BTF Awards - 2005 AL Manager of the Year
Chicago White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen is the 2005 American
League Manager of the Year, after a season in which his team led the league in
wins and then won eleven of twelve post-season games en route to the world
In a poll of the Baseball Think Factory’s
scholars-in-residence, Guillen was listed first on fifteen ballots and second
on four others for a total of 87 points. He was the only manager listed on all
nineteen ballots. Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge was named to eighteen
ballots, including three first place votes and fourteen second place votes.
Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia received the other first place vote
and finished third in the balloting with twelve points.
In only his second year of managing at any level, Guillen
helped propel the White Sox to the championship through dint of will and a bit
of 1980s-era pixie dust.
Guillen nurtured his starting pitching staff by
them to throw 101.9 pitches per start and the most starts with between 110-122
pitches thrown, the highest totals in the league. They returned the trust
by leading the league in ERA, complete games and road OPS allowed. Guillen
also allowed five different relievers to work regularly in the late innings of
close games, the second highest total in the league, and face the most save
situations in the league. His bullpen responded by
74% of those opportunities and generating the
most wins by any bullpen in baseball.
Most observers though attributed the White Sox success this
year, not to Guillen’s choice of tactics, but, to his leadership. While
managerial leadership is nearly impossible to quantify, few who watched the
White Sox this season can deny that Guillen inspired them to rally as a team.
Guillen fostered an “us-against-the-world” atmosphere in the White Sox
clubhouse that helped his team come together; he kept the mood light around the
clubhouse (for the most part); and he took the brunt of media criticism,
shielding his players.
Wedge’s faith in his young hitters and skillful manipulation
of his bullpen helped him to be one of the more successful managers of 2005
Halfway through the season, however, any accolades for
Wedge’s managerial leadership would have seemed unlikely. The Indians stumbled
out of the gate and then staggered through a listless July to find themselves
only four games over .500 on August 1st. From there though Wedge’s
team went berserk,
of 49 games to close to within one and a half games of the White Sox going
into the final week of the season.
Scioscia used his familiar blueprint of good defense, solid
starting pitching and superlative relief pitching to lead the Angels to their
third playoff appearance and third 90-win season of his tenure. Trailing the Oakland A’s by one game on September 1st,
team won 21 of their final 30 games (thanks to a
un-hittable bullpen) to win the division by seven games.
Joe Torre, whose New York Yankees won 95 games despite
having a .500 record as late as July 1st, finished fourth in the
voting with ten points. Forced into a corner, Torre experimented widely with
the Yankees – using infielders as outfielders, rookies as leadoff men and an
old AAA-veteran pitcher to anchor his rotation – and then watched his efforts
pay off with another eastern division crown.
Ken Macha of the Oakland A’s finished fifth in the voting
with three points for leading, young rebuilding squad to an 88-win season. And
Lou Piniella, formerly of Tampa Bay, garnered some recognition for laying the
foundation for a promising Devil Rays team.
RK Player Pts Bal 1 2 3
1 Guillen, Ozzie 87 19 15 4 0
2 Wedge, Eric 58 18 3 14 1
3 Scioscia, Mike 12 6 1 1 4
4 Torre, Joe 10 10 0 0 10
5 Macha, Ken 3 3 0 0 3
6 Piniella, Lou 1 1 0 0 1
Ballots Cast: 19
Posted: November 09, 2005 at 01:54 PM | 42 comment(s)
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