Cameron: The near-impossibility of evaluating MLB managers

From Dave Cameron at on September 5, 2014:

I’m a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, which means that I’m part of the pool of writers who are asked to cast ballots for MLB’s postseason awards. The MVP and Cy Young are the two big ones that get most of the attention, and then there’s Rookie of the Year, which has more recently turned into the Prominent International Star Who Made His MLB Debut This Year award — Jose Abreu will be accepting that one for 2014, though they’ll probably stick with the shorter title for now.

There’s also a fourth award that BBWAA members are asked to vote on — Manager of the Year. It’s the one award that we’re asked to give out that doesn’t go to a player, and not coincidentally, it’s the one in which there is usually the least consensus. Last year, nine American League managers received at least one vote in one of the three slots listed on the ballot, which might not sound like a lot until you remember that there are only 15 managers in the American League, so more managers got votes than those who didn’t.

This is what happens when you ask a panel of diverse members to try and come to agreement on a subject that is inherently difficult to measure. This challenge is compounded by the fact that there is literally no criteria or guidance provided along with the ballot.

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Originally published: September 5, 2014. Last Updated: September 5, 2014.