The cloud of white smoke your computer emitted last night might have tipped you off, but this year's SBN blogger awards are going to be revealed this week. They're just like the BBWAA awards, except that tomorrow's post isn't set aside for ragging on the choices. Yet. Stop the drumroll:
|1||Jim Tracy||Colorado Rockies||24||1||2||125|
|2||Tony La Russa||St. Louis Cardinals||3||7||10||46|
|3||Fredi Gonzalez||Florida Marlins||2||6||5||33|
|4||Joe Torre||Los Angeles Dodgers||-||9||2||29|
|5||Charlie Manuel||Philadelphia Phillies||-||3||5||14|
|6||Bruce Bochy||San Francisco Giants||1||1||1||9|
|7||Bobby Cox||Atlanta Braves||-||1||4||7|
|8||Bud Black||San Diego Padres||-||1||1||4|
|9||John Russell||Pittsburgh Pirates||-||1||-||3|
I think manager of the year is the one award for which the Manny Ramirez Postulate—"He came in halfway through the season, so obviously he was more valuable than the guy who was there the whole time"—might not be totally preposterous. Coming in at midseason is its own managerial tactic, as time-honored as the sacrifice bunt and getting yourself ejected from a listless blowout. The replacement, even if he's as establishment as Jim Tracy, must be the thrower-over of the money changers, out to—depending on his predecessor's style—either loosen or fire things up in the clubhouse.
As for our own Tony La Russa, it's his customary good showing, and it surprises me; I thought he'd had a fine season, but storyline-wise—and that's most of what we have to judge managers by, to be honest—he was less interesting than Tracy, the midseason replacement, Gonzalez, the exciting young manager, or Torre, who went to all the trouble of going from one gigantic media market to another.
In other news, you heard it here first: the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates is named John Russell.
During SBN Award week we are offering two threads for the price of one; expect the second piece around noon.