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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

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
championship.

 

 

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

href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/pap_pitcher_team2005.php">

allowing
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

href="http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/batting?team=chw&cat=OPS&season=2005&split=0&seasonType=2&type=

reg">

converting
74% of those opportunities and generating the

href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/rel_winexp2005.php">

second
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,

href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CLE/2005_sched.shtml">

winning 37
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,

href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/LAA/2005_sched.shtml">

Scioscia’s
team won 21 of their final 30 games (thanks to a

href="http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/pitching?team=laa&season=2005&split=45&seasonType=2&type=std">

nearl

y
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

 

 

Anthony Giacalone Posted: November 09, 2005 at 02:54 PM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. shoewizard Posted: November 09, 2005 at 04:23 PM (#1724939)
Following the link provided above in discussing pitch counts, the White Sox ranked 4th in PAP, behind the Yankees, Tampa Bay, and OAKLAND.

BTW, can someone figure out what the Nationals PAP would be if you took out Livan Hernandez? Is that number completely skewed by his freakishness? Or as a risidual effect of having a guy like Livan on the staff, Robby lets other pitchers go too long as well, even though they probably can't handle it like Livan does?

Also, I noticed that the NL teams tend to have higher PAP than the AL teams. Could this be because alot of times the pitcher is left in a couple of batters too long trying to get him to finish out an inning just prior to being pinch hit for in he mid or late innings? Alot of times I see a manager leave a guy in that is clearly gassed, trying to get one more out from a guy instead of burning a reliever to just get the one out and have to then pinch hit for the reliver right away.
   2. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: November 09, 2005 at 04:35 PM (#1724955)
Re Ozzie Guillen: It's a heckuva lot easier to give your pitchers 102 pitches when they're pitching as well as the Sox starters did this year.

Re Lou Piniella: Lou Piniella?
   3. VG Posted: November 09, 2005 at 04:46 PM (#1724970)
Re Ozzie Guillen: It's a heckuva lot easier to give your pitchers 102 pitches when they're pitching as well as the Sox starters did this year.

I have to say that there were many, many times that some or even most of us in White Sox Chatters were screaming at Guillén to hook the starter and a lot more often than not, Guillén was right. I mentioned this at the end of the chatter for Game 5 of the ALCS. Almost everyone in the Chatter, myself included, was wondering when Contreras was going to be lifted. As he came out for the bottom of the eighth, it occurred to me that while Contreras had looked shaky during the early innings, he subsequently had retired nine batters in a row and hadn't racked up much of a pitch count. The Sox extended the lead to 6-3 in the top of the ninth, making it an easier decision to leave him in, and Contreras ended up finishing the game having retired the final 15 batters.

And I do think that one of the reasons that the starters pitched so well deep into games was Guillén's handling of them.
   4. SG Posted: November 09, 2005 at 05:05 PM (#1725008)
I voted for 1)Guillen 2)Wedge 3)Torre.

Anthony described my feelings about Guillen perfectly. Although I picked the White Sox to win the AL Central in the pre-season, I did not expect them to do it the way they did. He gets mocked for his smallball strategy, but there's no doubt he was a great leader who kept his clubhouse focused and motivated. Just because we can't quantify it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Wedge did a great job with a young team and got brilliant work out of his bullpen. The one head-scratcher for me was his use of Jhonny Peralta in the first half as he benched him a lot than he probably should have.

Torre drives me nuts as a Yankee fan with a lot of his tactics, but he held his team together as they rebounded from an 11-19 start to win 95 games. We should pull up all the threads of all the people saying the Yankees now have to play at an .XXX clip to win YY games, just to show how unlikely people expected it to be. That he did it with relatively no-name players like Wang, Small, Chacon, and Cano in key roles made it all the more impressive.
   5. Daryn Posted: November 09, 2005 at 05:16 PM (#1725024)
The White Sox ranked 4th in PAP, behind the Yankees, Tampa Bay, and OAKLAND.

