There have been other blogs posted about this before, but I wanted to do my take. They're many worthy candidates for the manager of the year:
Lou Piniella- Last year, this team lost 95 games and came in last in the N.L. Central. This year, they're currently 63-60 and one half a game in front of the Brew Crew(at the time of this writing). But the Cubs spent alot of money with the signings of these guys:
Ted Lilly-(4 years, $40 million)- 13-5, 3.74 ERA, 129 Ks, 43 BBs, 156.1 Innings, 31 years old
Mark DeRosa-(3 years,$13 million)- .291 AVG, 7 HRs, 58 RBIs, 44 Runs, .366 OBP, 32 years old
Aramis Ramirez-(5 years, $75 million)- .319 AVG, 18 HRs, 73 RBIs, 50 Runs, .368 OBP, 29 years old
Jason Marquis-(3 years, $21 milion)- 10-7, 4.25 ERA, 80 Ks, 59 BBs, 146 Innings, 28 years old
Alfonso Soriano-(8 years, $136 million)- .297 AVG, 18 HRs, 42 RBIs, 74 Runs, 18 SBs, 31 years old(On D.L.)
With these guys, Carlos Zambrano, Derrek Lee, Rich Hill, Cliff Floyd, and Jason Kendall, they should do good. Lou has alot of talent on this team. They should be ahead of the Brewers. Speaking of them...
Ned Yost- One of the big surprises in baseball in the first half, but they have fell back to earth since the All-Star Break. They are 63-61 right now. They started out fantastic but they have struggled alot. The starting pitching has fallen apart and the clutch hitting it gone.
-Record Of 14-22 since The All-Star Break
-5-12 In August
-23-36 On The Road
Add the fact that Johnny Estrada, Tony Graffanino, and Yost had a scuffle in the dugout a little while back. The wheels are falling off this team.
Bob Melvin- I had a TD with Steelercooz afew days ago about who should be the manager of the year. He said Bob Melvin. I realize Bob Melvin has done a great job with his young and inexperienced team. But once again, he still has a TON of talent on that team.
Justin Upton- He was the first overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft, won the AFLAC National High School Player Of The Year Award, youngest player in baseball
Carlos Quentin- He was the first pick by the D-Backs in the 2003 MLB Draft, was one of 5 finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, and was honored by Baseball America
Stephen Drew- Was ranked the best SS prospect in America, named ACC Rookie Of The Year, All-State MVP, East Cobb League MVP
Along with Chris Young(one of the youngest 20-20 players ever this year), Conor Jackson(was selected to the first team Preseason All-Americans, was one of the finallists for the Dick Howser Award as the nation top college player), Brandon Webb(2006 N.L. Cy Young Award Winner, Currently on a 33 Inning scoreless streak), Orlando Hudson, Tony Clark, Eric Byrnes, and Livan Hernandez. This team has a crazy amount of talent. I don't care if they are young or old.
Manny Acta- Here we go. This is my choice for the N.L. Manager Of The Year. Before I explain why, first just look at the roster he has to work with:
STARTERSAGEBTHTWTDOB2007 SALARY37Bacsik, Mike29LL6-319011/11/1977Not available57Bergmann, Jason (DL)25RR6-419009/25/1981$380,00041Hill, Shawn26RR6-218004/28/1981$380,00026Lannan, John22LL6-520009/27/1984Not available22Patterson, John (DL)29RR6-520801/30/1978$850,00017Redding, Tim29RR6-020002/12/1978Not available50Simontacchi, Jason (DL)33RR6-218511/13/1973Not availableNoBULLPENAGEBTHTWTDOB2007 SALARY56Ayala, Luis29RR6-218601/12/1978$1,300,00059Bowie, Micah (DL)32LL6-420511/10/1974$435,00043Colome, Jesus29RR6-220012/23/1977$815,00032Cordero, Chad25RR6-019803/18/1982$4,150,00038Hanrahan, Joel25RR6-321510/06/1981Not available34King, Ray33LL6-124001/15/1974$850,00051Rauch, Jon28RR6-1126009/27/1978$455,00052Rivera, Saul29SR5-1115012/07/1977Not available45Schroder, Chris29RR6-321008/20/1978Not available35Wagner, Ryan (DL)25RR6-421007/15/1982$425,000NoCATCHERSAGEBTHTWTDOB2007 SALARY3Flores, Jesus22RR6-118510/26/1984$380,00023Schneider, Brian30LR6-119611/26/1976$3,500,000NoINFIELDERSAGEBTHTWTDOB2007 SALARY77Batista, Tony33RR6-020512/09/1973Not available10Belliard, Ronnie32RR5-820004/07/1975$750,00013Fick, Robert33LR6-120003/15/1974$850,00015Guzman, Cristian (DL)29SR6-019503/21/1978$4,200,0006Jimenez, D'Angelo29SR6-021512/21/1977Not available24Johnson, Nick (DL)28LL6-322409/19/1978$5,500,0002Lopez, Felipe27SR6-118505/12/1980$3,900,00021Young, Dmitri33SR6-224510/11/1973$500,00011Zimmerman, Ryan22RR6-320009/28/1984$400,000NoOUTFIELDERSAGEBTHTWTDOB2007 SALARY19Church, Ryan28LL6-119010/14/1978$395,00044Escobar, Alex (DL)28RR6-119009/06/1978$530,00025Kearns, Austin27RR6-322005/20/1980$3,500,0007Logan, Nook27RR6-218011/28/1979$392,50016Pena, Wily Mo
When you look at that roster on paper, it looks like this team has 40-120 record written all over it. Besides of Zimmerman, their biggest power threat is Dmitri Young. Their ace was gonna be John Patterson, and he is on the D.L. Even if he wasn't on the D.L., he still ain't an ace. This team has 5 pitchers on the D.L., their 1B, their SS, and one of thier OF(who was thought to take over the hole in CF).
