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SBN Awards: Manager of the Year

Manager of the Year
Voting 5-3-1
National League 1st 2nd 3rd Pts
Bob Melvin 10 5 2 67
Charlie Manuel 3 5 4 34
Clint Hurdle 3 3 3 27
Lou Piniella 3 2 3 24
Manny Acta 1 2 3 14
Bud Black - 3 2 11
Bobby Cox 1 - 1 6
Ned Yost - 1 1 4
Tony LaRussa - - 1 1
Bruce Bochy - - 1 1
American League 1st 2nd 3rd Pts
Eric Wedge 16 3 - 89
Joe Torre 1 7 3 29
Mike Scioscia 2 4 6 28
Mike Hargrove - 1 4 8
Terry Francona - 1 3 6
Ozzie Guillen - 1 1 4
John McLaren - 1 - 3
Buddy Bell - 1 - 3
Sam Perlozzo - - 1 1
Ron Washington - - 1 1

In an upset of insignificant proportions, neither Garner nor Coop gets a vote.

I had to go back and look to see that I voted Melvin-Piniella-Hurdle. What I do recall is that unlike with the players, I employed no method at all to come up with my choices.

Just shotgunned it, Melvin seemed like a good choice since the D-Backs got outscored, Piniella sounded almost as good, because the Cubs got off to the crappy start, but somehow didn't implode, and Hurdle was the guy at the reins of the runaway sled that was the Rockies.

Sounded good.

Still does.

But right now I'm wondering whether I might not should have whipped up some numbers to try and test whether my intuiton had anything factual to prop it up or not.

First, I deleted the teams who fired a manager during the season, not only because I wasn't in the mood to look for splits, but also because who's gonna give an award to a manager who couldn't even make it through the season?

I think it was Casey Stengel or Leo Durocher or Terry Collins who said that the one-run games can be placed at the feet of the manager. More recent analysis suggests that one-run games are a coinflip, and even out over time.

On this one, I lean toward the old school: the manager should be able to find you a run somewhere, underneath the bench in the dugout, behind the watercooler, someplace. That's his job, that's why they give him the hallowed option of calling for the hit and run.

Winning Percentage in One-Run Games
AL Team Mgr 1-run %
Texas Washington .591
Detroit Leyland .587
LA Angels Scioscia .568
Cleveland Wedge .547
Toronto Gibbons .537
Tampa Bay Maddon .512
Oakland Geren .510
Minnesota Gardenhire .500
Kansas City Bell .488
NY Yankees Torre .462
Boston Francona .440
Chicago Sox Guillen .381
NL Team Mgr 1-run %
Arizona Melvin .615
NY Mets Randolph .595
LA Dodgers Little .583
Washington Acta .529
Milwaukee Yost .512
Chicago Cubs Piniella .511
Colorado Hurdle .500
Florida Gonzalez .478
San Diego Black .469
San Francisco Bochy .462
St. Louis LaGenius .444
Pittsburgh Tracy .421
Atlanta Cox .419
Philadelphia Manuel .378

What did they win? And what do we expect them to have won? Subtract the two. Positive number is good, negative is bad.

Makes sense.

Actual Winning Percentage - Pythagorean Winning Percentage
AL Team Mgr Actual - Pyth.
Chicago Sox Guillen .037
Cleveland Wedge .025
LA Angels Scioscia .024
Tampa Bay Maddon .000
Minnesota Gardenhire -.006
Detroit Leyland -.013
Texas Washington -.018
Oakland Geren -.019
Kansas City Bell -.025
Toronto Gibbons -.025
NY Yankees Torre -.031
Boston Francona -.043
NL Team Mgr Actual - Pyth.
Arizona Melvin .068
St. Louis LaGenius .049
Washington Acta .025
NY Mets Randolph .006
Philadelphia Manuel .006
Pittsburgh Tracy .000
LA Dodgers Little .000
Florida Gonzalez .000
San Diego Black -.006
Milwaukee Yost -.007
Colorado Hurdle -.012
Chicago Cubs Piniella -.018
Atlanta Cox -.030
San Francisco Bochy -.037
If you liked the one-run test, you'll love the extra-innings test. This is the one that penalizes the guy who bunts too much with one out and a man on first in the tenth.
Extra Innings Winning Percentage
AL Team Mgr Xtra %
NY Yankees Torre .692
Texas Washington .643
Kansas City Bell .615
Minnesota Gardenhire .583
Detroit Leyland .579
Chicago Sox Guillen .533
Toronto Gibbons .529
Cleveland Wedge .421
LA Angels Scioscia .417
Oakland Geren .294
Boston Francona .286
Tampa Bay Maddon .250
NL Team Mgr Xtra %
Chicago Cubs Piniella .800
San Francisco Bochy .714
Washington Acta .643
Atlanta Cox .625
Philadelphia Manuel .619
NY Mets Randolph .533
San Diego Black .476
Colorado Hurdle .476
Pittsburgh Tracy .467
Florida Gonzalez .462
Arizona Melvin .429
Milwaukee Yost .429
St. Louis LaGenius .364
LA Dodgers Little .308

Based on this mish-mash, Melvin and Piniella look like two very good picks indeed. Hurdle might have been a little suspect, though (again, just based on this, forget if you can that his team won 14 of 15 down the stretch for a second).

Just from these numbers, looks like Randolph might not have been a bad pick, but considering what we know from the real world, that the Mets choked down the stretch, and Randolph proved himself ineffectual in doing anything at all about it, I think you have to throw that particular pick out the window.

LaGenius did a good job in beating Pythagoras, but how about Manny Acta? The peripherals are there, and weren't the Nationals gonna be the worst team in history, back in April? Turns out they didn't even finish last, and they were still playing hard down the stretch, as Randolph's Mets found out. Could you really give it to Acta over Hurdle?

Probably not.

Is anyone surprised that Charlie Manuel had the worst one-run record in baseball?

I didn't think so.

I certainly don't regret leaving him off my ballot.

On the junior side, check out Francona; the only thing he did right was win a fucking championship.