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The Results Are In: IBWAA 2021 Award Voting – Manager of the Year

Two weeks ago I revealed my ballots for the various end of the year awards with the IBWAA. This week the IBWAA is announcing their 2021 award winners!

Check inside to see how the IBWAA voted and the comparisons to my ballot.

Today they revealed the AL and NL Managers of the Year!

 

IBWAA PRESS RELEASE:



IBWAA SELECTS CASH, KAPLER IN 2021 MANAGER OF THE YEAR VOTE

The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) announced the winners of the IBWAA Manager of the Year awards Monday: Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays and Gabe Kapler of the San Francisco Giants. This is the IBWAA’s 13th annual election for these awards. All IBWAA members were eligible to vote.

Election results are as follows:

AL:

1st Place: Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays- 131 points

2nd Place: Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners- 102 points

3rd Place: Dusty Baker, Houston Astros- 55 points

NL:

1st Place: Gabe Kapler, San Francisco Giants- 193 points

2nd Place: Craig Counsell, Milwaukee Brewers- 82 points

3rd Place: Mike Shildt, St. Louis Cardinals- 44 points

The IBWAA endeavors to serve the baseball writing community, representing more than 700 baseball content creators. We strive to increase visibility, networking, and opportunities for all of our members. Voting for full season awards takes place in September of each year, with selections announced in November. The IBWAA also holds Hall of Fame, preseason prediction, and All-Star Game voting.

Association membership is open to any and all Internet baseball writers and content creators. For more information please visit www.ibwaa.com.

 

How’d I Stack Up?

I did not do as well as I did with having an aligned personal ballot for the Rookies of the Year as what was released by the IBWAA for the Managers of the Year.

I correctly voted for 2 of the Top-3 managers for both the American League and National League, though I only placed one of the managers in-line with the rest of the voters (that being Gabe Kapler of the San Francisco Giants).

While the official number of voters was not released, we can assume the number of voters for this year. With 9 total points to award (5 for 1st place, 3 for 2nd place, 1 for 3rd place) we can estimate that around 35-50 voters contributed to the AL and/or NL Manager of the Year vote. (Unfortunately the full results beyond whoever placed 3rd in each league were not announced.)

As with the Rookie of the Year voting, it would appear that my ballot alone did not influence the final standings of this years ballot. (Unless of course Mike Shildt beat out the 4th place NL Manager by the 3 points I gave to him.) For reference, my ballot looked like this:

American League:

1st Place: Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners

2nd Place: Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays

3rd Place: Tony LaRussa, Chicago White Sox

National League:

1st Place: Gabe Kapler, San Francisco Giants

2nd Place: Mike Shildt, St. Louis Cardinals

3rd Place: Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers

I really shouldn’t be surprised that Dusty Baker (Houston) and Craig Counsell (Milwaukee) made it into the Top-3 for the American and National leagues, respectively. Writers across baseball are huge supporters and sympathizers of Dusty Baker and he was the perfect hire for Houston before the 2020 season when A.J. Hinch was suspended after the 2017 cheating scandal came to light. That being said, Baker placing 3rd in the American League with a team that was expected to win their division shows the inconsistency with voters as Dave Roberts did the same thing with the Dodgers and yet he did not crack the NL Top-3. (For that same point you can point to my own ballot where Baker didn’t place in the Top-3, though I had LaRussa pined for that spot, and it was hard to overlook Baker’s -6 “luck” and 33.3% challenge win-rate: those being two of the things most directly a result of the manager.)

I would have likely placed Craig Counsell 4th in the National League given how he took a Brewers team to the top of the NL Central with a +2 luck and a 71.4% challenge win-rate (4th best in the MLB), though his low number of challenges (7) and relatively low luck compared to others in the NL kept him from my ballot.

Truthfully, voting for the Manager of the Year comes to be likely the most subjective of all the end-of-the-year awards as there are no easy to point to metrics that we commonly through around and analyze over a season (outside of record) to evaluate a manager. Getting 4/6 right is a small victory and I’d expect my picks that didn’t make it on the ballot were likely 4th place in each league.

If you’re interested, click here to find the complete collection for all of my IBWAA award voting for 2021.

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