Yet in spite of all that, this team is 55-69. Granted, that is still not a good record. But for this team, that is a great record. Going into this season, this team looked like they would rival the Mets ridiculously bad 1962 season. but they have been alot better. Manny Acta has these players on their toes, they play a tight game, they had a better record in the month of July then the Mets(who have the 3rd highest payroll in MLB), and they have basically surprised everyone. Dmitri Young could be Comeback Player Of The Year.
Last Years Stats-
43 games, .250 AVG, 7 HRs, 23 RBIs, .293 OBP
111 games, .331 AVG, 11 HRs, 64 RBIs, .380 OBP.
He has been the anchor for this team in a year where Zimmerman has only hit .270. Him and Chad Cordero(2-2, 27 saves, 2.55 ERA, 45 Ks and 21 BBs in 60 Innings) are the only "big" players on this team. This team doesn't have the fresh, young talent of the Brewers, the big name superstars of the Cubs, or the pool of talent like the D-Backs. Manny Acta has done a more impressive job then Joe Girardi did last year with the Marlins. Take a look at that roster last year and tell me what team looks better:
#PitchersHeightWeightThrowsBatsDate Of Birth48Joe Borowski6-02225RightRight1971-05-0454Jeff Fulchino6-05250RightRight1979-11-2658Jose Garcia5-11165RightRight1985-01-0762Franklyn German6-04170RightRight1980-01-2049Matt Herges6-00200RightLeft1970-04-0155Josh Johnson6-07240RightLeft1984-01-3116Logan Kensing6-01185RightRight1982-07-0360Carlos Martinez6-01170RightRight1982-05-2623Randy Messenger6-06245RightRight1981-08-1352Sergio Mitre6-04210RightRight1981-02-1638Brian Moehler6-03195RightRight1971-12-3147Ricky Nolasco6-02220RightRight1982-12-1334Scott Olsen6-04200LeftLeft1984-01-1245Yusmeiro Petit6-00180RightRight1984-11-2237Renyel Pinto6-04195LeftLeft1982-07-0844Chris Resop6-03220RightRight1982-11-0436Anibal Sanchez6-00180RightRight1984-02-2757Taylor Tankersley6-01220LeftLeft1983-03-0756Jason Vargas6-00215LeftLeft1983-02-0241Todd Wellemeyer6-03205RightRight1978-08-3035Dontrelle Willis6-04200LeftLeft1982-01-12#CatchersHeightWeightThrowsBatsDate Of Birth15Paul Hoover6-01210RightRight1976-04-1430Miguel Olivo6-00180RightRight1978-07-1520Matt Treanor6-02220RightRight1976-03-03#InfieldersHeightWeightThrowsBatsDate Of Birth11Robert Andino6-00170RightRight1984-04-2524Miguel Cabrera6-02185RightRight1983-04-1318Wes Helms6-04230RightRight1976-05-1217Mike Jacobs6-02200RightLeft1980-10-302Hanley Ramirez6-03195RightRight1983-12-236Dan Uggla5-10200RightRight1980-03-1128Jason Wood6-01200RightRight1969-12-16#OutfieldersHeightWeightThrowsBatsDate Of Birth61Reggie Abercrombie6-03220RightRight1980-07-153Chris Aguila5-11180RightRight1979-02-234Alfredo Amezaga5-10165RightBoth1978-01-0621Joe Borchard6-05220RightBoth1978-11-2543Matt Cepicky6-02215RightLeft1977-11-1027Jeremy Hermida6-04200RightLeft1984-01-301Eric Reed5-11170LeftLeft1980-12-0212Cody Ross5-11180LeftRight1980-12-2314Josh Willingham6-01200RightRight1979-02-17
Joe finished with a record of 78-84. He finished under .500 with all that talent and won the manager of the year. So why can't Acta win it? He should win it. I'm done.