Accordingly, my NL ballot is:
- Bruce Bochy - San Fransisco Giants
- Mike Matheny - St. Louis Cardinals
- Davey Johnson - Washington Nationals
There are two obvious choices for manager of the year in the AL and then there's a huge drop-off in quality candidates. Our choice for the award is Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles. Many had tagged the Orioles for another last-place finish, but the team was baseball's biggest surprise of 2012. Baltimore's 93-69 record is downright stunning when you consider that they only scored seven (!!!) more runs than they gave up. Showalter deserves a good chunk of the credit for his team's perfect 16-0 record in extra innings and their 29-9 mark in one-run games.
The other obvious choice in the AL for manager of the year is Bob Melvin of the Oakland A's. With a meagre $55 million payroll, the A's shocked the baseball world by winning the AL West over the heavily-favoured Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels. At the All Star break, Oakland had a meagre 41-41 record, but they went on a second-half tear and played .663 baseball the rest of the way. Given their collection of no-name players, Melvin did a wonderful job of getting this group of underdogs into the playoffs.
Honourable mention goes to veteran manager Jim Leyland. Although the Tigers underachieved for much of the season, Leyland rallied the troops for a late-season surge that brought them the AL Central title.
My ballot in the junior circuit is:
- Buck Showalter - Baltimore Orioles
- Bob Melvin - Oakland Athletics
- Jim Leyland - Detroit Tigers