2011 VORG Manager of the Year Awards

Wednesday afternoon will see the continuation of the 2011 MLB award period, with the AL and NL Managers of the Year being announced.  These awards are usually given to the skipper of a team that exceeds its preseason expectations.

At the VORG, we don’t think that’s true to the spirit of the word “manager”.  We want to see tangible evidence of … well, managing!  We want our managers to order bunt and stolen base attempts.  We want them to have to manipulate a LOT of players during the course of the year, cause its EASY to pilot a squad with little in-season turnover.  We want our managers to need new spikes from walking to and from the pitchers mound to get a fresh arm.  We want them to WORK!

Thus, we present our unique version of the award … the VORG MOTYs if you will.  Each team’s managers were ranked within their respective league in such categories as relief appearances, sac bunt attempts, number of innings pitched by their staff, etc.  The “best” in each category received “1” ranking point, the worst received “14” (in the AL) or “16” (in the NL) ranking points.  Total them all up, and the skipper with the lowest overall number is that league’s VORG MOTY.

Here’s some explanations for the categories:

  • #Bat: Total batters with at least one plate appearance in the season.  The manager has to tell each one what he wants him to do, and if a team is riddled with injuries/ineffectiveness, there will be plenty of batters to oversee.
  • PA: Team offensive plate appearances.  The higher the number, the more work had to be done in terms of strategy and signals.
  • SB ATT: Stolen base attempts.  Most base-stealers do NOT have a green light.  The manager is responsible for initiating the attempt.
  • PH AB: Pinch-hit at-bats.  Does a manager use his bench to get the supposed right batter in the game at the right time?
  • SH ATT: Sacrifices attempted.  It doesn’t matter if the attempt succeeded or not.  Did the manager at least try?
  • #Pit: Total pitchers used during season.  The higher the number (due to injury or ineffectiveness or trades), the greater the need to understand the best use of each hurler.
  • IP: Total team innings pitched.  Longer games naturally require more tactical work to be done.
  • IBB: Intentional walks.  Some managers eschew this tactic.  Others love it and use it often.
  • BF: Batters faced.  The higher the count, the more defensive shifts required (infield in, back, outfielders shallow, pulled to left/right, etc.).
  • Rel. App.: Relief appearances.  How many times did the manager (have to) make that roughly 75-foot stroll to the mound, raise one arm, take the ball from the pitcher, pat said pitcher on the ass, and greet the new moundsman.
  • # DEF. / BAT ORD.: Total unique starting defensive lineups and unique batting orders (exclusive of pitchers).  Some skippers constantly tinker with their lineup (not always by choice).  Some move various players around the diamond.  This quantifies which pilots moved the chesspieces the most.
  • TOT: The sum of all the “Rk” columns.  The lower the number, the more managing done.

The award in the National League goes to the Pirates’ Clint Hurdle, who easily outpaced the Mets’ Terry Collins and the Rockies’ Jim Tracy.  Hurdle’s love of pinch-hitting, combined with a pitching staff that came back to earth with a resounding thud after the ASB, gave the skipper good marks in pinch-hit at-bats, number of pitchers used and relief appearances.

Over in the American League, John Farrell of the Blue Jays bested the Yankees’ Joe Girardi and the Indians’ Manny Acta for the VORG MOTY.  Farrell plowed through 38 different batters and 30 pitchers during the year, and scored good marks in most pitching-oriented categories.  The difference between he and Girardi came down to the defensive lineups and batting orders, with Farrell mixing and matching much more than the Yankees’ leader.

Congrats to both gentlemen.  You deserve some time off.

4 thoughts on “2011 VORG Manager of the Year Awards

      • I enjoyed reading this, even if it’s more of a measure as to which managers did more work rather than which manager is the best (which is reasonable considering it’s impossible to quantify).

        However, as a Jays fan, let me just say that John Farrell was most definitely NOT the manager of the year, and if the majority of Jays fans had their way he’d be run right out of town faster than you can say “Cito sucked”.

        • Thanks for the comment. The vast majority of this blog is of the “less serious” analysis variety and I don’t REALLY believe he was the “best” manager, so I totally understand your sentiment regarding Farrell.

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