Next week, the Baseball Writers Association of America will begin to unveil its picks for Major League Baseball's most important end-of-season awards: Rookies of the Year, Managers of the Year, Cy Youngs and Most Valuable Players.
But Bleacher Report's featured columnists didn't have the patience to wait for the BBWAA to announce their picks, so we responded with our own mock vote.
With this post, we have reached the end of Week 3 of our 16-part series on the MLB awards.
Yesterday, we looked at the best skippers in the American League, so naturally today is time for the results of our NL Manager of the Year vote.
The top five vote-getters are featured here with commentary from people who chose them. The full list of votes is at the end.
So read on, see how we did and be sure to let us know what we got wrong!
Featured writer: Bob Warja
Charlie Manuel is the NL MOY because he guides this team with an iron hand when he has to, but treats them as men and actually thinks in a logical manner. He says it like it is and in this politically correct world, that is refreshing.
Sure, he has a lot of talent. Despite what the Giants have done, and certainly not to take anything away from them, Manuel's in-game managing strategies take a back seat to no one. He handles the pitching staff, especially the relievers, as well as any manager.
He has people skills, so he communicates well with his players. Sometimes it is harder to manage a team that has had success due to the egos involved, but you seldom hear of any problems on his roster. And that is a credit to the man who should be MOY.
Featured writer: Jordan Schwartz
In his final season as a big league manager, Bobby Cox overcame significant injuries to third baseman Chipper Jones and second baseman Martin Prado to lead the Atlanta Braves to the National League Wild Card.
At 91-71, the Braves finished tied with the sixth best record in baseball, something many prognosticators did not see coming back in spring training.
The Manager of the Year Award is not supposed to be a lifetime achievement honor, but it’s hard to overlook Cox’s 2,504 career wins, fourth on the all-time list, his 14 consecutive division titles with the Braves and his two World Series rings in 1977 and 1995.
Featured writer: Brandon Williams
Bruce Bochy’s opening day lineup looked like a mishmash of castoffs, has-beens and one-year wonders, which left few, if any, pundits giving the Giants much of a chance to compete in the National League West.
Look who’s laughing now.
Few managers would have been able to keep their team at such an even keel as they chased San Diego for much of the summer, but just as the Padres began to tap out, the Giants found their second wind, erasing a six-and-a-half game deficit on August 25 to clinch the West title on the last day of the season.
Bochy didn’t pick up a bat or make a throw, but the Giants wouldn’t have won a World Series title if he wasn’t in the dugout.
Featured writer: Robert Knapel
The Reds' run to the playoffs this year was quite a surprise. PECOTA, one of the most respected projection systems, only expected the Reds to get 81 wins.
While winning the wild card would have been shocking enough, the Reds managed to win 91 games and the division. Part of this can be attributed to Reds manager Dusty Baker.
Baker had to deal with handling Mike Leake, who had never pitched a professional inning in his life and yet started the season in the majors.
Baker dealt with issues in the outfield splitting time between Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey. The Reds also did not have a full season of Edinson Volquez.
Baker was able to lead like a manager is supposed to and he helped the Reds reach the playoffs for the first time in 15 years.
Featured writer: Matt Trueblood
In light of San Diego’s late-season swoon, it is easy to forget how much Bud Black got out of a young and modestly talented Padres club.
An offense that might generously be called timid managed to push across 665 runs, mostly because of Black’s strategic efforts to maximize the team’s limited skills. San Diego stole 124 bases, second-most in the NL, and did it efficiently enough to make that speed a positive influence on the offense. The Padres also finished second in sacrifice hits in the NL.
Black and the coaches worked hard on the team’s plate approach throughout the year, resulting in fewer strikeouts and more walks than the average NL team, despite the lack of real punch around Adrian Gonzalez.
The pitching staff was loaded from day one, but Black got the most out of them by keeping his starters fresh and trusting the eminently talented bullpen.
1. Bud Black, Padres—84 (12)
2. Dusty Baker, Reds—68 (7)
3. Bruce Bochy, Giants—44 (7)
4. Bobby Cox, Braves—22
5. Charlie Manuel, Phillies—21 (1)
T6. Brad Mills, Astros—1
T6. Jim Tracy, Rockies—1
Voting on a 5-3-1 basis. First-place votes are in parentheses.
|AL Gold Gloves||October 25|
|NL Gold Gloves||October 26|
|AL Silver Sluggers||October 27|
|NL Silver Sluggers||October 28|
|AL Comeback Player of the Year||November 1|
|NL Comeback Player of the Year||November 2|
|AL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year||November 3|
|NL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year||November 4|
|AL Rookie of the Year||November 8|
|NL Rookie of the Year||November 9|
|AL Manager of the Year||November 10|
|NL Manager of the Year||November 11|
|AL Cy Young||November 15|
|NL Cy Young||November 16|
|AL Most Valuable Player||November 17|
|NL Most Valuable Player||November 18