Charlie Manuel and NL manager of the year?

The Baseball Wrtiters Association of America will announce the winners for manager of the year in each league at 2 p.m. today.

How much consideration will Charlie Manuel get? Given that his team was the favorite and won might work against him with the national panel.

Daily News sports writer Ed Barkowitz offers his Top 5 in each league.


National League

1. Bud Black, Padres

90-72, 2nd in NL West

Was the prohibitive favorite until a 10-game losing streak in late August helped sabotage the season ... The Padres won 15 more games than the previous season, the best improvement in baseball

2. Dusty Baker, Reds

91-71, Won NL Central

Cincinnati improved on last year’s 78-84 mark and was the biggest surprise among NL division winners ... Had the best offense in baseball and an overachieving starting staff ... Baker won this award three times with the Giants.

3. Charlie Manuel, Phillies

97-65, Won NL East

Led the Phillies to the best record in baseball despite numerous injuries to his everyday players … Had such a strong starting rotation that the job he did will likely be overlooked by national writers.

4. Bruce Bochy, Giants

92-70, Won NL West

Took a collection of castoffs (Pat Burrell) and misfits (Aubrey Huff) and molded them into division winners (and eventual world champions) … A former catcher himself, Bochy helped the development of Buster Posey, who on Monday became the first Giant to win rookie of the year in 35 years (John Montefusco, 1975).

5. Bobby Cox, Braves

91-71, 2nd in NL East

Took advantage of the Padres’ collapse to take his team to the wild-card ... One of the all-time greats, who retired after 29 years and thus surely will get some nostalgia votes ... Kept his team going despite injuries to his pitching staff and aging star Chipper Jones.


American League

1. Ron Washington, Rangers

90-72, Won AL West

Nearly lost his job after a 2009 positive drug test surfaced in the spring … Led the Rangers to its first division title in 11 years.

2. Cito Gaston, Blue Jays

85-77, 4th in AL East

Lost Roy Halladay prior to the season and still improved by 10 games … Would have finished higher in any other division in baseball.

3. Ron Gardenhire, Twins

94-68, Won AL Central

Won the division by six games despite not having All-Star first baseman Justin Morneau for the final 81 games.

4. Joe Maddon, Rays

96-66, Won AL East

Won the toughest division in baseball.

5. Terry Francona, Red Sox

89-73, 3rd in AL East

Stayed in playoff hunt despite numerous injuries.