Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wedge: Manager of the year
It would be fair to say that I was surprised by Wedge's selection, if only because these votes usually have an east coast bias and Joe Torre did have his share of issues to fight through.

Few have been as hard as Eric Wedge as I. But he certainly earned this award, considering:

* Trot Nixon was a bust.
* Josh Barfield didn't hit.
* Jeremy Sowers was ineffective.
* Keith Foulke retired.
* Andy Marte wasn't ready (and may never be).
* Cliff Lee had attitude problems and a miserable year.
* Roberto Hernandez was done.
* Wedge had to coach playoff-caliber performances out of Rafael Perez and Jensen Lewis.
* David Dellucci didn't hit, and then got hurt.
* Travis Hafner had the worst year of his career.
* Grady Sizemore didn't live up to expectations.
* Joe Borowski always seemed one pitch from disaster.
* A double A shortstop was called up to play second base full-time in the bigs, and didn't fall apart.

Yeah, actually, it's hard to imagine anyone else deserving the award more. ALCS decisions aside, Wedge was the right choice.



At 8:35 AM , Anonymous Erik said...

True, Wedge did have all that to deal with this year. But it's not like he somehow persevered against impossible odds to make this team good.

Consider that:

*For most of the season, he had the best 1-2 pitching punch in baseball.

*Jhonny Peralta rebounded to have a good season, both with the bat and glove.

*Ryan Garko cemented himself as this team's everyday first baseman.

*Victor Martinez was this team's unquestioned MVP, not just for his bat, but the leadership he brought to the clubhouse and his rapidly-improving ability to QB a pitching staff.

*Kenny Lofton provided a much-needed spark, up until Game 5 of the ALCS

*Joe Borowski, for the extreme lack of faith fans show in him, had more 1-2-3 saves than Mariano Rivera, proving that sometimes, perception isn't reality.

*Rafael Betancourt emerged as an elite setup man.

*Even though Grady Sizemore had way too many strikeouts and didn't hit for a terribly high average, I find it a stretch to say he "didn't live up to expectations." He still came up with a ton of clutch hits and played Gold Glove defense in center field.

*Casey Blake (yes, Casey Blake) save this team's butt by stepping in to play third when it became apparent Marte wasn't going to hit.

So even though Wedge does deserve this award, I don't think he spun burlap into silk with this team. This was a good team that was set up to win this year. Wedge had far less adversity to deal with than, say, Tony La Russa.

At 8:48 AM , Blogger Joel said...

I'm attempting to figure out what "ACLS decision aside" means. ...

You mean setting up the series so that his Nos. 1/2 starters had chances to clinch it?

Please clarify.

At 1:38 PM , Blogger Zach said...

Leaving Sabathia in in game 5 having thrown 106 pitches is the big one. That decision turned a 2-1 game into a blowout.

That, and his logic of "we have to save relievers for Boston" is the exact same logic that got Mike Hargrove fired.


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