There was no baseball yesterday. There is no baseball today. There will be baseball tomorrow, but not until 7:05 PM, so it’s basically three days without anyone throwing a pitch in anger. Let’s kill the time, then, by arguing about who, if the season ended today, would be your award winners. Last up: Manager of the Year.
You’ve all heard my spiel about the Manager of the Year Award many times, but there’s nothing going on today, so I’ll offer it again.
The Manager of the Year Award says more about people on the outside, not the inside. On their expectations for a team as opposed to what the manager actually does. This is because a manager’s success is insanely dependent on his team’s talent level and health and because the things he actually does — motivation, clubhouse management, subtle pulls of the lever across a six month period, often involving data and background information of which we are not aware — are largely opaque to outsiders. If you do better with what outsiders thought you had six months earlier, hooray, you’re the manager of the year.
As such, the Manager of the Year Award does not really lend itself to analysis and prediction in the way the other awards do. The fact that the Giants suck does not mean that Bruce Bochy forgot how to be a good manager. The fact that the Cubs are underachieving does not mean that Joe Maddon has lost his way. The fact that the Twins and Brewers have exceeded expectations does not mean that Paul Molitor and Craig Counsell are now destined for Cooperstown. Stuff happens. Managers of the Year are picked either because their team is insanely dominant or because their team did better than most people thought they would.
Based on those factors, you could make a dominance case for A.J. Hinch of the Astros and Dave Roberts of the Dodgers. Or you could make an expectations case for Bud Black of the Rockies, Torey Lovullo of the Diamondbacks, Molitor or Counsell. I’d probably give it to Hinch and Roberts, but again, what does that really mean?
I’m sure you all have an idea about this. Let’s hear your arguments in the comments.