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SB Nation Managers of the Year

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Every year, the SB Nation baseball editors vote in polls to determine their MVP, Cy Young, etc. The first of these awards were announced yesterday, being for Manager of the Year. The AL award went - no great surprise - to Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, in an almost-unanimous decision. The NL award was a bit more split, with six different managers receiving first-place votes. In the end, Lou Piniella was rewarded for guiding the Cubs to the best record in the NL, ahead of Charlie Manuel of the Phillies, and the Dodgers' Joe Torre. Bob Melvin received zero mention on anyone's ballot.

Full results and which three were my choices, after the jump. [Edited with snakecharmer's too.]

Here are the overall votes, first for the NL, then the AL

Votes      1st  2nd  3rd  Points
--------   ---  ---  ---  ------
Piniella     9    4    2    59
Manuel       2    4    5    27
Torre        2    2    2    18
Gonzalez     1    2    3    14
La Russa     2              10
Yost              3    1    10
Cooper            1    2     5
Acta         1               5
Svuem             1    1     4

Votes      1st  2nd  3rd  Points
--------   ---  ---  ---  ------
Maddon      13    1         68
Gardenhire        6    3    21
Scioscia          3    4    13
Francona          3    2    11
Gaston                 3     3
Guillen      1         2     7
Hillman           1          3

Here's my ballot:

1. Lou Pinella
2. Charlie Manuel
3. Ned Yost - yes, I know he got fired!

Basically, there's only four possible contenders for me: those who guide their teams to the play-offs, though I tend to view this award as much as a franchise one, as one for the particular manager. Piniella deserves credit for coping with a slew of injuries that permanently threatened to derail the Cubs' chances, and kept them in first-place from May 11th on. Rather than burying his head in the sand and pretending everything was fine, he and the organization took the necessary action to correct the team's flaws, and they won the league by a clear 7.5 games.

The runners-up spot goes to Manuel for taking his 12th-placed team in terms of salary, and beating the second-placed Mets to the punch. Yost had even less to work with, the Brewers being in 15th. There can't be many teams who have fired their manager while in a playoff spot, though I admit he had his issues. 'Charmer also got to vote on behalf of the 'Pit, so I'm sure she'll be along to provide her choices, when she's feeling a bit better [which we all hope is soon!].

[Edited by snakecharmer]

Sorry, this kind of got lost in the midst of all the playoff games. My ballot this year for NL Manager of the Year was

1. Lou Pinella
2. Ned Yost
3. Joe Torre

This was actually kind of hard, because to me, nobody really stood out as a great manager the way Melvin did last year. But Pinella led his team to the best record in the National League, he did it under the scrutiny of the Cubs hitting the century mark since the WS, he did it one game at a time, and he kept the Cubs as one of the more dominant teams all year. I think Pinella deserves credit for his leadership there.

For the other two spots, I could have easily flip flopped Torre and Yost. I think Yost deserves a lot of credit for guiding the Brewers to the second best record in the NL and their first post-season berth in 26 years, despite his gaffes. He managed a young ballclub into contention - and, yes, then out of it, then in it again - and I think he can get some props for that. I didn't go with Torre for the #2 slot because of the Dodgers' record. To me, Torre didn't really start "managing" the Dodgers until the summer, particularly until he got Manny. But look at all the personalities in that Dodgers clubhouse - Ramirez, Jones, Kent, Hunter, Penny - that's a tough crew to manage. Despite the poor record in the NL West, he did lead them to come from 4.5 games out to take us over for the title, and did it while seeming cool, calm and collected.