October 31st, 2012
As award season begins around baseball, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance unveils the first award for the 2012 season.
The Connie Mack Award is given annually by the alliance to the top managers in each league. This year’s vote was a landslide in the National League and the closest of all the award votes in the American League.
Davey Johnson, who led the Washington Nationals into the post-season for the first time in 31 years as a franchise, was acknowledged by the group as the premier skipper of the Senior Circuit. The Nationals franchise, then known as the Montreal Expos, last appeared in the playoffs in 1981. In 2012, Johnson led an exciting group of young players to the best record in Major League Baseball this season, winning 98 games and a division title in a highly competitive National League East division.
Davey Johnson received 71% of the vote throughout the BBA.
In the closest vote out of all five awards to be given by the BBA this season, Bob Melvin of the Oakland A’s took the victory over his counterpart, Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles, by a narrow 2% margin.
Two of the most surprising teams in all of baseball earned their managers plenty of votes before the Oakland skipper emerged as the victor. Melvin would lead the A’s to the second best record in the American League, winning 94 games and holding the defending American League champion Texas Rangers off, forcing the Rangers to qualify for the postseason as a wild card.
Ballots for the annual BBA Awards are completed prior to the end of the regular season, and while both managers found regular season success and led their teams forward into the postseason, both teams would be eliminated in their respective Division Series appearances to Detroit and St. Louis.
Previous Connie Mack Award Winners:
2011: Joe Maddon, Tampa bay Rays; Kirk Gibson, Arizona Diamondbacks
2010: Ron Washington, Texas Rangers; Bud Black, San Diego Padres
2009: Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Jim Tracy, Colorado Rockies
The Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 232 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.
The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.
Coming up: The Willie Mays Award, given to the best rookie in each league for the 2012 season, will be announced tomorrow, with the Goose Gossage, Walter Johnson and Stan Musial Awards to follow…