Yesterday I spent way too many words wondering about whether Charlie Manuel had actually tied Gene Mauch's career win total as a Phillies manager instead of, as has been reported almost everywhere, besting it by a game. My investigation revealed that almost every online source has Mauch at 646 wins, the same number Manuel now has. I then pondered the possible reasons for this.
As it turns out, the official word from the Phillies is that one of my possible reasons was right - that Mauch did not get credit for the last win of his stretch as Phillies manager. Let me explain.
As I discussed yesterday, the day before Mauch was fired, the Phillies played a doubleheader. The Phillies lost the first game, but won the second game. I speculated that he might have actually been fired before the doubleheader or even in the middle of it.
Well, as nyunole quickly discovered and reported in the comments, Mauch was not fired between the games but actually left the stadium between games to travel to California to be with his sick wife. Thus, he wasn't at the second game, which the Phillies won while being managed by an acting manager, George Myatt.
However, also in the comments, I found several sources that indicate that major league baseball credits a win to the full-time manager even when an acting manager manages the game. Thus, even though Mauch was not at the second game, I believed he was properly credited with the win.
But, according to the Phillies, that's not true. From Larry Shenk, the Phillies Vice President of Alumni Relations and all-around media guru who so graciously indulged my inquiries yesterday, I learned that the Phillies checked and double-checked Mauch's totals going into the last few weeks of the season. Ultimately, they rely on Elias, the official stat provider of MLB. Elias credits Mauch with 645 wins because of this last game. Elias credits the last game's win to Myatt. Thus, according to Elias, Myatt won 2 games in 1968, not the 1 that most other sites give him.
Larry's explanation for this difference is one that makes sense. According to Larry, baseball likely had different rules in place in 1968 for attributing wins to managers than it does today. Thus, although today the Phillies second-game win that day would be attributed to Mauch, in 1968 it was attributed to Myatt.
Thus, Mauch had only 26 wins in 1968 (not the 27 reported on most sites) and Myatt had 2 (not the 1 reported on most sites). That puts Mauch at a career total of 645, not the 646 reflected in most online sources. (And that gives Myatt 21 career Phillies wins, not the 20 that most sites have.)
Thanks to Larry for getting to the bottom of this, thanks to our commenters for doing some digging on their own yesterday, and thanks to my co-bloggers for first raising the issue of the discrepancy a couple of days ago (something I should have mentioned in yesterday's post).
And congratulations Charlie on being in sole possession of first place on the Phillies' list of managerial wins!