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MLB

Was Dave Roberts Snubbed In NL Manager of the Year Voting?

It is very hard for MLB managers on teams that are good every year to win Manager of the Year Awards. If the BBWAA writers feel that you have a 100-win team and you win 104 games like 2016 winner Dave Roberts did, then you were supposed to do that. Right? 

Totally ignoring how hard it truly is for a pro baseball franchise to do what the Dodgers have done under Roberts by average 97.5 wins over the past two seasons, Roberts came in second to Arizona Diamondbacks’ rookie skipper Torey Lovullo in the BBWAA balloting for 2017 National League Manager of the Year. Bud Black of the Rockies, who previously won as San Diego Padres skipper in 2010, placed third.   

MLB on Twitter

In his first season as @Dbacks skipper, Torey Lovullo is your 2017 @officialBBWAA NL Manager of the Year!

Face it. Lovullo’s ability to take over a struggling Diamondbacks franchise and win 93 games after three seasons of averaging 70 wins is more impressive to prisoners of the moment. A guy like Joe Girardi, who averaged over 90 wins a season with the Yankees during a decade of work as skipper gets taken for granted. Fired even. Girardi has an award from a 78-84 season with the Florida Marlins in 2006, but he’s never won one with the Yankees.  

Roberts second place finish in this year’s voting makes him another victim of expected excellence. To put it bluntly, he was snubbed and robbed of the opportunity to become the first NL manager to win back-to-back awards since Atlanta Braves HOF skipper Bobby Cox in 2004 and ’05. 

Roberts won 91 games with the Dodgers in his first year of managing in 2016 and was rewarded with the BBWAA NL Manager of the Year Award. This season he wins a MLB-high 104 games, but a mythical start followed by a rough streak of losing towards the end of the season, and the baseball writers’ overall captivation with first-year managers, probably cost him this seasons honors. 

SportsNet LA on Twitter

@_JohnHartung speaks with Dave Roberts after finishing second in the National League Manager of the Year voting. | https://t.co/laHLQHuEO9

First-year managers who do well are often rewarded for coming right in and either improving the team or not messing up a good thing. The election marked the seventh time overall and the fourth year in a  row that the award went to someone who was in his first full season as a major league manager. 

Joe Maddon won it in 2015, his first year with the Cubs after leaving Tampa Bay, where he also won it in 2008 and 2011. Jeff Bannister took over the Texas Rangers in 2015 and won the AL Manager of the Year Award for leading them to 88 wins and a playoff birth. 

In the AL, Paul Molitor of the Twins was named 2017 AL Manager of the Year.

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