|Bud Black, San Diego Padres||16||7||3||104|
|Dusty Baker, Cincinnati Reds||13||12||2||103|
|Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants||1||4||13||30|
|Bobby Cox, Atlanta Braves||1||4||11||28|
|Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia Phillies||1||4||3||20|
|Brad Mills, Houston Astros||–||1||–||3|
The Manager of the Year award winner was announced yesterday, and Dusty Baker was not the winner. That’s actually not surprising. Bud Black, manager of the San Diego Padres, won with less talent, a lower payroll, and a much harder division.
Baker had a great year, I think, becoming a bit more flexible than he had in his previous time with the Reds and while with the Cubs. It’s possible this was because of the players available, but it seemed like we saw him give young players plenty of opportunities to overcome slumps and get used to major league baseball. Granted, it had to help that Willy Taveras and Corey Patterson are long gone, but that’s under Walt Jocketty’s purview. Baker took the players he had and took the Reds to their first winning season in a decade and their first playoff appearance in 15 years. His reward? Missing the Manager of the Year award by 1 vote.
I would have voted for him, but Black with the Padres was very deserving, too.
Baker was his typical down-to-earth self. “It’s the second time I came in second after a narrow vote,” Baker said. “In 2003, it wasn’t this close but I lost to [the Marlins’] Jack McKeon. You’re disappointed, of course, but we’ll just have to come back next year and win the whole thing.”
Here’s to that. A Reds World Series in 2011 would be a wonderful consolation prize.