AL Manager of the Year Ballot

12 Oct

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance began a couple of years ago. I was one of the first members to join, but now there are over 200 blogs associated. Last year was the first year that the group did its own award voting. This year, Hall of Famer Goose Gossage gave his name to one of the awards, the Top Reliever. So, over the next few weeks, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance will be voting on the following awards.

From the press release:

The five awards are given to a player in each league: The Connie Mack Award, given to the top manager; the Willie Mays Award, for the top rookie; the Goose Gossage award, mentioned above; the Walter Johnson Award, which would be analogous to the BBWAA’s Cy Young Award; and the Stan Musial Award, awarded to the most valuable player in each league.

I was recently selected to be the President of the local chapter which currently contains four Twins bloggers. Between the four of us, we will receive two votes for each AL award. Here is when you can expect to see the awards named:

Connie Mack Award: October 14
Willie Mays Award: October 18
Goose Gossage Award: October 21
Walter Johnson Award: October 25
Stan Musial Award: October 28

With that background information, today I will be posting my ballot for the Connie Mack Manager of the Year Award.

This is not an easy award to vote for. Do you give it to the manager of the team with the best record? Do you give it to the team that surprised the most? Does the team have to be good, maybe over .500, to get their manager this award? Below is my ballot which does not include a couple of guys that should be noted. Bob Geren is the manager of the Oakland A’s. He was left with an absolutely terrible offense. No offense, and yet he led his team to a .500 record. Terry Francona led the Red Sox to another very good record despite a ton of injuries to his hitters and pitchers. It doesn’t include Joe Girardi, who led the Yankees to the second best record in the league. All would be deserving of votes, but here are my Top 3:

#3 – Joe Maddon – Tampa Bay Rays

Despite some injuries in the pitching staff, inconsistency in the offense, and playing in the toughest division in baseball, Maddon led the Rays to the best record in the league. There were a lot of struggles in the offense outside of Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria. But Maddon allowed his players to be aggressive, running at will, to make things happen. A lot of times the best teams’ managers get overlooked for Manager of the Year awards, but Maddon helped his team to get there.

#2 – Ron Washington – Texas Rangers

Like the Twins of 2001, the 2009 Rangers showed life for most of the season, but faded at the end. But they made a few adjustments, several players improved and this year the Rangers finally took that big leap and got into the playoffs. The Rangers were clearly the best team in a very weak AL West division, and ran away with the division title. He coached Josh Hamilton to an MVP type of season. He had a very strong, very improved pitching staff. The decision to move CJ Wilson to the rotation was brilliant. Bringing back Colby Lewis was great. Washington was also helped by a front office that brought in the likes of Bengie Molina, Jorge Cantu, Cristian Guzman and Cliff Lee at the trade deadlines. He was given Vlad Guerrero before the season. He has helped groom the likes of Elvis Andrus and Neftali Feliz. He is definitely a player’s manager.

#1 – Ron Gardenhire – Minnesota Twins

Always a bridesmaid, this should be the year that Ron Gardenhire should finally be named the Manager of the Year. Gardenhire was given some help before the season with additions, such as Orlando Hudson and JJ Hardy. However, before the season, he lost his closer (Joe Nathan), and in early July, he lost an MVP candidate in Justin Morneau for the rest of the season. Joe Mauer, Orlando Hudson, Nick Punto, JJ Hardy and others missed significant time throughout the season. Yet Gardenhire led the Twins to a great second half and when the Twins went into Chicago to face the White Sox late in the season, he coaxed a sweep to essentially eliminate any hope for the White Sox. In the end, the Twins had a better record than all other AL teams except the Rays and Yankees. He also sent his team to the playoffs for the sixth time in Gardy’s nine seasons.

There is my ballot. Would yours look different?  Leave your comments here.

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27 Responses to “AL Manager of the Year Ballot”

  1. mike wants wins October 12, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    Tough call. In the AL, I think you have the top three candidates identified.

    I’m not sure about the order, though. I think TB over achieved more than MN or TX. TX hadn’t beaten the Angels in years (no one had). MN had to overcome injuries, but it’s not like TB and TX didn’t have them also.

    Right now, I’d probably go with Madden, though I’d be ok with any of these three winning it. There is no clear cut, obvious, choice.

  2. gobbledy October 12, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    gardy has proved to be a good manager in the central. if the twins played in the east, based on the twins winning pct there, his teams would consistantly finish 4-5 with around the same record as the blue jays and double digits out of first and that shows when we get to the playoffs.
    my thinking is he would not be looked at as a moy canidate if he was in the east and probably would have already been fired. lucky he is where he is. getting this award would mean sucking in the post season is the players fault and winning in the central is because gardy the great did it.

  3. Wade Spiering October 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    What actually does Gardenhire do well that he should be considered for MOY? Keeping a happy clubhouse does not win championships. His gametime management is average at best. Who doesn’t second guess his handling of starting pitchers? His line up juggling often leaves you scratching your head. How often did we see a “B” team?

  4. Large Canine October 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Seth,

    My son’s name by the way.

    I usually agree with you but not today my friend. Nathan missing was not a big deal in the sense that closer is the most over rated role on the team. Punto missed significant time? Good, he is a slightly above avg UTILITY infielder. Justin was lost after 7 July? Yes, he was also missing last Sept and look how the team did. The biggest losses were Hardy and Hudson when they were on the DL. Gardy miss used Young, trotted out the B lineup way too often and there is some consensus on his misuse of the pitchers. The large elephant in the corner of the room is his playoff record and his overall record against the Yankees. MOY? Heck, I don’t even want him as the Twins manager next season let alone MOY. He seems to be a great guy. I would love to be on his bowling team. I’m a nice guy, maybe I should manage the Twins? See my point?

