2010 NL Manager of the Year: B/R Columnists Pick San Diego Padres' Bud Black

Lewie PollisSenior Analyst IIINovember 11, 2010

2010 NL Manager of the Year: B/R Columnists Pick San Diego Padres' Bud Black

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    PHOENIX - AUGUST 08:  Manager Bud Black of the San Diego Padres watches from the dugout during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 8, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    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!

No. 5: Charlie Manuel, Phillies

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    SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 20:  Manager Charlie Manuel of the Philadelphia Phillies walks on the field during Game Four of the NLCS against the San Francisco Giants during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at AT&T Park on October 20, 2010 in San Francisco, California.
    Harry How/Getty Images

    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.

No. 4: Bobby Cox, Braves

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    SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 08:  Manager Bobby Cox of the Atlanta Braves walks back to the dugout after he was thrown out of the game for argueing a call in the second inning of their game against the San Francisco Giants in game 2 of the NLDS at AT&T Park on
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    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.

No. 3: Bruce Bochy, Giants

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Manager Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants celebrates with Juan Urbie #5 after the Giants won 3-1 against the Texas Rangers in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 i
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    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.

No. 2: Dusty Baker, Reds

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 08:  Dusty Baker #12 of the Cincinnati Reds walks to the dugout in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on October 8, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    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.

No. 1: Bud Black, Padres

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    PHOENIX - AUGUST 07:  Manager Bud Black of the San Diego Padres watches from the dugout during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 7, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    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.

Full Results

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    PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 27:  Manager Bud Black of the San Diego Padres poses during photo media day at the Padres spring training complex on February 27, 2010 in Peoria, Arizona.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    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.

Schedule of Results

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    PHILADELPHIA - MAY 2: The Phillie Phanatic performs during the game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on May 2, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 11-5. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
    Hunter Martin/Getty Images
    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