1. Bob Melvin
2. Clint Hurdle
3. Ned Yost
It's almost impossible to split out a precise managerial contribution to a team: I tend to take this as a communal award, for manager, coaches, GM's and everyone else not on the park. And on that basis, the many-headed Diamondbacks' beast called MelGibsByrnRad is a worthy winner, turning one of the lowest payrolls in the league into a division title and pennant series. I'm most impressed with those who do the most with limited resources, which is why Clint Hurdle and the Rockies organization also deserve consideration. Ned Yost did a grand job with the Brewers for most of the season: it's amusing that only myself and Snake here in Arizona saw fit to acknowledge this, rather than anyone in Milwaukee!
1. Bob Melvin
2. Ned Yost
3. Bud Black
Well, I don't think too many of us here will have a problem with these results. :) Bob Melvin the clear winner in this race. He did an amazing job keeping a team of very young players together as a cohesive unit, and kept them from getting too down on themselves when things got bad. He dealt with injuries to three major players. He had the craziest lineups all year 'round. He pushed almost all the right buttons at almost all the right times. In the end, he took a group of guys nobody's ever heard of to the NLCS.
I almost voted for Clint Hurdle in my ballot, but I couldn't do it. Yes, the Rockies went to the World Series (but these ballots were cast before the first playoff game), but they were in 3rd place almost all year long. It is admirable that he kept the team in contention and helped them through a hot streak at the end, but to me the Rockies felt like a .500 ball club until the last three weeks of the season. The Brewers had a great year with another young team of unknowns, and Padres were in contention for the playoffs until the very last day, hell the very last strike even. (I considered not voting for a #3 manager, because I thought of many reasons not to vote for Black too, but in the end I went with him.)