Let’s make one thing clear in this summer of all-time heat records. The guy who keeps the air conditioners running at Chase Field, formerly Bank One Ballpark, is the most important manager that the Arizona Diamondbacks have this season.

Temperatures averaged 110 degrees in Phoenix during July 2023 while the Diamondbacks played cat-and-mouse with the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West. The team went through a heat-wave setback by losing five in a row and nine of 11 after winning 50 of their first 84 games.

The Diamondbacks are on the Betway board at +5000 to win the second World Series title in franchise history, and the Aug. 1 trade deadline will be telling for the franchise as it seeks to import a player or two who could make all the difference in enabling that 50-1 pick to hit.

One of the most recent Major League Baseball expansion franchises, the Diamondbacks have a quarter century of history since joining the National League in 1998. Nobody has managed more of their games than their current skipper, Torey Lovullo, who will keep his job through August unless the losing continues, in which case a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks coaching staff will likely take over.

Who is the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks?

Torey Lovullo was a journeyman ballplayer who played for eight major league teams from 1988 to 1999 before spending his final season with the Yakult Swallows of the Japanese League. He then became a manager in the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox farm systems before serving as a first-base coach with Toronto from 2011 to 2012. He has been at the helm for the D-Backs since Mike Hazen, who had worked with him in Cleveland and Boston, hired him in the fall of 2016 to replace Chip Hale.

Arizona Diamondbacks Manager History

There have been 10 managers in D-backs history, including a couple with some of the shortest tenures in Major League Baseball history -- for reasons that we will explain below. It is not easy to succeed in baseball if you are judging a franchise by World Series titles, but the Arizona Diamondbacks managers have taken them to the postseason six times, including five times as NL West winners and once as a wild-card entry.

Famous Arizona Diamondbacks Managers

You will not find a Hall of Fame manager among these 10 guys, but you will find several connections to the Detroit Tigers organization, and you will also find one of the few people who have managed both the New York Yankees and New York Mets.

Ranking the Top 10 Greatest Arizona Diamondbacks Managers of all time

  1. Wally Backman

Year with D-backs: 2004
Career Record with D-backs:

Wally Backman was named manager of the Diamondbacks on Nov. 1, 2004, but was fired four days later. The native of Hillsboro, Ore., had serious legal and financial problems that were documented by The New York Times. After initially backing him, management changed course and admitted they had not fully vetted Backman before hiring him, also saying Backman had misled team officials about his past.

  1. Alan Trammell

Year with D-backs: 2014
Career Record with D-backs: 1-2
Honors and Awards: Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee (2018 as player)

Trammell, a native of Garden Grove, Calif., was fired from his role as bench coach along with manager Kirk Gibson on Sept. 26, 2014, although Trammell stayed on for the final three games of the season to serve as the interim manager. Trammell is best known as one of the best shortstops in Major League Baseball history.

  1. Al Pedrique

Year with D-backs: 2004
Career Record with D-backs: 22-61

Al Pedrique’s managerial record wasn’t exactly one that will qualify for Cooperstown. The native of Aragua State, Venezuela, had played for the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Detroit Tigers from 1987 to 1989 and was a career .247 hitter after batting .301 as a rookie for Pittsburgh. The Diamondbacks promoted Pedrique from Triple-A Tucson after Bob Brenly was fired, but he was only given the job on an interim basis.

  1. A.J. Hinch

Years with D-backs: 2009 to 2010
Career Record with D-backs: 89-123 

A native of Waverly, Iowa, A.J. Hinch was named manager of the Diamondbacks on May 8, 2009, replacing Bob Melvin despite never having managed or coached a team at any level. He was only 34, and his term did not last all that long. Hinch was fired from the Diamondbacks on July 1, 2010, following a 31-48 start to the 2010 season. Overall he compiled an 89-123 record in 212 games. His .420 winning percentage ranks as the lowest for a non-interim manager in Diamondbacks history.

  1. Chip Hale

Years with D-backs: 2015 to 2016
Career Record with D-backs: 148-176

The native of San Jose, Calif., joined the Diamondbacks organization as a minor league manager in 2000 and was with the organization for nearly a decade before taking jobs with the New York Mets and Oakland Athletics. Currently the head coach for the NCAA Arizona Wildcats, Chip Hale’s tenure in Arizona as manager was unremarkable before he was axed on Oct. 3, 2013.

