Blowing the NL West notwithstanding, Bud Black wins NL manager of the year

Here’s how the story should read: “Bud Black, who guided the San Diego Padres on a 10-game losing streak that cost them the Western Division title, was named National League manager of the year on Wednesday. He edged Dusty Baker, whose Cincinnati Reds took the Central Division but didn’t win a playoff game, by one vote.

“Bruce Bochy, who led the San Francisco Giants to a surprising and unexpected victory in the World Series, finished a distant third.”

Let’s face facts. Bochy got hosed.

I have no quarrel with Black, who did a fine job keeping the Padres in the division lead most of the season. But the Padres went into that late-season tailspin. They had ample opportunities to retake the lead from the Giants, but they didn’t.

They lost.

The Giants won.

So at a minimum, Bochy — whose team had no greater or lesser expectations of success this season than the Padres — should have received more votes than Black.

So that leaves Bochy versus Dusty Baker.  In their last meeting of the year, the Giants crushed the Reds. And the Giants had a better record than the Reds, another team with expectations of success no greater or less than those of the Giants.

I know that the vote is taken at the end of the regular season, but even then, Bochy was the best.

My vote doesn’t count, so I guess I’ll just cast my ballot — with a big black “x” next to Bochy’s name — to the wind.

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5 responses to “Blowing the NL West notwithstanding, Bud Black wins NL manager of the year

  1. It’s hard for me to ever get worked up enough regarding this award because there is just no way to really measure the value of one manager as compared to another (assuming both are reasonably competent in the first place.)
    Still, I find your argument persuasive. Giants won. Padres didn’t. What more is there to say?
    Good work, Bill

  2. I never expected Bochy to win. His name just wasn’t out there – it seemed Black had it sewn up by July.

    It surprised me a bit when I started writing that I feel as strongly as I do in this case. Usually, this award is a “no big deal” thing for me. Guess I’ve become a real homer for the Giants!

  3. Agree, Bochy should have been at least a close second, but really first given the strong REGULAR SEASON finish.
    Managers performance is often hard to gauge but in this case it was well noted the decisions Bochy made down the stretch were critical to the Giants success.

  4. Thanks for the comment!

    One of the turning points for the Giants this season was the game against the Dodgers when Bochy caught Ron Guidry making a “second visit” to the mound. It seemed at that point, the fans started pulling for Boch rather than griping about him.

    Mangers need a thick skin.

  5. Hi Daniel, Today I received the baseball cap that you mailed out to me. Thanks so much! Turns out the cap size is irrelevant, as I am unlikely to ever wear such a nice ballcap. Can’t believe you found something this nice without going to a specialty shop. My seven-year old son thinks it’s really cool-looking.
    Again, thank you so much. It was very thoughtful of you. I hope to catch up again with you before Christmas. Best Regards, Bill

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