And all four managers got votes from our panel. Maybe we like abusing pitchers.
   6. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: November 09, 2005 at 05:23 PM (#1725036)
And all four managers got votes from our panel. Maybe we like abusing pitchers.

Or maybe PAP is CRAP.
   7. VG Posted: November 09, 2005 at 05:38 PM (#1725054)
The White Sox ranked 4th in PAP, behind the Yankees, Tampa Bay, and OAKLAND.

In the case of the White Sox, I would argue that it's just a function of having four starters who had good years and worked deep into games. I'm more interested in something that quantifies PAP on an innings basis, and it's something I'd like to try to compile, actually.
   8. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: November 09, 2005 at 05:43 PM (#1725065)
In the case of the White Sox, I would argue that it's just a function of having four starters who had good years and worked deep into games.

Yes.

Which pitcher is more abused - a pitcher who works 2 1/3 innings and throws 65 pitches, or a pitcher who works 8 innings and throws 110? I think pacing and stress might be factors, factors that aren't really considered.
   9. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: November 09, 2005 at 05:43 PM (#1725066)
So Joe Torre gets 10 points for leading his underdog $200 million team to the division title, yet Francona loses an effective Schilling and Foulke (his number 1 starter and number 1 reliever) for a vast portion of the season and gets the same number of wins as Torre's team and doesn't get a single point. Huh.
   10. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 09, 2005 at 05:55 PM (#1725074)
Francona loses an effective Schilling and Foulke (his number 1 starter and number 1 reliever) for a vast portion of the season and gets the same number of wins as Torre's team and doesn't get a single point. Huh.

A good point. Obviously a Guillen-Wedge-Torre ballot (the most frequent, apparently) is defensible, but I'm surprised someone thought Lou Pinella did a beter job than Francona. I wonder if Yankee fans were more inclined to overlook their manager's flaws--of which there are plenty--and reward his strengths than the Red Sox fans who voted
   11. VG Posted: November 09, 2005 at 06:15 PM (#1725109)
Guillén does deserve some demerits for treating Orlando Hernández the same as the other four starters in the first half of the season, when Hernández practically has "Handle with Care" tattooed on him.
   12. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: November 09, 2005 at 06:28 PM (#1725121)
I remember thinking that the White Sox would have been well-served to use El Duque as a fifth starter for the first half of the season, using off-days to get him as much rest as possible. Instead, Ozzie stuck to the five-man rotation exactly.

He only used six starters all season -

Buehrle - 33 starts
Garcia - 33 starts
Contreras - 32 starts
Garland - 32 starts
Hernandez - 22 starts
McCarthy - 10 starts

That's sticking with a rotation. I wonder if any team has used less than six starters for an entire season in recent (say, post-1990) history.
   13. SG Posted: November 09, 2005 at 06:33 PM (#1725123)
I wonder if any team has used less than six starters for an entire season in recent (say, post-1990) history.

You have to go all the way back to the 2003 Mariners to find such a team. They used only five starters all year. There's another one recently I think, but I can't remember them off the top of my head.
   14. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: November 09, 2005 at 06:37 PM (#1725129)
No problems with this ballot. Once I learned to ignore 90 percent of what Ozzie said, I liked him a lot more as a manager.

He did a great job of incorporating Frank Thomas in the lineup when he came back, when the media was fueling speculation that he or Jurassic would need to be traded. Everett had the best stretch of his season during that time, and they went 29-14 in the 43 games Frank was around.
   15. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: November 09, 2005 at 06:47 PM (#1725144)
I wonder if any team has used less than six starters for an entire season in recent (say, post-1990) history.

I doubt it. The mid-1990s Braves came awfully close with regularity, though.
   16. SG Posted: November 09, 2005 at 07:01 PM (#1725164)
The 2004 A's also stayed with mostly 5 starters, aside from 5 starts by Kirk Saarloos.
   17. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: November 09, 2005 at 07:01 PM (#1725165)
You have to go all the way back to the 2003 Mariners to find such a team. They used only five starters all year. There's another one recently I think, but I can't remember them off the top of my head.

