The Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBBA) was founded in 2009 with the purpose of encouraging collaboration and communication among bloggers from across baseball. The Alliance also votes on various awards at different times in the year, including end of season awards.
The Manager of the Year award is subjective. Well, OK, all awards are subjective, but Manager of the Year is more so than the rest. To determine the best pitcher in the league, look at the numbers. Best hitter? Look at the numbers. Best Manager? Can’t really look at the numbers. How much impact does the Manager have on his team’s performance? Much more difficult to quantify. It’s the fuzziest of the awards.
Manager of the Year tends to go to the skipper who’s team over-achieved. Over-achieved based on what? Usually, it’s based on the preseason expectations of the media. No baseball team enters the season expecting to lose 100 games. Teams do recognize if they have fewer talented players on the roster than, say, the Dodgers or Yankees, but everyone thinks starts April thinking this is THEIR YEAR. Based on that, how does one fairly select the Manager of the Year?
You do the best you can with the experience you’ve gained. You can’t avoid being subjective.
After watching the 2014 season, The San Diego Chapter of the BBA has selected Clint Hurdle as it’s nominee for the Connie Mack Award. Final vote tally, awarding 5 points for a first place vote, 3 for a second place vote, and 1 for third:
- Hurdle 17 points
- Bruce Bochy 9 points
- Matt Williams 5 points
Hurdle was the only manager to appear on all ballots cast. He has guided the Pirates to the playoffs in back-to-back years, and overcame the loss of AJ Burnett and the lack of production from Pedro Alvarez to keep Pittsburgh on track. Also, he seamlessly integrated rookies Josh Harrison and Gregory Polanco into the offense.
Bruce Bochy may very well be the best manager in the National League. He lost Matt Cain for the year. He had question marks at the back of the bullpen. Angel Pagan spent a ton of time on the DL. Still, the Giants led the NL West for a good chunk of the year, and even though they faltered a bit after the All-Star Break they were able to hang on for a Wild Card berth. We’ve seen what they’ve done since the playoffs started.
Matt Williams led the Washington Nationals to the NL’s best record. After their 2013 performance, that’s quite an improvement.
The final results of the BBA’s voting will be announced on October 13. The BBA is also voting for a Rookie of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Reliever of the Year, and Most Valuable Player. SD Chapter ballots for those awards will appear at either Padres Public or Friarhood.