw a tantrum and got ejected as theatrically as Sweet Lou. His most notable ejections typically ended with him throwing things, from the first base bag to his own hat. (And the hat didn’t get thrown until after he was done kicking it around the infield.)
Next: This manager’s ejection experiences inspired later career moves.
10. Joe Torre
- Times ejected: 66
For as clean cut and buttoned-up as Yankees’ players are supposed to look, there was nothing refined about the language Joe Torre used when he went toe-to-toe after a call he didn’t like — no matter what team he was coaching. What’s best is the Hall of Famer and two-time Manager of the Year became an MLB executive after his coaching career ended. His new job focuses on — you guessed it — on-field issues, particularly altercations with umpires.
Next: Arguments with this manager were a slow burn.
9. Jim Leyland
- Times ejected: 68
Leyland is a stand-out on this list for the way he argued with umpires. Instead of the heavily-animated tirades that Piniella would go on, this three-time Manager of the Year would start an argument with a more diplomatic demeanor, allowing his emotions to bubble over slowly like a pot of boiling water. Once his anger completely bubbled over, however, umpires typically banished him to the clubhouse for the rest of the game.
Next: A few years after Leyland left his post with the Tigers, there was …
8. Ron Gardenhire
- Times ejected: 73
When Gardenhire took over the Detroit Tigers’ managerial position in 2018, he’d already been ejected 65 times as manager of the Minnesota Twins. But it’s really no wonder he was so angry all the time. The Twins played below .500 ball his last four seasons in Minnesota, so there’s no doubt Gardenhire was fuming most of the time. The jury’s still out on how he’ll fair in Detroit, but we can bet he’ll be getting plenty of face time with the behind-the-plate umps. (Heck, he was ejected from his debut with the Tigers!)
Next: He was part of the legacy of increased ejections in the MLB.
7. Frankie Frisch
- Times ejected: 80
During the 1940s there was a surge in the number of times managers were ejected from baseball games, and Pittsburgh Pirates’ bench boss Frankie Frisch was one of the driving forces. Sure, Frisch’s playing career was peppered with MVP honors and World Series wins, and his managerial career boasted a .514 win-loss percentage. But his coaching legacy is forever highlighted by the swiftness with which he ran out of the dugout to argue a call.
Next: Highest ejection rate on the list …
6. Paul Richards
- Times ejected: 80
Yes, there are managers on this list who coached more games and were ejected more times. But the rate at which Richards was tossed out over his 1,837 game tenure piloting the White Sox and the Orioles is astounding. According to Total Pro Sports, Richards was thrown out once every 22.96 games. And in 1956, while with the Orioles, he set an American League record by being ejected 12 games that season.
Next: He stayed on the field long after the umps threw him out.
5. Tony La Russa
- Times ejected: 87
Consider LaRussa’s longevity in the managerial role when looking at his 87 ejections. As Total Pro Sports points out, the Hall of Famer is second all-time in games managed, so those ejections can add up after a while. And really, you don’t win three World Series titles and four Manager of the Year awards without blowing your top every now and then. Nevertheless, La Russa was never afraid of coming out of the dugout to give an umpire a piece of his mind, and he would stay out on the diamond arguing even after he had been tossed from a game.
Next: According to him, nice guys weren’t effective in baseball.
4. Leo Durocher
- Times ejected: 94
C’mon, the guy was quoted saying “nice guys finish last.” Then by saying: “I never did say that you can’t be a nice guy and win. I said that if I was playing third base and my mother rounded third with the winning run, I’d trip her up.” Clearly, Durocher had no problem with being labeled the bad guy, and being at odds with the umps was part of how he coached. “I never questioned the integrity of an umpire. Their eyesight, yes,” he famously quipped.
Next: Stature didn’t matter when it came to standing up for his team.
3. Earl Weaver
- Times ejected: 94
The late Earl Weaver had a philosophy: “The job of arguing with the umpire belongs to the manager because it won’t hurt the team if he gets thrown out of the game.” And to that end, he racked up 94 ejections in his 17-year career — all of which were spent as the Orioles’ skipper. Weaver was only 5-foot-7, but that didn’t stop him from throwing tantrums at umpires who were bigger than him. (His infamous fight with umpire Bill Haller is a classic for that very reason.)
Next: Now we get to big guns on our list …
2. John McGraw
- Times ejected: 132
John McGraw is a New York baseball Giants legend with three World Series titles, 10 NL pennants, and a Hall of Fame induction in 1937. But what he was really known for was his ferociousness, which transferred from his playing days to his managerial campaign without a hitch. In addition to encouraging his players to steal bases and play a little dirty, “Little Napoleon” was also keen on picking fights with umpires. It’s no wonder he was tossed so many times.
Next: Last, but certainly not least …
1. Bobby Cox
- Times ejected: 161
If John McGraw set the gold standard for managers getting ejected from games, Bobby Cox brought it into the modern era. Like McGraw, Cox excelled at his job, piloting the Atlanta Braves to five NL pennants and a World Series victory. The Hall of Famer was also big on not letting close calls slide, which very frequently got him thrown out. He wasn’t opposed to standing up for his players when they were upset about play calling, which added to the number of times he was dismissed from games. He got his 132nd ejection on August 14, 2007, breaking the record McGraw held for 70 years.