  5. Seth October 12, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    Manager of the Year… and ALL of the awards are voted on at season’s end. Playoffs don’t and shouldn’t have any bearing on the voting.

    • gobbledy October 12, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

      i’m aware of that seth! i just think the bar should be set a little higher. winning the central with a 3 and out just doesn’t measure up to great for me!

      • Seth October 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

        and I understand the frustration, but by that account, then Ron Washington is out too, because the West was FAR worse than the Central this year.

      • Large Canine October 13, 2010 at 8:19 am #

        This is the toughest award to quantify and also the least important IMHO. I feel that if he gets this award it will only solidify his job as the Twins manager for years to come. That is something I just don’t want to see. There are plenty of knowledgable baseball people out there who may be qualified to be a MLB manager. Some of them just don’t have “it” whatever “it” is. I’m thinking Ron just doesn’t have “it”.

  6. O.H. LEE October 12, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    Ron Jeremy could win division titles in this division.

  7. Jack Steal October 12, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    Ron Gardenhire might win the award for A.L. Manager of the year but he still has the worst post season record in the history of the Minnesota Twins 6-21. He also has 12 straight playoff loses and is one loss away from matching the all-time record. Tom Kelly won the only thing that matters to Twins fans and that is World Series titles. Gardenhire does not deserve an award, what he should get is a pink slip but in the heart of mediocrity that will never happen. Don’t give Gardenhire an award give him directions on how to get out of town. We need a new attitude in the clubhouse and it starts with Paul Molitor.

  8. Peterb18 October 13, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    Gardy is at his best with people and working a team through the season with all of its tials and tribulations, etc. In other words he is a personality guy. However, his weakness is game day strategy, and it shows in big games like in the playoffs. Therefore, I don’t think he deserves the award.
    I have a friend who is an avid baseball(Twins) fan and was a very good player at one time. He always says that Gardy will always let you down in a big game.

  9. Ed Bast October 13, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    1. Joe Maddon. With a payroll of $73 million his club beat the Yankees. This sentence is incomprehensible to fans in this market, who need to excuse the Twins’ pathetic postseason performance every way they can.
    2. Terry Francona. Talk about injuries. The Twins had 2 significant injuries. a) Morneau. Sucked, but the Twins were able to get Thome a ton of at bats, and he was near the top of the league in OPS the 2nd half of the year. Nice to have a guy like that step in. b) Nathan. This injury had absolutely no relevance to the team this year. Sorry, but closers are completely overrated. The Twins blew 5 saves all year, won all but 1 of those BSs. This injury was meaningless to the team, except that they went out and traded their top trading chip for a guy that was worse than the guy already doing to job. Go through the Red Sox injuries. They pale in comparison.
    3. Ron Washington. Team hadn’t been to the postseason in, what, 12 years?
    4. Gardy. The team performed up to expectations by winning the mediocre division. Managers need not be rewarded for merely achieving what everyone thought they would achieve at the beginning of the year.

  10. mike wants wins October 13, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    One of the reasons they were favored at the beginning ofthe year is the consistency that Gardy brings. His presence in people making that prediction should not be overlooked, imo.

  11. Jesse H October 13, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    Hi,

    I asked this question on Nick’s blog and didn’t really get a response so I thought I would try yours. How many more games can Gardy lose in a row in the playoffs before he absolutely must be fired? I say he can lose 6 more for a total of 18 because that give him 2 more years with hopefully a healthy Mauer and Morneau. Thanks!

  12. darin617 October 13, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    Time for a change. Time for Gardy to be shown the door. If this was football he would have been fired long ago for such a terrible record in the post season. That’s what makes me laugh that is is perfectly ok to win your division and practically never win a SINGLE playoff game and you are the greatest manager ever. It blows my mind how he cannot get his team prepared to win a single game.

  13. EE October 14, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    Ed said it best by describing what Francona had to fight through. Too bad a third place finish with 89 wins in any division wont win you the award, no matter what you have to work with. For a guy that was almost fired before the season started, I hate to have to say it but Washington has to be the hands down winner for 2010, weren’t they picked to finish at the bottom of their division? Picking up Lee early July didn’t really payoff during the regular season (4-6)/(6-9)… and where did CJ start the season? and it’s not like that bullpen was anything special before this season. Texas really came together this season. Ron must have dusted off the ‘ol book from the past as a Twin and did things the ‘Twins’ way…

    Seth, could this be true that the 2010 Connie Mack Award Winner should go to the guy who was traded to the Twins for one of our own Perham boys??? Interesting.

    • Seth October 14, 2010 at 2:38 am #

      That is pretty cool… I never realized that Washington came to the Twins in a straight-up trade for Wayne… looking at his minor league numbers, it’s hard to explain why he never got even a cup of coffee. Watching him play in the Hi-10 for all those years made me wonder too!!

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=caughe001way

  14. AMR October 14, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    My #1 vote is Buck Showalter.
    The O’s roster was basically the same before and after he was hired. But the two managers before him were 32-73 in their 105 games, and Buck was 34-23 in his 57 games.

    More wins in about half of the games: a 97-win pace instead of a 113-loss pace.

  15. waterface October 16, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    if you want gardenhire to win…………… and it looks like you do……… better just vote him first and not cast a 2nd and 3rd place vote. gardy never wins and needs shady help if he is going to.

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