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2009 SBN AL Manager Of The Year Voting Results

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Every AL blog got two ballots, each ballot voted for three managers, etc. Last year, the SBN AL voting matched up perfectly with the official results, which says something about just how much access as a voter really matters.

Rk Manager Team 1st 2nd 3rd Pts
1 Mike Scioscia Los Angeles Angels 9 8 3 72
2 Ron Gardenhire Minnesota Twins 9 5 1 61
3 Don Wakamatsu Seattle Mariners 6 3 8 47
4 Joe Girardi New York Yankees 2 4 2 24
5 Ron Washington Texas Rangers 1 4 4 21
6 Terry Francona Boston Red Sox 1 1 3 11
7 Jim Leyland Detroit Tigers - 2 4 10
8 Joe Maddon Tampa Bay Rays - 1 1 4
9 Ozzie Guillen Chicago White Sox - - 1 1
10 Trey Hillman Kansas City Royals - - 1 1

 

Lots of love for Mike Scioscia, again. Nobody really knows what effect he has on that team, but they're always good, boosting his reputation, and this year the Angels overcame a number of potentially severe injuries to post the second-best record in the American League. There was also the whole Adenhart thing, and while subtracting Adenhart from the equation didn't really make the Angels worse on paper, he did, y'know, die, he freaking died, and Scioscia got his team through the most devastating sort of adversity. Good luck finding anyone with the balls to suggest that Scioscia doesn't deserve credit for that. Scioscia and the MotY, at this point, is like Greg Maddux and the Gold Gloves - if you don't know who else to vote for, you can just assume he's worthy.

Ron Gardenhire ties Scioscia in first-place votes and finishes second overall for guiding a mediocre team to the top of a mediocre division.

Third place for Don Wakamatsu, who, yeah, you know the story. Yay us.

If memory serves, my ballot was Scioscia/Wakamatsu/Hillman. Scioscia, for helping the Angels overcome so much. Wak, for aiding in this team's complete change of direction. And Trey Hillman, because the Royals sucked, they absolutely sucked, realistically they couldn't have sucked any more than they sucked, and it can't be easier to manage a team under those conditions, and Hillman deserves credit for not killing himself, or anybody else, other than Mike Jacobs' career.

Hillman probably seems like a silly vote to many of you. He's definitely not the sort of manager who typically gets positive recognition. People in Hillman's position get fired, not honored. But I prefer to think of it as a statement vote, rather than a joke or a throwaway, because truth be told, how the hell is anyone supposed to be able to identify the league's best manager? A manager's job is to lead. I mean, he has a bunch of duties, dozens more than I can conceive of, but first and foremost, a manager has to be a good leader. And do you think it's easier to lead a good team or an awful one? The better a team is, the better the players are, and the better the players are, the less a manager has to do. The Royals weren't any good, and while that may reflect on Hillman, he had to try a hell of a lot harder than Joe Girardi had to try. Maybe Hillman was a bad manager. Maybe Gardenhire was a bad manager. We don't know. We don't know. And for that reason I don't think a team's W/L record should play such a significant role in determining the recipients of this award.

Fourth place for Joe Girardi. Amazing. Joe Girardi didn't have shit to do with the Yankees hitting 244 home runs. If I could enforce any one rule for this award, it would be that no Yankee manager would ever ever ever be more deserving of a vote than the manager of the Royals, or really than any manager at all. "The manager of the Yankees has to deal with all the pressure from the New York media," people say. The manager of the Yankees also gets to work with a roster that cost more to build than some stadiums. A manager of the Yankees cannot succeed. He can only fail.

Anyway, the take-home message here is that the Manager Of The Year award is basically pointless, since nobody has any idea how to properly evaluate a manager's performance. Aren't you glad you read all that?