Tag Archives: Lou Piniella

The two Phillies skippers to win Manager of the Year may surprise you

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Ozark was the first, and is one of just two Phillies managers to ever take home Manager of the Year honors


On Tuesday evening the 2019 Major League Baseball Manager of the Year Awards for the National and American Leagues will be announced.

As with Monday’s announcement of the Rookies of the Year, honorees were first named on social media by the IBWAA for their organization. That will be followed by a televised announcement on MLB Network at 6:00 pm EST for the Manager of the Year as chosen by the BBWAA.

The voters from the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America handed their honors out to Brian Snitker of the Atlanta Braves in the National League and Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins for the American League.

Finalists for this year’s BBWAA award in the National League are Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers, Mike Shildt of the Saint Louis Cardinals, and Brian Snitker of the Atlanta Braves.

My choice among these candidates would be Shildt. Prior to the season, most prognosticators had his Cardinals finishing behind the Brewers and Chicago Cubs. But the Cards won their first NL Central Division crown since 2015, turning last year’s worst defense in the NL into the league’s best.

While Shildt would be my pick among those finalists, he would not be my actual pick. I believe that Dave Martinez of the world champion Washington Nationals deserves the honor – and it has little to do with his club winning the first World Series in franchise history.

The Nationals were a dozen games below the .500 mark and sitting in fourth place in the NL East Division as May wound towards a close. Rather than throw in the towel, Martinez kept his team positive and focused. The Nats had the best record in the National League from that point to the end of the season.

Over in the American League, the finalists are Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees, Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays, and Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins.

A great case can be made for any of these men, as well as Oakland A’s skipper Bob Melvin. But my choice would be Baldelli. While the Twins were considered a possible playoff team entering the season, few saw them winning 101 games and capturing the AL Central crown in nearly wire-to-wire fashion.

The first recognized honors in this category were The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award, established in 1936. From that year through 1985, one winner for all of Major League Baseball was announced. Since 1986, The Sporting News has handed out honors in both the American and National Leagues.

The  Baseball Writers Association of America began honoring a Manager of the Year for both leagues with the 1983 season. Each member of a 30-member committee of the BBWAA submits a ballot listing a first, second, and third place finisher among the managers of each league. The manager with the highest score in each league wins the award.

Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa have won the BBWAA award four times, more than any other manager in history. Jim Leyland is the only skipper to be named Manager of the Year four times by The Sporting News.

The Phillies new manager Joe Girardi is the only person to be named as the BBWAA Manager of the Year while piloting a losing club. Girardi took those honors for keeping the 2006 Florida Marlins in the Wildcard playoff hunt until the season’s final weeks, despite working with the game’s lowest payroll.

Yesterday, I wrote about the four players who won the Rookie of the Year Award as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Today, we’ll look at the history of the club in Manager of the Year Award voting.

It’s not much of a history, mind you. Only one manager of the club has ever taken the award as handed out by the BBWAA. And that manager was not either of the men who guided the Phillies to World Series glory. He was also honored in the same year by The Sporting News, which has named just one other Phillies manager as a winner of their award.

As I said earlier, the BBWAA award did not begin until 1983, so Dallas Green obviously would not have a plaque on his shelf for that 1980 championship. That year, The Sporting News chose to honor Bill Virdon of the Houston Astros, whose team the Phillies defeated in the NLCS, as their NL Manager of the Year.

And after guiding the Phillies to a second consecutive NL East crown and the 2008 World Series championship, Charlie Manuel finished as the runner-up to Lou Piniella of the Chicago Cubs in that year’s BBWAA voting.

Manuel would lead the Phillies to five consecutive NL East crowns, but never was awarded the Manager of the Year by the BBWAA or The Sporting News. Not even in 2007, when an underdog Phillies team rallied from seven games back on September 12 to capture their first division title in 14 years.

Manuel finished second to Bob Melvin of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2007 BBWAA voting. With his team established as favorites, ‘Uncle Charlie’ would finish just 6th in 2009, 5th in 2010, and 4th in 2011. That last was after guiding the Phillies to a 102-win season, the most regular season victories in franchise history.

Despite leading the “Whiz Kids” to a surprise National League pennant in 1950, manager Eddie Sawyer was passed over by The Sporting News in favor of Detroit Tigers skipper Red Rolfe, whose club had finished as the American League runners-up to the New York Yankees that year.

