Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Internet Baseball Awards: Manager of the Year

In this exciting series, I will share my votes for the Internet Baseball Awards, sponsored by Baseball Prospectus, and the thinking or lack thereof behind my choices.

Manager of the Year has always struck me as a silly award, because you can’t really evaluate a manager statistically. By convention you give it to the manager of the most surprising team, or to the manager of a team that is just really, really good. And of course which team you think are most surprising is biased based on your personal feelings before the season started, which may have been unfounded. Despite all of this, I will reluctantly choose in this manner as well.

In the American League, the big surprise team was the Tigers. The A’s managed to milk a .574 W% out of a .497 PW%, although it was the sub-.500 PW% that surprised me, not their division title. Some will hail the Twins as a surprise, but I picked them to play well. The East has a choke job in the Red Sox, the Blue Jays who did about as well as could be expected, and the DRays and Orioles are non-factors. Out West, the Angels, Rangers, and Mariners did about what I thought they would.

So I will go with the two “surprises” and the guy who managed the best team in the league:
1) Jim Leyland, DET
2) Ken Macha, OAK
3) Joe Torre, NYA

In the National League, the Marlins were pegged by me, foolishly in retrospect, to lose 100 games. There is a good chance that Joe Girardi will win manager of the year after being fired. The Astros and Reds surprised me, but Garner is not likely to garner a lot of support because they were pennant winners last year. The West played out like I thought it would, except I didn’t expect the Dodgers to end up in the postseason. So I have it:
1) Joe Girardi, FLA
2) Jerry Narron, CIN
3) Grady Little, LA

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