Baseball's award season is upon us and we finally have a vote that counts for something this year. We're proud members of the Baseball Blogger Alliance and they've been kind enough to give us ballots. The only thing the BBWAA ever gave us was food poisoning that time they had us over for a dinner party. Today we'll be unveiling our NL Connie Mack Ballot for manager of the year.
1. Bud Black
The Padres unraveled at the end of the season to finish 2 games out of the NL West. It was still quite the feat considering the Padres were widely predicted to finish last. Black, Mike Scioscia's former pitching coach with the Angels, keeps producing quality relief pitchers from the secret underground factory under Petco. Black also got tremendous innings from youngsters Mat Latos and Clayton Richards. He won 90 games with just one offensive player, Adrian Gonzalez. The rest of the lineup was filled with David Ecksteins. Let's see you win 90 games with that.
2. Bobby Cox
The longtime Braves skipper is sure to get some sentimental love after getting his team into the playoffs in his final year. I'm giving him some love for having the balls to start a 20-year-old from day one. Jason Heyward rewarded his manager with 18 home runs and a .277/.393/.456 line. Heyward was probably the Braves best offensive player too. His other outfielders included the likes of Nate McLouth and Melky Cabrera. Let's see you win 91 games with that.
3. Dusty Baker
*sigh* I don't feel great about this one due to Dusty's poor bullpen management and playing Jonny Gomes in the outfield. True story, Gomes is so bad in the outfield UZR tried to quit FanGraphs instead of measuring him. Despite all of that, Baker did "guide" the Reds to 91 wins and finished 5 games ahead of the Cardinals for first place in the Central. I think I need a shower after putting Baker on this ballot. Something feels so dirty about it.