Paul Owens guided the Phillies “Wheeze Kids” to a 1983 NL pennant, but The Sporting News honors that year went to Tony La Russa, who had led the Chicago White Sox to a 99-win season and the AL West Division title in his first year as manager. In their first season giving out an award that year, the BBWAA handed the honors to the manager of the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers, Tommy Lasorda.

A decade later, Jim Fregosi skippered the ‘Macho Row’ Phillies to a stunning NL East crown in a wire-to-wire performance, then on to a National League pennant. But Fregosi finished a close runner-up to Dusty Baker of the San Francisco Giants, whose club had won 103 games but finished as runners-up in the NL West. The Sporting News gave their award to Bobby Cox of the NL West champion Atlanta Braves.

So, which Phillies managers have been recognized as the Manager of the Year?

The first was Danny Ozark, who The Sporting News named as their winner after he guided the Phillies to the first of three consecutive National League East Division titles in the 1976 season.

It would then be a quarter-century until a second Phillies skipper was so honored. For leading the club to a second place finish in the NL East in 2001, Larry Bowa won the Manager of the Year Award from both The Sporting News and the BBWAA.

That’s it, Ozark and Bowa, the only two men to ever be named as the Manager of the Year with the Phillies. The hope now is that Girardi can put a second career Manager of the Year award in his trophy case and on his resume’ as soon as next year at this time.



Today’s Game Era nominates Charlie Manuel to their Hall of Fame ballot

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Manuel managed the Cleveland Indians and the Phillies to a combined 1,000 wins

The Baseball Hall of Fame “Today’s Game Era” committee announced their ballot today for individuals to be considered for enshrinement in the 2019 class at Cooperstown. Named as one of the 10 nominees was former Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.

Manuel served as manager of the Phillies from 2005 into the 2013 season. During that time, he guided the club to an overall 780-636 record, five NL East Division crowns, two National League pennants, and the 2008 World Series championship.
The Phillies were Manuel’s second big-league managerial stint. He had previously served as manager of the Cleveland Indians from 2000 into the 2002 season, compiling a 220-190 record. His 2001 Indians squad captured the American League Central Division crown.
That 2001 Cleveland squad was eliminated in five games by the Seattle Mariners after taking a 2-1 series lead. The Mariners tied that series, then won a dramatic Game 5 in Seattle behind the stellar pitching of Jamie Moyer, who ironically would become one of Manuel’s key starters during the 2008 championship run with the Phillies.
The Baseball Hall of Fame website page dedicated to the Today’s Game Era ballot describes Manuel’s career as follows:

Charlie Manuel managed for 12 seasons with the Indians and Phillies, winning 1,000 games. Manuel managed the Indians to the American League Central title in 2001 and the Phillies to National League East titles in five straight years from 2007-11, winning NL pennants in 2008 and 2009 and the World Series in 2008. In his 10 full seasons as a manager, Manuel led his team to a first or second place finish nine times. His .548 career winning percentage ranks 16th all-time among managers with at least 1,000 victories.

