BTF Awards - 2005 NL Manager of the Year
Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox is the BTF 2005 Manager of the Year, garnering 14 of 19 possible first place votes, 2 second place tallies, and 2 thirds (78 points total.) The naked partisan who left Cox off of his ballot entirely is in the process of being dragged into the street and shot.
Cox managed the Braves to their 14th consecutive division title, scraping together a winning club with much of what projected to be the starting lineup of AAA Richmond. Patching lineups together from a collection of 18 rookies Cox once again led Atlanta to their now-routine post-season appearance. Cox is a lot like Joss Whedon. Both lull you to sleep with their casual genius. Their brilliance often becomes routine. After two or three seasons you almost forget you’re watching genius at all, until they throw a Once More With Feeling, or a Jaynestown, or Jorge Sosa’s 2005 at you, just to remind you of their superiority.
Houston’s Phil Garner came in a distant second with 46 points, including 3 first place votes. Garner managed the Astros to their second consecutive wild card berth, culminating with the franchise’ first National League Championship pennant. Garner’s Astros featured the leagues preeminent rotation, including three Cy Young mentionables, as well as one of the league’s most dominant bullpens. Garner’s leadership guided Houston through injury plagued seasons by franchise-face Jeff Bagwell and offensive powerhouse Lance Berkman while working standout rookie Willy Tavares into the everyday lineup.
St. Louis skipper Tony LaRussa was the only other candidate to receive first place votes. His total of 21 points landed him third in the voting. LaRussa’s Cardinals battled through the loss of star third baseman Scott Rolen and a series of injuries to outfielder Larry Walker to once again take the NL Central crown, further cementing his eventual plaque in Cooperstown.
Washington’s Frank Robinson came in fourth (15 points) after keeping the Nationals in solid contention for a playoff spot well into August. Milwaukee’s Ned Yost was fifth in the voting, receiving accolades for the Brewers slow but steady transformation into a real major league baseball team. Rounding out the ballot was Philadelphia’s Charlie Manuel who tallied 3 points from a sole third place vote. Manuel was best known for not being Larry Bowa.
RK Player PTS Bal 1 2 3
1 Cox, Bobby 78 18 14 2 2
2 Garner, Phil 46 16 3 9 4
3 LaRussa, Tony 21 9 2 2 5
4 Robinson, Frank 15 9 3 6
5 Yost, Ned 8 4 2 2
6 Manuel, Charlie 3 1 1
Ballots Cast: 19