The General Chapter of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance is one of the largest chapters in the alliance. And most of the chapter took part in the first two of our awards, The Connie Mack Award for the best manager of the year in each of the American and National Leagues and the Willie Mays Award for the best rookies in each league. Each member of the General Chapter voted a top three for each award. Those results were weighted with the most points going for a first place vote and then tabulated for the official chapter ballot which will go toward allowing the BBA as a whole to select this year’s recipients. First up is the Connie Mack Award.
As several of our chapter members observed, picking the best manager each season is a slippery slope. Ultimately, it is the players who play and either perform or do not. For example, Bruce Bochy seems to be on the every other year plan of success. Was he all that great when he won World Series titles in 2010 and 2012 and then stunk in 2011 and 2013? Is he back to being great in 2014?
Interestingly, Bochy has not won the baseball writers’ version of this award since 1996 when he took the Padres to a first place division win in San Diego. Two years later (even then it was every other year), he won the National League Pennant and took his Padres to the World Series and did not win any awards.
I have written here several times that judging a manager seems impossible. You can’t go by results. You cannot go by hearsay. You cannot even go by whether he was fired or not. One of our chapter members obstained because of this difficulty.
But the rest of our writers muddled through and picked a top three in each league.
Bochy received more first place vote but Hurdle was listed on more ballots to just overcome Bochy’s total. Other managers receiving votes in order of finish: Mike Matheny, Don Mattingly, Terry Collins, Ron Roenicke, Bud Black and Rick Renteria.
It was not close in the American League. Showalter had the most first place votes and was on the most ballots. Other AL managers getting votes in order of their finish: Ned Yost, Brad Ausmus, Joe Girardi, Terry Francona and Bob Melvin.
Much thanks to all the writers for participating in this process.