Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Manager of the Year

No surprise in the Manager of the Year awards: It's Joe Maddon in the AL and Lou Piniella in the NL. There is absolutely no truth to the rumor -- even if there is utter plausibility -- that Danny Murtaugh came in second in the NL.

Actually, Charlie Manuel came in second in the NL. People talk about this all of the time, but I'm wondering if it's not time to at least start thinking about including the post season for consideration when it comes to the awards. The big danger, obviously, is that everyone immediately forgets the first 162 games and guys like Cole Hamels end up winning the Cy Young Award. This is not a small concern. If the past few days have shown us anything, it's that giving the BBWAA even a bit of latitude in voting and they are 100% certain to mess it up.

But how about including the post season for Manager of the Year? I don't think it's a given that the award would simply go to the World Series skippers each year, but in a lot of years, shouldn't it? Joe Maddon was an easy choice in the AL, but once everything was all said and done, I feel like Charlie Manuel should have some hardware on his mantle mantel this winter (it's been a tough day on the grammar front).

I'm not slagging on Piniella here -- he's a fine and defensible choice. I am just thinkin' out loud and am entirely open to debate on the point.


Anonymous said...

The problem with including the post season, as you note, is the incredible over-valuation that would occur of performance over a very small sample size

Craig Calcaterra said...

Agreed, and that probably makes it utterly unworkable. There's just something unsatisfying about the manager award, because I tend to think of regular season and post season managing as having a far greater continuity than, say, regular season hitting and post season hitting.

But you're right, it probably can't work.

DRH said...

I think it was Bill James who suggested doing the voting after the LCS series'. The reasons for this would be:
1. It's a league award so the World Series isn't really relevant
2. It might limit the impact postseason performance played in the voting.

You could also allow voters to rearrange their ballots to some degree after the postseason (say, allow them to move people up/down by up to 2 places). But that may add more confusion than anything else.

Peter said...

Opening the door to voting on any award after the postseason will inevitably lead to every award being voted on after the postseason.

The first time the MVP is given to a player who had a bad postseason, guys like Mike Greenberg will be screaming: "How ridiculous is it that they allow the voters to take the postseason into account for the Manager of the Year, but not the MVP?"

And I think we can all agree that we don't want a guy like ARod having an MVP taken away from him over like 17 plate appearances.

Ron Rollins said...


Did you mean Mike Greeberg or Mike Greenwell?

Just curious?

Ron Rollins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drew said...

If you include the postseason, do you take it away from Maddon for the ridiculous mismanagement of the World Series? It has to be able to count both ways, right?

Peter said...

ron: Greenberg, of Mike & Mike fame.

Bob Timmermann said...

I think Charlie Manuel wants some hardware on his mantel, not his mantle.

Of course, Charlie might find the mantle a really nice clothing option.

bigcatasroma said...

Talk about your completely subjective voting. This vote is always given to either (a) the manager with the best record (even if the team was *expected* to be the best team - the Cubs) or (b) the surprise team of the year with the best record (Rays).

It is *almost* never given to a manager, based on objective numbers, that, i.e. led his team to a better than expected win percentage, after stripping away all those numbers that sabermatricians take away. For example, if team X were expected to win 84 games under PECOTA, and they won 96, and after accounting for pitchers stats, hitters stats, and park effects, etc. and team X should *still* have only won 90 games, and it is therefore determined that the manager accounted for those extra 6 wins, and that is more than any other team in the league, the manager of team X should win Manager of the Year.

But, under the BBRAA, that will *never* happen . . .