How best to judge a major-league manager?
Is his ability to piece together the best lineup for his team a fair barometer? Is the way he handles a pitching staff, especially when juggling a bullpen, a true reflection of his ability? Maybe he's a strong motivator, knowing which buttons to push and when during a season.
In my view, ranking National League Manager of the Year candidates is mostly about expectations.
What sort of team was the manager projected to have and how has his club performed against those predictions? How does his roster compare to other teams in the division and league? If he's perceived to have a less-talented squad, are his players achieving more than expected? Should his team be playing better?
Has a manager lost his team? Are his players tuning him out?
It's still early in the season to make those sorts of judgments for certain, but based on preseason expectations and perceptions, these five managers are doing a fine job so far.
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