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I have been so uncaptivated by the lack of suspense that I can't even compell myself to write about it.
Evan Longoria and Geovanny Soto. Duh.
Lou Pinella and Joe Maddon. Duh.
Tim Lincecum and soon to be Cliff Lee. Duh.
At least the MVP races will give us some major suspense next week.
Favorite Team Cubs
I was pretty happy that they got everything right so far, then it hit me how obvious it was and was like "nvm"....
They did not get everything right. There are at least three NL managers more deserving than Piniella. Anyone with half a brain picked the Cubs to win the Central this year. The Marlins, Astros, and Cardinals... those are some teams that overachieved.
Manager of the year is kind of tricky when looking at it from our POV. Those guys are in the club house (the voters) so maybe they saw something we did not. I don't believe the manager of the team who over-achieves the most should automatically win the award.
What criteria would you use?
I don't know. I never really thought about it, nor cared to be honest. I think, as cliche as it may sound, that you have to be in a clubhouse to see how a manager is. Of course we see how good/bad his on-field strategy may be, but thats only part of it.
Most beat writers can only speak to the clubhouse presence of the manager of the team they cover, though.
Yeah. I just thought of that, too. So I don't know. It's tough I guess.
Let's go back to the last day of the year, 2008.
Its been a hundred years since the Cubs won the World Series, and for one of the few times in those hundred years, the Cubs finished with the best record in the National League. They had excellent pitching, great offense, and good defense.
On that day, half the world was convinced that we were going to see that most improbable of beasts, a Cubs World Series trip, if not victory.
And, to top it off, they did it in the toughest division in the National League.
On the last day of the year, Lou Pinella was the obvious choice for Manager of the Year.
I don't know how you give the Manager of the Year to a third or fourth place team, which is what you're advocating. I would not have minded Charlie Manuel, but other than that I think Pinella was the obvious choice.
By the way, how hilarious are the online blog, forum, and comment posts that express outrage at Pinella winning over Manuel because Manuel won the World Series? Good stuff.
Favorite Team Cubs
In 2006, Joe Girardi won it for the 4th place Marlins. In 2003, Tony Pena won it for the 3rd place Royals. The Marlins, Astros, and Cards this year all had better records than the 2003 Royals or 2006 Marlins did.
Moreover, the Cubs fell three wins shy of their Pythagorean record. The Marlins exceeded theirs by three and the Astros exceeded theirs by nine.
Come to think of it, Jerry Manuel had a better winning percentage than Charlie Manuel did. And according to you one year ago, Joe Torre deserves the award. So really, I don't know that Piniella or C. Manuel - the two top vote-getters - even deserved to be in the top five.
Though the real funny part is that Dale Sveum got a vote for going 7-5. You'd think I had a say in that one...
You're not really comparing the 2008 performance of the Astros and Cardinals to the 2006 Marlins and the 2003 Royals are you? Both the Astros and Cardinals are far more talented teams with much longer track records of success in recent years.
And did you just cite performance against Pythagorean Projection as a basis for Manager of the Year? Really? I mean, I agree with you, but I certainly don't expect the people who vote for that award to be aware of it.
And the idea that Jerry Manuel would deserve Manager of the Year when his team collapsed after leading his division by 3.5 games with two weeks to play is kind of absurd, right?
As for Torre, I think what happened in Los Angeles validates what I said last year. It took the acquisition of Manny Ramirez, and his subsequent superhuman performance to lift the Dodgers to the top of a mediocre division.
If you don't see how Manuel or Pinella deserved to be in the top five, I can't help you.
Favorite Team Cubs
Wrong again. The 2005 Marlins won 83 games. Girardi's squad actually won five fewer in 2006. This year's Marlins and Astros improved by 13 wins each.
Now, the '03 Royals improved by 21 games, and those Royals hadn't finished over .500 in ten years. Fantastic stuff, but it doesn't have a whole lot to do with whether Fredi Gonzalez or Lou Piniella had more of a positive impact on their teams' success this year.
You're right about the Cardinals, though. LaRussa's csndidacy does not stand up to rigorous analysis. That was my own bias showing through, since I had them pegged for the cellar this year.
And no, I don't expect the voters to look at expected W/L records. But they usually do consider whether a team's W/L record is better than the sum of its parts using empirical analysis.
Certainly Man-Ram's performance is what put the Dodgers over the edge but I think you're seriously underestimating Torre's impact. I don't think they win that division without him either.
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