Phase two of the SBNation postseason awards have been released, and today it's Manager of the Year.
No surprise in either league, and once again my own ballot was prescient.
But I've been thinking about this a little, and I've come to regret my first place vote for Girardi a little bit. The thing is, I think that I--all of us--were just a little bit too quick to dismiss the significance of Girardi's having been relieved of his duties by the Marlins' top brass.
"Oh, the Marlins' front office are idiots," is the standard rejoinder. Yet that same front office was so shrewd in acquiring talent during their most recent fire sale that they saw five of their players finish in the top nine in yesterday's Rookie of the Year balloting. I imagine that we are to believe that Florida's upstairs contingent is able to accurately judge its player personnel, but that this same acumen deserts them when evaluating their field staff?
No, more likely, Girardi's firing is indicative of failings that we voters should have noted.
Selecting a Manager of the Year is a subjective business anyway. Beyond his team's won-loss record, and maybe some splits therefrom, there really isn't much to go by. But I think of Gary Sheffield, a possible Hall of Famer who has nevertheless been "fired" several times during his 19-year career. Sheffield has been at it again this offseason, emphasizing for all those who might have forgotten just what a lousy team player he really is.
Fortunately for Sheffield, he can be evaluated by his very respectable numbers; those trying to figure out what kind of a player Shef is don't have to just rely on his spotty record of employer relations.
Girardi has no such boon. The fact that he was fired by his employer is just about the only thing we have to go on in evaluating Joe G's performance as Manager.
Maybe one day, sabermetrics will lead us to a better way of evaluating our field generals; in the meantime, I will regret my vote.
In our day-to-day professional lives, there is no-one to whom we are more accountable than our employers, and there is no-one more qualified to judge us professionally than those same employers.
The very creditable record to which Girardi led the Marlins speaks on Girardi's behalf, as do the performances turned in by many of his rookie players.
There's no getting around that. But I fear that we voters may have too-blithely disregarded the most important testimony of all in regards Joe Girardi's performance as manager of the Florida Marlins.