Wednesday, September 29, 2004

More Worthless Manager of the Year Talk

I know I said yesterday that I don't care, and maybe this is just because I don't read enough of the pundits who talk about this business (I've only heard Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa mentioned), but shouldn't Phil Garner be NL Manager of the Year, hands down?

Astros under Williams: 44-44
Astros under Garner: 45-26

I know, I know, this is kind of silly. You'll say Carlos Beltran and I'll say he's given Garner 5 wins above replacement while he gave Williams a half and Richard Hidalgo gave Williams two and a half. That's three wins. And the Astros have had more luck keeping runs from scoring since the break, getting a 4.01 ERA with a .261/.331/.416 line versus 4.14 and .255/.320/.418 before the break (although maybe that's related to the manager). I don't think much of all this manager of the year business, but if Jack McKeon gets it for overseeing Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera shouldn't Garner get it?

Besides, I'm not sold this is Bobby Cox' greatest showing. Sure, the Braves weren't being picked by anyone, but that had to do more the perception that the Phillies were good and that J.D. Drew would a) be injured and b) play to his previous performance level. Cox should be in the Hall of Fame (as should Leo Mazzone), and I won't rule out the possibility that he's responsible for the incredible seasons from Drew and Estrada. But the Braves "surprise" is equal parts Bad Phillies, Good Drew, Good Estrada, Good Jaret Wright, and Good John Thomson, and if forced to choose I'd attribute those to Bowa, health, fortune, Mazzone, and Mazzone.

You know what? All this manager of the year talk is making me feel unclean. Somebody stop me. Too bad I don't have a reader mailbag to fall back on at times like this (though you're welcome to help me start one).

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