Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bob Ford thinks Charlie Manuel should be the NL Manager of the Year.
Apparently, Ford was hired way back in the day, before the Inky started administering drug tests.
From the Inquirer:
Somewhere amid the chatter and static of another sports week, woven in among the bluster of bloggers, the pontification of pundits and the wanderings of writers, was the notion that Manny Acta of Washington should be the National League manager of the year.
I can’t remember who said it, or why, but the idea was out there, a contrarian view quickly followed by an of-course-he-won’t-win-it-because disclaimer of the sort that gets the writer off the hook before he can be dragged flopping and breathless into the bottom of the boat.
Well, there are stranger ideas and here’s another one for you:
Charlie Manuel is the NL manager of the year, and the vote shouldn’t even be close.
Manuel certainly isn’t the worst manager in the league. But is he the best?
To find out, lets do a little statistical analysis. Let’s compare how many games Manuel was supposed to win, based on the number of runs his team has scored and the number allowed, with the number of games his team has actually won (an old trick pioneered by Bill James).
What we find after we crunch the numbers is that Manuel has had zero impact on the 2007 Phillies, whose expected record is the same as their actual record — 66 wins.
Who has had the greatest impact on his team? By far it has been Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin, who has guided his team to 12 more wins than one might expect. In fact, the Diamondbacks are, thus far, among the greatest overachievers in history. Arizona’s expected winning percentage is .471. The team’s actual win percentage is .562.
That’s huge. No, really. HUGE.
How are the Diamondbacks doing it? They’re winning one-run games. A lot of them.
According to the Arizona Republic, as of Aug. 8 the Diamondbacks led the majors in number of one-run games (40) and one-run wins (25). The Dodgers had 21 one-run victories, and four teams were tied for third with 20.
Call me crazy, but close games are where managers earn their keep, right? Right.
Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa wins honorable mention for guiding his team back into the playoff chase and helping it to win six more games than one would ordinarily expect. And for staying awake at the wheel all season long.
But really, it isn’t close. Melvin is your NL manager of the year (and of the decade, for that matter).
And on a side note, I think it might be time for Bob Ford to find a new beat. Either he’s clueless, or he’s just writing to get a rise out of his readership (the majority of whom are no great fans of Manuel). Either way, I’m not impressed.