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Bud Black is the National League Manager of the Year

Nov 17, 2010, 2:07 PM EDT

San Diego Padres  v Tampa Bay Rays Getty Images

The BBWAA has voted, and Bud Black is the National League Manager of the Year.

Black beat out Dusty Baker by a single point, garnering 16 first place votes, seven second place votes and three third place votes.  Baker’s breakdown was 13, 12 and two.  Following Black and Baker on the list were Bruce Bochy, Bobby Cox, Charlie Manuel and Brad Mills.

As I’ve said in the past, no one has ever set forth a good measurement for what makes a Manager of the Year, so it usually ends up with a “who did the most with the least” analysis.  Bud Black likely won on that basis.  But really, it was probably more of a perceived least — perceived by the voters — than an actual least. Everyone picked the Padres to finish in last place this year.  They didn’t, and a lot of it had to do with a roster that turned out to be better than a lot of people expected.  Should Black be rewarded because of the so-called experts’ low expectations? In practice he was, but I’m not sure it should always work that way. If the expectations were a bit different, we could easily portray the Padres’ season as one that was great but got derailed by an ugly ten-game losing streak late in the year which ended up costing them the division.  Has a manager whose team fit that description ever won Manager of the Year before?

None of which is to slight Black.  He did do a fine job, and is by all accounts a fine manager.  But I can’t help but think that the Manager of the Year Award, generically speaking, tells us a lot more about the writers who vote on it than the managers themselves.

  1. Jonny 5 - Nov 17, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    The NL was a tough one in this category. I can’t say any were better than any other myself. Black probably wouldn’t be my choice though. I’d have had Bochy, Cox, Manuel as 1-2-3. To be honest I don’t see how Bochy missed out on it after his lesson on button pushing post season. Wow, he could do no wrong….

    • tomemos - Nov 17, 2010 at 2:43 PM

      Except for bringing in Romo to face (ultimately) Eric Hinske in game 3 of the NLDS. Were it not for Brooks Conrad that probably would have been it for the Giants postseason.

  2. tomemos - Nov 17, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    If the Padres have a losing season in 2011, will Black’s award be taken away retroactively?

    • tjammin - Nov 17, 2010 at 3:18 PM

      Only if he’s caught gambling or something like that.

  3. bigdicktater - Nov 17, 2010 at 8:22 PM

    How could that 10-game losing streak not derail Bud’s shot at this award? The division was theirs to lose in September and they choked. No one picked the Giants to be the NL wild-card, much less World Series champs. Bruce Bochy kept his players motivated and winning. He clearly deserved this award and was robbed by the writers.

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