The 2004 Red Sox came very close. Kim got 3 starts and Pedro Astacio got 1 in the last week of the season. All other starts were made by the 5 regular rotation guys (Schilling, Pedro, Lowe, Wakefield, Arroyo).
   18. Ben Posted: November 09, 2005 at 07:03 PM (#1725168)
In the same division as the CWS the Indians only had 6 guys who started a game, and one of them only started 4 games.
   19. Anthony Giacalone Posted: November 09, 2005 at 07:47 PM (#1725252)
For the record, my vote was:

1) Guillen
2) Wedge
3) Macha
   20. Anthony Giacalone Posted: November 09, 2005 at 07:53 PM (#1725271)
As for the PAP business, (even if you think that PAP has any credibility) the White Sox were not very hard on their pitchers. Even with their very strong staff and high pitch counts, only once all year did Guillen allow one of his pitchers to throw more than 122 pitches in a game (Garland) and noone threw more than 133 pitches. For a differing philosophy, see Robinson, Frank and Baker, Johnnie B. Essentially, the White Sox philosophy under Guillen has been when we get to 100 pitches then we'll start thinking about getting a reliever in there. The Sox Big Four regularly worked 110 pitches but only very rarely more than 120. Guillen was then able to go all LaRussa with the bullpen in the games final inning or two.
   21. Danny Posted: November 09, 2005 at 07:55 PM (#1725274)
The 2002 Giants also had just 4 starts (all Ainsworth) outside of their top 5.
   22. VG Posted: November 09, 2005 at 08:27 PM (#1725315)
The actual voters <a href="http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20051109&c>agreed</a> with BTF's vote for 1-2, but had Torre third.
   23. VG Posted: November 09, 2005 at 08:49 PM (#1725366)
Guillen, 41, was listed first on 17 ballots, second on five and third on five from the committee of two writers in each league city to total 105 points. Guillen, who received 17 first-place votes and 105 total points, bested Cleveland's Eric Wedge (six, 71), just as his team did during the regular season, along with the Yankees' Joe Torre (4, 43) and Oakland's Ken Macha (one, 21).

I wonder which writer left Guillén off entirely.
   24. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 09, 2005 at 09:00 PM (#1725397)
For a team that had the guy 2nd in Rookie of the Year, 2nd in the Cy Young, 3rd in Manager of the Year and persumably at least 2nd in MVP, the Yankees weren't that good
   25. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: November 09, 2005 at 09:12 PM (#1725418)
I don't know, RB - 95 wins is plenty good.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: November 09, 2005 at 09:33 PM (#1725447)
2005 cardinals had two starts by their non-five starters(one by Cal Eldred, and one by anthony reyes)
2004 cardinals had 7 starts outside of their non-five(but it was mixed between haren, reyes and flores)
2000 cardinals had 7 starts by a 6th starter(reames)


I'm glad that the 'anti-sabr' manager was able to show that a bullpen by committe works when you have a good comittee. White Sox have been very good at developing pitchers over the years, I wonder if why that is the case.
   27. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: November 09, 2005 at 09:45 PM (#1725469)
White Sox have been very good at developing pitchers over the years, I wonder if why that is the case.

Helps when you have Matt Karchner and Miguel Olivo as juicy juicy trade bait.
   28. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: November 09, 2005 at 09:52 PM (#1725488)
The comment about pacing is spot on. I don't know why people insist on using 100 pitches as some sort of abuse point. A more accurate measure of abuse is # of pitches per inning, generally under 15.5 is fine and anything over that the pitcher needs to be watched carefully. In practice, watching MLB and coaching my own amateur team, the real indicator of abuse is having multiple innings of 20+ pitches in a single game. Three innings of 18 pitches each isn't as bad as a 22-8-24 stint. Of course, the types of pitches thrown has to be taken into account; someone who can throw a stress-free changeup for strikes (something Garland learned to do this season) is invaluable.
   29. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: November 09, 2005 at 10:06 PM (#1725514)
I don't know, RB - 95 wins is plenty good

And yet Francona faced similar adversity with his team, and finished with the same number of wins, yet Torre finished 3rd in the writers' voting and Francona 6th.

