BBA General Chapter Announces Vote for Connie Mack Award
Each year the Baseball Bloggers Alliance votes on and chooses our own winners for each of the year’s major awards. As President of the General Chapter, it is my privilege to announce the Chapter’s choice for each award winner. Today we’ll begin with the Connie Mack Award, given to the top manager for each league.
First place votes were awarded 5 points. Second place votes were awarded 3 points. Third place votes were awarded 1 point. Each blog within the General Chapter of the BBA was invited to submit a ballot for the award. Ballots were subsequently submitted by the following members: Off Base Percentage, 85% Sports, Jason’s Baseball Blog, TG Sports Thoughts, The Flagrant Fan, The Straw That Stirs The Drink, Going Yard, Rhino Rant, and Blogging From The Bleachers.
There were a number of quality candidates in the American League but the winner for top manager would end up being Terry Francona of the Boston Red Sox. While Boston missed the playoffs this year after finishing the season 7 games behind division winning Tampa Bay, they still had the 5th best winning percentage in the entire American League. To most, this was no surprise. But when you consider the plethora of injuries the organization had to deal with the accomplishment does speak volumes to what Francona was able to do with the roster he had left.
Francona kept the Red Sox in contention until the final weeks of the season despite losing his top two players for much of the season. Dustin Pedroia missed all but 75 games due to a fractured foot. Kevin Youkilis was lost in the first week of August with a thumb injury. Jacoby Ellsbury missed nearly the entire season with broken ribs and Mike Cameron suffered from various abdominal ailments. Regular catchers Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek both missed significant time causing the team to scramble to find suitable backstops. Josh Beckett was out for over a month at the beginning of the season and never found his stuff upon returning. The team also had to deal with disappointing performances from John Lackey, Mike Lowell, Jonathan Papelbon, and yet another slow start from David Ortiz.
Prior to the start of the season if you were to tell me that the San Diego Padres would lead the National League West for most of the season then I’d of called your crazy. Yet, as the 2010 season unfolded that was just what we were seeing. The Padres, by most accounts in the midst of rebuilding, shocked most by not just playing competitively but by nearly winning the division. The man at the helm of such a performance, Bud Black, is our choice for top manager.
The Padres did finish the season 2 games behind division winning San Francisco. Black was able to get the most out of a young team with little experience that ended up just not having enough left in the tank to hold onto the division lead in the season’s final weeks. Black was able to get the most out of a team that led the National League in bullpen ERA behind the strong performances of Heath Bell, Luke Gregerson, and Mike Adams. The starting rotation flourished behind Mat Latos and Kevin Correia. Adrian Gonzalez had another typical season leading the offense.