You're probably thinking, "Okay, yeah, the Crawfish Boxes had a Manager of the Year post this morning. Way to gravy train it, Astros County." And we could see how you would think that. However, it's not true. I mean, yes, the Crawfish Boxes did have an identical post this morning, but there's a different story to why we're doing it today. As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, we are to vote on major awards, and the deadline for the Manager of the Year voting is tomorrow. So, in the absence of any real Astros news from the last 24 hours, we'll take this opportunity to put our votes forward today.
Each ballot must have three names, so you'll see the voting and rationale below. Quick disclaimer: This award is ridiculous. We hate it. Our old friend Anonymous can write in telling us how stupid we are and make a good case.
3rd Place: Terry Francona - Boston
Francona dealt with an astounding number of injuries throughout the season, and while the Red Sox were never really in the hunt for a playoff spot - thanks to their divisional competition - their 89-73 record was quite impressive.
2nd Place: Ron Gardenhire - Minnesota
The Twins did what the Twins do, and that's win the AL Central and go to the playoffs with a fairly low payroll.
1st Place: Ron Washington - Texas
Not 15 months ago Ron Washington was snorting coke after a game. Now he's managing the Rangers in the playoffs for the first time this decade, having destroyed AL West competition! No team won their division by a wider margin than the Rangers' nine-ame cushion.
3rd Place: Dusty Baker - Cincinnati
Basically everybody put the Magic Number for the Cardinals at 162 from Opening Day. So when the Reds got swept by the Cardinals in August, but finished the month 19-8, anyway, it showed their resilience. With the mixture of veterans and youth, and the emergence of Joey Votto as a superstar, Baker stood at the helm.
2nd Place: Bobby Cox - Atlanta
Cox will likely get votes based on his Last Season, and all that, but it's pretty well-deserved. The Braves went toe-to-toe with the Phillies all season, and still made the playoffs despite losing Chipper Jones (in Houston. Sorry, Larry Wayne) and a number of others to injury.
1st Place: Bud Black - San Diego
This is a team that was paying its players $2.13/hour + tips, and if it hadn't been for a 10-game losing streak late in the season, would be in the playoffs getting the crap kicked out of them by the Phillies. Bud Black took a team of Adrian Gonzalez, Heath Bell, and 23 Other Guys from a 75-87 record to the brink of the postseason.