Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers and Bud Black of the San Diego Padres were named winners of the Connie Mack Award by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, noting them as the best managers in their respective leagues for 2010.
Washington, who weathered a drug controversy in spring training, led Texas to their fifth divisional title since 1994 and their first since 1999. While the voting was based on his regular season accomplishments, Washington also guided his team to their first ever postseason series victory when they eliminated the Tampa Bay Rays in five games in the American League Divisional Series.
Washington received ten first place votes in route to accumulating 74 total points. He edged out Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who received 67 points.
In the National League, Black’s guidance of a Padres team almost universally expected to finish last to first place most of the summer helped him edge Dusty Baker of the Cincinnati Reds by the slimmest of margins. The fact that the Padres fell just short of the playoffs while the Reds won the NL Central helped lead to the tight race. Black garnered nine first place selections and 53 total points to Baker’s seven first place nods and 51 total points.
The complete voting results are as follows (first place votes in parenthesis):
Ron Washington, Texas (10) 74
Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota (7) 67
Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay (4) 35
Terry Francona, Boston (3) 20
Cito Gaston, Toronto 9
Buck Showalter, Baltimore 9
Joe Girardi, New York 2
Bud Black, San Diego (9) 53
Dusty Baker, Cincinnati (7) 51
Bobby Cox, Atlanta (2) 33
Bruce Bochy, San Francisco (3) 29
Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia (1) 27
Brad Mills, Houston 3
Mike Quade, Chicago 2
The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 224 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.
The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.
Chapters generally followed one of two methods when casting their ballot. Either representatives of the chapter were given the ballots for voting or a “group ballot” was posted, accounting for both of their votes. Ballots are posted on the respective blogs and tabulated on a 5-3-1 point scale for first, second and third.
This is an official press release from the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.
The New York Yankees couldn’t muster together another comeback win last night and the Texas Rangers won 7-2.
Phil Hughes followed in CC Sabathia’s footsteps with another not-so-great performance from a Yankees starter. They’re human, just like the rest of us, and nobody is perfect.
The postseason isn’t built for chances or mistakes.
The Rangers have Cliff Lee on starting Game 3 on Monday night. This gives Texas the clear advantage considering Lee’s history with Yankees and in the postseason.
The Yankees are at home with Southpaw Andy Pettitte on the mound. Andy is a phenomenal, but one earned run might be all the Rangers need if Lee brings his A-game to the Bronx.
The game is in New York, which means Yankee Stadium needs to be louder than ever. As a person who will be in attendance Monday night, I hate imagining a silent stadium because the Yankees need their fans more than ever.
Lee is a shutdown, nine-inning pitcher, but the Yankees bats can get him but not alone. It’s time to help out our beloved Yankees by cheering like hell until the last out.
This team plays hard to win for New York every game and admittedly, I cannot say the same for the Yankees fans.
It’s time for us to get over the high expectations because the players have exceeded those for years. No more bitching about a player’s performance because so-and-so makes 200 trillion dollars, or how Joe Girardi doesn’t know what he is doing; not going to help, not this Monday night.
Andy Pettitte is pretty darn good himself in the postseason. Pettitte deserves Yankee Stadium to be rocking like never before because this is supposedly the Southpaw’s last year in pinstripes.
Let’s give back what Pettitte, the Yankees and most importantly Mr. George Steinbrenner have given us, the fans, too many times to count…A WIN!
The Yankees will be returning from Texas for Game 3 in the ALCS, and for New York Yankees fans it will be the first one played at home.
An ideal homecoming for the Yankees would be a 2-0 lead on the Rangers, before facing the surreal arm of Cliff Lee Monday evening.
Is this realistic?
Yes. The Yankees are the better ball-club. It is the Yankees ALCS to win or lose.
