My IBWAA Ballot: AL Manager of the Year
Updated: Nov 15
It's awards week! Today we continue with the AL Managers and the BBWAA/IBWAA winners!
As is standard with the IBWAA, each voter was allowed a Top-3 vote for the Rookie of the Year. The 1st place player receives 5 points, 2nd place gets 3 points, and 3rd place gets 1 point.
3rd Place: Scott Servais (Seattle Mariners)
Statistics: 90-72 Record (.556 WP%), 89-73 Pythagorean Record, 2nd in AL West, +1 Luck, 9-19 Challenges (47.4 Overturn%), 4 Ejections
The manager of the year award is much more about the story of each team during the 2022 season than any other award. Essentially the way to make an easy bet on who will get votes is to look what teams were successful and compare those teams to who was expected not to be before the season. If there was a team expected to be bad and they were good, there is a good chance that manager will be lauded for their work. On top of that, history of a franchise, how competitive their division is, and other factors will play in too.
Scott Servais is the example of this storyline approach to voting. He took a Mariners team that had not been to a postseason since 2001 (the longest streak in the major 4 US sports leagues) and got them into the promised land. As voting is submitted before the playoffs, it doesn't matter what happened while there (they got swept by the Astros), it just matters they made it.
The Mariners are the loveable losers of the 21st century. It's hard to find a baseball fan (when not playing them) who wasn't rooting for them to finally break that barrier. Congrats, Mariners! (Now, please, make the AL West competitive so the Astros don't easily win every year!)
2nd Place: Brandon Hyde (Baltimore Orioles)
Statistics: 83-79 Record (.512 WP%), 79-83 Pythagorean Record, 4th in AL East, +4 Luck, 23-45 Challenges (51.1 Overturn%), 3 Ejections
Over the years, many people have tried to determine what exactly the impact of a good manager against a bad manager is. I like to chalk this up to beating or falling behind a teams Pythagorean record, though I also know this is a very basic (and flawed) metric to look at. A 30-0 loss will count worse for a managers "luck" as opposed to a 1-0 loss, as the metric is determined by runs scored against runs allowed. However, a good manager knows how to keep their team in 1-0 game while also understanding how to navigate a 30-0 game for better success going forward.
Brandon Hyde had the best "luck" in all of baseball last year. I didn't dive too deep to see how many 30-0 losses he had to make the scale look better for him, but the metric plays sensibly here. Hyde took a team expected to be at the bottom of his division with a laughably poor record. And, while they did finish 4th, his team had a winning record and was competing for a wild card spot late into the season. Call it luck, call it good managing. Either way, Hyde earned this vote.
1st Place: Terry Francona (Cleveland Guardians)
Statistics: 92-70 Record (.568 WP%), 88-74 Pythagorean Record, 1st in AL Central, +4 Luck, 23-39 Challenges (59.0 Overturn%), 3 Ejections
If we take the storyline of the last two managers into consideration, Terry Francona did them both. The Cleveland Guardians were expected to be a bottom of the division team in the weakest division in baseball. Sorry if you're a fan of the AL Central, but none of those teams are all that good. Well, except the Guardians. Francona led his team past the media narrative that they were going to be bad, and he won the division handedly.
Francona also had the best "luck" for a manager (tied with Hyde and the Pittsburgh Pirates) during the 2022 season. Francona was the best of both worlds of looking at managers last year. He also won challenges at the 3rd highest rate in the MLB (and highest in the AL) last year too.
Dusty Baker (Houston Astros)
Statistics: 106-56 Record (.685 WP%), 116-46 Pythagorean Record, 1st in NL West, -5 Luck, 16-29 Challenges (55.2 Overturn%), 2 Ejection
Joe Maddon (Los Angeles Angels)
Statistics: 27-29 Record (.482 WP%), 76-86 Pythagorean Record*, 4th in AL West, -3 Luck, 5-17 Challenges (29.4 Overturn%), 1 Ejections
Another quick shout-out to two other managers who did well this season. Dusty Baker finally won his first World Series (though, I obviously didn't know that was going to happen while voting) and otherwise led a very good team to yet another AL West division title. Like Dave Roberts, his team is far too good not to notice but far too good to give the manager credit for winning.
Joe Maddon also didn't necessarily have a good year as a manger, but I wanted to give him a shoutout as well. He became the scapegoat for a team that was underperforming his expectations and (outside of his also being an alumnus of Lafayette College) the real reason I wanted to highlight him was because of this interview after his surprising firing when talking down about the meddling of front offices into the role of the manager. He deserved better.
Manager of the Year Award Results:
Being announced on MLB Network at 6:00 PM (EST), stick with us as we provide some thoughts and the results of the award voting by the BBWAA! (The IBWAA voting results were announced last week.)
American League: Terry Francona (133 Points), Brandon Hyde (79), Scott Servais (43)
National League: Buck Showalter (77 Points), Dave Roberts (57), Brian Snitker (55)
American League: Brandon Hyde (203 Points), Terry Francona (172), Scott Servais (133)
National League: Buck Showalter (170 Points), Dave Roberts (124), Oliver Marmol (108)
Daily reminder that I have to eat dinner.
Tito Francona won the AL Manager of the Year. The BBWAA results matched mine perfectly.
The BBWAA and IBWAA had the same Top-3. Not a huge surprise as this year was really down to those 3 managers.
Also not a surprise Francona won. He was the clear and away favorite.
See ya in an hour!
AND BUCK WON! Wow. Wouldn't it be amazing if he was coaching for the Yankees? That'd be nice.
It was a very close race in the National League as 5 different managers recieved 1st place votes (Rob Thomson and Oliver Marmol the two outstanding).
My top-5 matched the top-5 of the BBWAA but neither my or the IBWAA matched their top-3. Interesting how the internet voters went with me with Marmol, yet the "real" writers went with Snitker. I went with both as opposed to Roberts.
That's about it. All-in-all, a pretty boring award.
See ya tomorrow for the Cy Young! (Another award with a pretty clear-cut case for the AL & NL winners.)