Buddy Bell managed three different teams between 1996-2007 with a record of 519-724. He didn't have great rosters to work with, but he was one of the worst managers of all-time. As such, this award goes to the manager who made a bone-headed decision or 12 in the LDS.
Buddy Bell Recipient: Fredi Gonzalez
Gonzalez's decision to not turn to Craig Kimbrel in the eighth inning of Game 4 for the Braves' was met with more than a little bit of scrutiny, but there was more than just that one head-scratcher.
Before the series even began, Gonzalez chose to leave Dan Uggla, Paul Maholm and Scott Downs off of the Atlanta roster.
Uggla is signed with the Braves for another two years at $13.2 million per year. I could almost appreciate ostracizing him in place of an up-and-coming star or a defensive wizard who can also put the bat on the ball. But Elliot Johnson has a career .218 batting average and is hardly an all-star with the glove. Somewhat predictably, he went 1-for-14 and committed an error.
Leaving Downs off the Atlanta roster left Gonzalez with only two left-handed relievers against a Los Angeles roster with five left-handed batters and one switch-hitter. Because of that, Gonzalez had to leave David Carpenter in the eighth inning of Game 2 to face Adrian Gonzalez, even though the Dodgers first baseman was 0-for-5 in his career against Downs.
Then, Gonzalez used both of his left-handed relievers in Game 1, after the Braves were already down, 6-1, by bringing in each of them for innings with two right-handed batters due up. He also used the right-handed Carpenter in the inning in which left-handed Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier were coming up.
It made no sense whatsoever, so it shouldn't have been a surprise that he botched the late-inning situation in Game 4 the way that he did.
Runner-Up: Jim Leyland
Even when he was healthy, Miguel Cabrera was not a good third baseman for the Tigers, so why not save his energy for the plate by putting him at DH?
Victor Martinez has never played a game in the outfield in his career, but neither had Jhonny Peralta until this season. Detroit's strongest lineup both on offense and defense would have been to put Jose Iglesias at third base, Peralta at short, Martinez in left and Cabrera at DH.
But Leyland didn't see it that way and it was Cabrera's error in Game 3 that first put Oakland in the scoring column.