Bud Black wins Manager of the Year by narrowest margin

Bud Black of the San Diego Padres narrowly out-pointed Dusty Baker of the Cincinnati Reds to win the National League Manager of the Year Award in one of the closest races in the history of BBWAA balloting. Black’s victory was by a single point, marking the third time in NL Manager voting that only one point separated the winner from the runner-up.

Although Baker, a three-time winner, appeared on one more ballot than Black, 27-26, Black was listed first on 16 ballots to Baker’s 13 among the 32 submitted by two writers in each league city. Black was second on seven ballots and third on three to total 104 points. Baker received 12 votes for second and two for third to score 103 points. Voting is tabulated on a 5-3-1 basis.

Also receiving one first-place vote apiece were the San Francisco Giants’ Bruce Bochy, who finished third with 30 points; the Atlanta Braves’ Bobby Cox, who was fourth with 28 points; and the Philadelphia Phillies’ Charlie Manuel, who was fifth with 20 points. The Houston Astros’ Brad Mills got one second-place vote for three points.

In his fourth season as manager of the Padres, Black led them to a 90-72 record, but a 3-0 loss to San Francisco on the last day of the season cost San Diego the NL West title that went to the Giants. The Padres’ record was the fourth best in franchise history, topped only by the 98-64 of 1998, the 92-70 of 1992 and the 91-71 of 1991.

Baker, who won the award while managing the Giants in 1993, 1997 and 2000, guided the Reds to their first NL Central title in 15 years.

In the first year of Manager of the Year balloting in 1983, voters selected only one manager, and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Tommy Lasorda won over the Houston Astros’ Bob Lillis, 10-9. The next year, the BBWAA extended the ballot to three managers. In the 1985 election, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Whitey Herzog edged the Reds’ Pete Rose, 86-85.

There has been one tie in Manager of the Year voting, in the American League in 1996 between the Texas Rangers’ Johnny Oates and the New York Yankees’ Joe Torre. That same year in the NL, Bochy, then the manager of the Padres, won in a close vote over the Montreal Expos’ Felipe Alou, 76-74. Black joins Bochy as the only San Diego winners.

2010 NL Manager of the Year

 1st2nd3rdPoints
Bud Black, San Diego Padres1673104
Dusty Baker, Cincinnati Reds13122103
Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants141330
Bobby Cox, Atlanta Braves141128
Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia Phillies14320
Brad Mills, Houston Astros13