Manuel earned his big-league managerial opportunity thanks largely to his work as the Indians hitting instructor from 1994-99. During those years the Tribe, led by Manuel protege Jim Thome, paced the American League in runs scored three times and in home runs twice.
In 1999 under Manuel’s tutelage the Indians scored a franchise-record 1,009 runs. That team became the first in Major League Baseball in nearly a half-century to reach the 1,000 runs mark. He was then hired as the manager in Cleveland for the 2000 season.
Manuel was fired at mid-season of 2002 by Tribe management over a contract dispute. He was quickly scooped up by the Phillies organization as a special assistant to GM Ed Wade, and then hired as the manager to succeed Larry Bowa for the 2005 campaign.
His first Phillies squad missed the NL Wildcard by just a single game, and the 2006 team fell three games short after leading that NL Wildcard race with just a week left to play.
Coming out for the 2007 season, shortstop Jimmy Rollins proclaimed that the Phillies were the “team to beat” in the NL East despite the fact that the New York Mets were the division’s defending champions and a talented squad in their own right.
That 2007 Phillies team did indeed win the division over the Mets on the season’s final day after rallying from a seven-game deficit with just 17 to play. It was the first of five consecutive NL East Division crowns under Manuel.
Manuel was finally relieved of his managerial duties 120 games into the 2013 season with the club in fourth place at 53-67. Many felt he had been made a scapegoat for management’s failure to effectively transition the roster as the championship team of the 2007-11 era aged.
Manuel can be considered a longshot to actually be elected for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame by the committee. He is one of just 64 managers in big-league history with 1,000 career victories, only 48 of whom, like him, also have a winning career managerial mark.
However, many of those ahead of him on the list have not been enshrined. Among those who have a winning record and who are either deceased or considered to be retired with their managerial wins in parentheses are: Lou Piniella (1,835), Jim Leyland (1,769), Ralph Houk (1,619), Davey Johnson (1,372), and Billy Martin (1,253).
Johnson and Piniella have both joined Manuel in being named to this current Today’s Game Era ballot for their work as managers.
Named to the ballot as players were Harold BainesAlbert BelleJoe CarterWill ClarkOrel Hershiser, and Lee SmithGeorge Steinbrenner was named for his work as the former owner of the New York Yankees and is the lone deceased candidate on the ballot.
Any candidate who receives votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member Today’s Game Era Committee will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The results of that voting should be announced on December 9, 2018.
Should anyone be selected, they would be inducted in Cooperstown on July 21, 2019, along with electees who emerge from the 2019 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced on January 22, 2019.
Whether or not Manuel is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, his unforgettable contributions to the Phillies organization have already been recognized. In 2014 he became the 36th person enshrined on the Phillies Wall of Fame.
Originally published at Phillies Nation as “Charlie Manuel nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame

Baseball Hall of Fame: Three Executives Deserve Enshrinement

Voting is now underway for the 2017 candidates to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Under rules amended two years ago, players are now considered for 10 years. 

Those who are not elected pass into the “Era” committees, formerly known as the “Veteran’s Committee”, for future consideration.

The current committees include “Today’s Game”, which evaluates from 1988 – present. “Modern Baseball” looks at 1970 – 1987. “Golden Days” votes on 1950 – 1969. “Early Baseball” examines 1871-1949.

These committees will select individuals on a rotating basis. For the upcoming 2017 Hall of Fame class as well as for 2019, the “Today’s Game” committee will do the evaluating. “Modern Baseball” will go in 2018 and 2020. “Golden Days” and “Early Baseball” will take their turns together for 2021.

The “Today’s Game Era” committee working this year includes 16 members selected by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors. They will do their voting at the upcoming Winter Meetings. 

Each of the other committees who will do their selecting in future years have the same membership size They are selected in the same manner as well.


Per the Baseball Hall of Fame website, the following are the eligibility requirements for nomination and election by an Era Committee:
(A) Eligible candidates must be selected from managers, umpires, executives and players. They must meet the below criteria related to their classification.
• Players who played in at least 10 major league seasons. They must not be on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list. They must have been retired for 15 or more seasons;
• Managers and umpires with 10 or more years in baseball and retired for at least five years. Candidates who are 65 years or older are eligible six months following retirement;
• Executives retired for at least five years. Active executives 70 years or older are eligible for consideration.
(B) Those whose careers entailed involvement in multiple categories will be considered for their overall contribution to the game of Baseball. However, the specific category in which these individuals shall be considered will be determined by the role in which they were most prominent. There are instances when a candidate is prominent as both a player and as a manager, executive or umpire. In those, the BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee shall determine that individual’s category as a player, as a manager or as an umpire or as an executive/pioneer. Those designated as players must fulfill the requirements of 6 (A).
(C) Any person designated by the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball as ineligible shall not be an eligible candidate.


The 2017 ballot being considered by the “Today’s Game” committee includes five former players who are no longer eligible under the normal 10-year vote. There are also two managers, as well as a trio of baseball executives.
Players nominated this time around are Mark McGwireOrel HershiserHarold BainesAlbert Belle, and Will Clark. The managerial nominees are Lou Piniella and Davey Johnson.
All are worthy of consideration, and valid positions can be put together for their cause. But it is my opinion that only the three executives should be enshrined at this time.
Former Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves executive John Schuerholz is one of these men. The colorful and controversial late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is another. And the former Milwaukee Brewers owner and Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig is the third.