Here are top three reasons why:
The Rangers made it to the ALCS, but Cliff Lee beat the Rays. Game 5 of the ALDS, Lee pitched better than ever. The fact that Lee is slated to start on Monday night in New York is a huge mistake by skipper Ron Washington. It gives the Bombers an open door to win the first two games and with that newly found Rangers confidence will be squashed upon entering the Bronx. The Yankees know they have capitalized this gift. What the Twins couldn’t do, the Rangers can and that’s to come out swinging with Lee in Game 1. The Yankees get pretty scary and will shake that confidence right out of Texas that could cost the Lone Star state the series. It’s a lot of pressure for CJ Wilson to carry, considering he was a closer till this season and the Yankees killed him as a starter.
The Rangers have Josh Hamilton and Michael Young, but Hamilton is the team’s leader who has been broken ribs and he sat most of the last two weeks of the season. When Hamilton is hitting the line-up responds and against Tampa he was a non-factor. This is a problem in games that are not started by Cliff Lee, as the Rangers closer Neftali Feliz has been shaky lately and the Yankees will crush the rookie’s arm. The Rangers line-up is good, but the Yankees across the board have the most lethal line-up in baseball.
Experience is relentless in the postseason, which the Yankees have more than anyone can swallow. Texas is in its first ALCS in franchise history. Yankees players who are rusty in age know what to expect and how to win, which is a total advantage. Rangers need Vladimir Guerrero and Bengie Molina know the Yankees veterans from when they were Los Angeles Angels. The Angels were the only team New York feared up until this season, Molina and Vlad were major contributors back then and if they can lead by example. It might help in making up for Washington’s managerial mistakes.
Both teams promise a battle with the hopes of winning a chance to play in the 2010 World Series.
On the mound, both Texas and New York are starting left-handed pitchers, who also share similar abbreviated first names that begin with the letter ‘C’, but that is about it.
For the Rangers, sending out 29-year old CJ (Christopher John) Wilson to face the Yankees ace and CY Young candidate CC (Carsten Charles) Sabathia will be the biggest test for Wilson.
Wilson is a solid number two starter, who gets overlooked because he follows the phenomenal Cliff Lee in the Rangers rotation. This season, Wilson posts a 15-8 record, with a 3.35 ERA, giving-up 36 doubles, two triples, and 10 home-runs pitching a total of 204 innings. Wilson has 170 strikeouts in 2010, but 93 walks total is way too high to give him ace status
Wilson spent his first four years in the bullpen for Texas, a lefties specialist who has shifted into the starting role beyond expectations. Wilson still pounds lefty batters and his pattern is no secret. Wilson mostly throws a two-seam fastball, one cutter outside and usually finishes off with a slider for the strikeout.
Wilson’s formula is not effective on right-handed batters, as all 10 home-runs came from this side, compared to zero against lefties.
The Yankees will look for Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Marcus Thames, Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher to cause chaos for Wilson as all solid from the right side. Makes you wonder if Joe Girardi will bench Curtis Granderson or Brett Gardner because both bat left, but both are almost too productive to not have them playing.
It speaks volumes of the fact that the Rangers skipper Ron Washington trusts Wilson to open up the ALCS against Sabathia. Washington knew with Lee pitching Game five of the ALDS that he would not be available for Friday, unless Washington was hopped up and forgot. (Kidding!)
For the Yankees, having Sabathia on the mound, a certified CY Young ace is just a dream come true. Sabathia has a 21-7 record, with a 3.18 ERA, allowing 20 home-runs, 28 doubles and two triples over 237.2 innings. Sabathia has thrown two complete games, striking out 197 and walking 74 batters.
Sabathia is an innings eating horse for New York and whether he is in the Bronx or away doesn’t matter much. Sabathia is one of the games best and he thrives under the bright lights of the postseason.
Sabathia has carried the 2010 Yankees through peaks and valleys all season, both as a player, teammate and a friend. MY PREDICTION:
Anyone with a brain knows that Sabathia should win this game easily if he gets some insurance runs from his Yankees teammates. Alex Rodriguez was unusually quiet in the ALDS and as one of the best right-handed hitters ever, look for Arod to have a HUGE night.