  1. Bob Melvin

Years with D-backs: 2005 to 2008
Career Record with D-backs: 337-340
Honors and Awards: National League Manager of the Year (2007)

Bob Melvin, a native of Palo Alto, Calif., was nicknamed the “Mad Scientist” for his mental approach to managing. Hired after the Wally Backman fiasco, Melvin led the Diamondbacks to a 26-game improvement from a franchise-worst 51-111 mark in 2004 to 77-85 in 2005. On Aug. 14, 2008, with his 304th win, Melvin became the winningest manager in Arizona history, passing Bob Brenly. Melvin wore No. 3 as Manager with the Diamondbacks -- the same number he wore with them when he was bench coach from 2001 to 2002.

  1. Kirk Gibson

Years with D-backs: 2010 to 2014
Career Record with D-backs: 353-376
Honors and Awards: National League Manager of the Year (2011)​

The Pontiac, Mich., native ranks second on the Diamondbacks’ list of most victories as a manager, and the former Detroit Tigers slugger had his best season as a skipper in 2011 when he led the team to its first NL West title since 2007 despite behind pegged to finish in last place for a third consecutive season. Gibson was promoted from bench coach after Hinch was fired, but in the “What Have You Done For Me Lately” category he was ousted on Sept. 26, 2014, after three consecutive unremarkable seasons.

  1. Buck Showalter

Years with D-backs: 1998 to 2000
Career Record with D-backs:
Honors and Awards: American League Manager of the Year (1994 with N.Y. Yankees, 2004 with Texas, 2014 with Baltimore), National League Manager of the Year (2022 with N.Y. Mets)

Buck Showalter, a native of DeFuniak Springs, Fla., was hired two years before the Arizona Diamondbacks were scheduled to begin play so that he could take a more active role in developing the eventual roster. He signed a seven-year, $7 million contract to come to Arizona. In the Diamondbacks' first season, Showalter managed the team to a 65-97 record, but following numerous offseason moves -- including the addition of Randy Johnson -- Showalter guided the 1999 Diamondbacks to the NL West title just two years into their existence. He currently manages the New York Mets and is sometimes called the best manager to never have won a World Series title.

  1. Torey Lovullo

Years with D-backs: 2017 to present
Career Record with D-backs: 466-508 (through July 28)
Honors and Awards: National League Manager of the Year (2017) 

A native of Santa Monica, Calif., Torey Lovullo first showed what he could do as a manager when he took over the Boston Red Sox on an interim basis in 2015 after skipper John Farrell was diagnosed with lymphoma. Lovullo led that Boston team to a .636 winning percentage through the end of September. With Arizona in 2017, Lovullo guided the Diamondbacks to the postseason -- winning the NL Wild Card Game and finishing with a record of 93-69 for a 24-game improvement from 2016. He has since earned three contract extensions, but he is not going to get a fourth if the rest of this season replicates what has happened in July. Still, he is the longest-serving manager in Arizona’s 25-year history.

  1. Bob Brenly

Years with D-backs: 2001 to 2004
Career Record with D-backs: 303-262.

A native of Coshocton, Ohio, Bob Brenly is the only manager to win a World Series in Arizona, which earns him the top spot on this list because winning it all trumps winning more games than any other Diamondbacks manager. A catcher in the majors for nine seasons -- who once committed three errors in an inning while making a cameo as a third baseman -- Brenly was a broadcaster for the Diamondbacks over their first three seasons and beat out six other candidates for the managerial position after Buck Showalter was fired. In the 2001 World Series against the New York Yankees, the D-backs won the first two games but lost the next three, with Games 4 and 5 ending on walk-off wins for the three-time defending champions from New York. But Brenly managed superbly in Games 6 and 7, the latter ending as the Yankees led in the ninth inning before the Diamondbacks staged a comeback against closer Mariano Rivera, capped off by a walk-off, bases-loaded bloop single by Luis Gonzalez to clinch Arizona's only World Series victory.

Parameters of Ranking

Nothing is better than winning a championship, and the Diamondbacks did so under Bob Brenly to give him the top spot on this list. Fans of the Diamondbacks consider the Game 7 ninth-inning comeback against the Yankees to be the greatest single moment in franchise history, which counts for a lot. In figuring out whom to rank in spots 2 through 5, Manager of the Year awards, career records and playoff success were the determining factors. If Lovullo wins this year, and gamblers in Arizona and elsewhere grabbed the Diamondbacks at +5000, he just might move up to No. 1 in next year’s rankings.


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