Just so happens the Baseball Writers Association of America announced it's NL Manager of the Year Award.
Just so happens I was in charge of our chapter's vote for the award.
Just so happens I didn't choose Charlie Manuel.
Hey, I'm all about full disclosure. Manuel was second on my ballot, and he finished second in the voting behind the Cubs' Lou Piniella. Looking back on the postseason, it is obvious Manuel was a deserving choice. If I knew then what I knew now, I voted him No. 1. However, I had the Marlins Fredi Gonzalez on the top of my ballot. My reasoning was pretty simple: Florida had an Opening Day payroll of just under $21 million, the lowest in the majors. Nobody expected them to compete. Yet they spent a significant amount of time in first place in the NL East, they won 84 games, and they went 10-8 against the division-winning Phillies.
I had Pinella third, for the record.
Here is how the voting finished:
2008 NL Manager of the Year Votes
1. Lou Piniella 15-8-4, 103
2. Charlie Manuel 8-6-9, 67
3. Fredi Gonzalez 5-6-5, 48
4. Joe Torre 1-1-3, 11
5. Tony La Russa 1-1-3, 11
6. Jerry Manuel 0-3-1, 10