I suppose I'm stretching trying to figure out logic in these things.
   30. cardsfanboy Posted: November 09, 2005 at 10:06 PM (#1725516)
is there such a thing as 'stress-free pitch'??

I agree about the comments, pitches per innings etc(for some reason I always thought pap took pitches per inning into account...type of pitches may be a lot tougher to track though, so I understand why they wouldn't track that)
   31. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 09, 2005 at 10:09 PM (#1725521)
I don't know, RB - 95 wins is plenty good.

I guess, I would just imagine that teams who have (seperate) players in the Top 2 in all three major awards and the 3rd Manager would usually better a .586 W%
   32. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: November 09, 2005 at 10:12 PM (#1725527)
is there such a thing as 'stress-free pitch'??

If a knuckleball isn't stress-free, it's awfully close.
   33. Danny Posted: November 09, 2005 at 10:22 PM (#1725537)
I guess, I would just imagine that teams who have (seperate) players in the Top 2 in all three major awards and the 3rd Manager would usually better a .586 W%

A couple great players do not make a great team.

In 2000--Giambi won the MVP, Hudson was second in CYA, Long was second in ROY, Howe was second in MOY, and the A's went 91-70.
   34. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 09, 2005 at 11:46 PM (#1725685)
Or maybe PAP is CRAP

<rap>
Pap is crap
jus' listen to this rap
Pap is way lame
it treats all pitchers the same
The same results this pap would yield
with a hundred fifty from Clemens as it would for Wakefield
My homie Livan is immune to fatigue
so comparin' 'im to to Schilling jus' ain't big league
Different pitchers can carry different load
Thats why pap well doesn't bode
</rap>
   35. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 09, 2005 at 11:49 PM (#1725689)
is there such a thing as 'stress-free pitch'??

Besides the knuckleball, there is the soft junk Livan Hernandez throws. Of course, Livan might just be a freak whose arm never tires for whatever reason.
   36. buddy34 Posted: November 10, 2005 at 12:02 AM (#1725709)
indians 2005 only had 4 starts by someone other than starting 5.
   37. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: November 10, 2005 at 12:13 AM (#1725725)
Gagne_55, I heart you and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
   38. DTS Posted: November 10, 2005 at 12:19 AM (#1725734)
2004 cardinals had 7 starts outside of their non-five(but it was mixed between haren, reyes and flores)

And if I remember correctly, a majority of those came in September.
   39. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 10, 2005 at 12:50 AM (#1725761)
A couple great players do not make a great team.

I know that, but voters often correlate greatness of player--at least in the MVP and Cy Young--with greatness of team, so you would figure a team with a guy good enough to the Cy Young and a seperate guy good enough to be the MVP, and and the Rookie of the Year would be really, really good.

On the other hand, given your bit on the A's, maybe my theory is all wrongheaded
   40. sunnyday2 Posted: November 10, 2005 at 03:59 PM (#1726244)
>Re Lou Piniella: Lou Piniella?

Bingo.
   41. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 11, 2005 at 02:40 AM (#1727322)
I thought Torre did a great job this year, considering the pitchers he had to deal with. He stuck with Giambi for two pretty horrid months and got paid off for it. Cano, Wang, Small and Chacon all did well under his guidance. The Yankees were 4 games from having the best record in the AL, despite not having a CF.

The Yankee 'issues' this year (my the standards are awfully high when 95 wins and a division title is a bad year) were due to what their Front Office did in the off-season, not Torre. He got the most he could out of what he was given.
   42. johnny_mostil Posted: November 13, 2005 at 06:33 PM (#1729833)
I thought Torre did a great job this year, considering the pitchers he had to deal with.

How much money did they pay for their pitchers? Sorry, no credit to a man who couldn't get better out of a gazillion dollar payroll.

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