After leading young Marlins, Joe Girardi wins Manager of the Year

Joe Girardi, who had a Florida Marlins team with a $12-million payroll and a roster loaded with rookies fighting for a wild-card berth in mid-September, was voted the National League Manager of the Year in balloting by the BBWAA.

Girardi was named first on 18 of 32 ballots submitted by two writers in each league city, second on six and third on three to score 111 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. Willie Randolph of the NL East champion New York Mets finished second with 81 points, based on eight first-place votes, 11 seconds and eight thirds.

The San Diego Padres’ Bruce Bochy, who has since moved on to the San Francisco Giants, had five first-place votes and finished third overall. The other first-place vote went to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Grady Little, who placed fourth. Also gaining mention were the Philadelphia Phillies’ Charlie Manuel, the Cincinnati Reds’ Jerry Narron and the Houston Astros’ Phil Garner.

Girardi, 42, was in his first season as a major-league manager. The Astros’ Hal Lanier in 1986 and the Giants’ Dusty Baker in 1993 also won this award in their major-league debuts as manager, but both had some experience at other levels. Prior to managing the Marlins, Girardi, a former catcher, served one season as the New York Yankees’ bench coach under Joe Torre in 2005. Ironically, Girardi succeeded Randolph in that job.

As late as Sept. 11 this year, the Marlins were two games over .500 (73-71) and within three games of the wild-card leader, then San Diego, but Florida fell out of the chase by losing 13 of its last 18 games.

Girardi was the second Marlins manager honored, joining 2003 winner Jack McKeon. Girardi was dismissed as manager after the season. He is the second Manager of the Year Award winner who was fired the same year. The other was the 1997 American League winner, Davey Johnson of the Baltimore Orioles

The vote:

2006 NL Manager of the Year

Joe GirardiFlorida Marlins1863111
Willie RandolphNew York Mets811881
Bruce BochySan Diego Padres56750
Grady LittleLos Angeles Dodgers151030
Charlie ManuelPhiladelphia Phillies39
Jerry NarronCincinnati Reds136
Phil GarnerHouston Astros11