November 18, 2010

Here’s why Mike Scioscia should win Manager of the Year every year

Bud Black. Joe Maddon. Ron Roenicke.

What do these three names all have in common? They all served as coaches under Mike Scioscia for the Angels.

Black won this year’s NL Manager of the Year. Maddon won it in the AL in 2008. And Roenicke just got hired to manage the Brewers. Coincidence? I think not.

Scioscia grooms great managers. He’s won Manager of the Year twice and has a World Series ring. He definitely has one of the best baseball minds in the game, and I think he should be honored for that each year, regardless of his team’s performance.

Yes, you read that correctly. The manager doesn’t need to lead his team to a division title, or even a second-place finish, to win Manager of the Year award — and that’s not just my opinion. It’s a fact: see Joe Girardi with the Marlins in 2006 (4th place), or Buck Showalter with the Rangers in 2004 (3rd), or Tony Pena with the Royals in 2003 (3rd).*

*Coincidentally, all three managed or coached the Yankees at one point.

The list doesn’t go on much further than that — the award has only been around since 1983 — but those examples are still legitimate forms of proof.

Sports Illustrated’s Joe Lemire analyzed the award yesterday.

Baseball's Manager of the Year awards are essentially prizes for the skipper of each league's most surprising team or the club that overcame the most adversity.

The article’s main point is the qualifications for winning Manager of the Year are fuzzy. What else is knew? There’s another MLB award without clear voting guidelines. Every award is up to the writer’s interpretation of the award. As for Manager of the Year…

Jack O'Connell, Secretary-Treasurer of the Baseball Writers Association of America, wrote in an e-mail that there are no specific instructions given to voters and that they are told only to "vote for who you think did the best job."

That’s just ridiculous. And I’m pretty sure this is what it’s like for all the awards, too.

Major League Baseball should institute guidelines for all of its awards — like the Hall of Fame has (see Voting) — and the writers should be forced to follow them. Why the heck not?

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