BBA Names Arizona’s Gibson, Tampa Bay’s Maddon Top Managers

BBA Names Arizona’s Gibson, Tampa Bay’s Maddon Top Managers

Top Blogger Organization Awards Connie Mack Award For 2011

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson and Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon were named the 2011 Connie Mack Award winners today by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.  The Connie Mack Award recognizes those considered the top manager for the season.

Gibson took over an Arizona team that finished last in the National League West in 2010 and led them to a divisional title in his first year on the job.  Gibson’s Diamondbacks led all year long and finished a comfortable eight games ahead of defending World Champion San Francisco to move on to the postseason stage.  Voting was done before the Diamondbacks lost to the Milwaukee Brewers in five games in the National League Divisional Series.

Gibson was a unanimous winner, scoring the top slot on all 21 ballots cast by the portion of the membership that voted on the National League award.  Ron Roenicke, whose Brewers defeated Gibson’s squad, finished second in the balloting, while St. Louis Cardinal manager Tony La Russa finished third.

Maddon was rewarded after leading his team to the largest September rally in history, leading his Rays from nine games back in the wild card race to passing up the Boston Red Sox on the last day.  As in the National League, voting did not take into account the Rays falling to the Texas Rangers in four games in the American League Divisional Series.

Maddon received the top billing on 22 of the 25 ballots cast for the American League voters, easily outpacing Detroit’s Jim Leyland and Texas Ranger manager Ron Washington.  Washington garnered the three first place votes that did not go to Maddon.

The complete voting results are as follows (first place votes in parenthesis):

American League
Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay (22) 113
Jim Leyland, Detroit 48
Ron Washington, Texas (3) 37
Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles of Anaheim 13
Joe Girardi, New York 9
Manny Acta, Cleveland 5
John Farrell, Toronto 1

National League
Kirk Gibson, Arizona (21) 105
Ron Roenicke, Milwaukee 39
Tony La Russa, St. Louis 16
Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia 13
Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh 7
Terry Collins, New York 5
Bruce Bochy, San Francisco 3
Freddi Gonzalez, Atlanta 1

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 316 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.

The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.

Chapters generally followed one of two methods when casting their ballot.  Either representatives of the chapter were given the ballots for voting or a “group ballot” was posted, accounting for both of their votes.

Notably, though the Alliance’s awards come out well before their official counterparts, the BBA selections have matched those of the Baseball Writers of America in all but two instances in the past two years.  This, of course, does not include the Goose Gossage Award that is exclusive to the BBA.

Ballots are posted on the respective blogs and for this award, were tabulated on a 5-3-1 point scale for first through third place. In the interest of transparency, links are given below for the ballots. Chapter affiliation is in parenthesis.  Those chapters that decided on the group method are noted with an asterisk.

American League
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)
Baltimore Sports and Life (Baltimore)
Baseball Is My Boyfriend (Texas)*
Baseball North (Toronto)
Boston Red Thoughts (Boston)*
Contract Year (Oakland)*
500 Level Fan (Toronto)
The Flagrant Fan (General)
Kings of Kauffman (Kansas City)*
Misc. Baseball (History)
Monkey With A Halo (Los Angeles of Anaheim)
Motor City Bengals (Detroit)
North Dakota Twins Fan (Minnesota)
Old English D (Detroit)
The Rays Rant (Tampa Bay)
Rise of the Rays (Tampa Bay)
Seattle Mariners Musings (Seattle)
The Tribe Daily (Cleveland)*
Twins Trivia (Minnesota)
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)

National League
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)
Appy Astros (Houston)
Blog Red Machine (Cincinnati)
Cincinnati Reds Blog (Cincinnati)
Dugger Sports (Philadelphia)
The Eddie Kranepool Society (New York)*
The Flagrant Fan (General)
I70 Baseball (St. Louis)
Left Coast Bias (San Diego)
Misc. Baseball (History)
On The Outside Corner (St. Louis)
Padres Trail (San Diego)
Prose and Ivy (Chicago)*
Raise The Jolly Roger (Pittsburgh)
Rockies Woman (Colorado)
22 Gigantes (San Francisco)*
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)

Prior Winners: 2010: Ron Washington, Texas; Bud Black, San Diego
2009: Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles of Anaheim; Jim Tracy, Colorado

The official website of the BBA is located atbaseballbloggersalliance.wordpress.com. The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba.  For more information, contact Daniel Shoptaw at founder@baseballbloggersalliance.com.

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JONAH KERI’ “THE EXTRA 2% GOES ON SALE TODAY

Jonah Keri’s new book “The Extra 2% How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Team From Worst to First” (Ballantine/ESPN Books Hardcover) hits books store today, a day many baseball devotees have been waiting for.

The book chronicles the rise of the Tampa Bay Rays, under the management skills of Stuart Sternberg and Mathew Silverman, using their expertise in economics learned from their days together at Goldman Sachs.

The Rays were once the most disrespected franchise in baseball, on and off the field. You could say the Rays were an undervalued commodity being that their continuous last place finishes; their reward was drafting very high in the June entry draft and getting the best choices of the top American amateurs out there. Upon taking ownership of the club, Sternberg and Silverman put together a draft strategy, and acquiring players who were proficient in the defensive end of baseball.  

Sternberg and Silverman also changed the culture of the franchise by bringing in a positive dynamic to the front office and administrative staff who were beaten down under the Vince Namoli regime. They also did an intense rebranding of the team, first dropping the name “Devils” and going with just Rays as the team nickname as well as ridding themselves of the weird color designs on the uniform.  

While Sternberg and Silverman have been successful with the Rays on the field, they are still fighting an uphill battle off the field, dealing with issues of an antiquated and hard to get to ballpark and a depressed economy in Central Florida, which has kept attendance down.

Sternberg has also been linked to becoming owner of the NY Mets as he is not only a Brooklyn native and Westchester resident but he is a lifelong Mets fan and season ticket holder still to this day.    

As a Mets fan, this book is of great interest to me (and it should be to you as well) as the franchise is entering uncertain times due to money problems of ownership that has been chronicled all winter and that we have a new front office headed by Sandy Alderson whose management style is the bench mark for what Sternberg and Silverman have used in Tampa.

The Extra 2 % can be obtained through Amazon, Barnes & Noble (both on line and the good old brick and mortar) and all book stores. No matter how you buy your books these days (Kindle and Nook) I recommend highly that you either buy or download The Extra 2 % today.

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SELL SKILL SETS, SELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How would you like to be Frank McCourt today? The owner of the LA Dodgers has a shit load of money problems due to his nasty divorce and he is trying hard to hold on to his share of the team.  FOX has offered to loan him $200 mil to help keep that Dodgers going until his divorce is final and a judge rules who owns the team Frank or his soon to be ex -wife Jamie but Bud Selig put the kibosh on the deal.

Now today we learn that the Skill Sets were fronted between $20-$25 million bucks to pay the bills at Citi Field from Bud Selig. Hummmmmm if I were say David Glass of the KC Royals, Bob Nutting of the Pirates or Mets fan/Tampa Bay Rays owner Stu Sternberg, I’d be pretty pissed off knowing I’m part of the funding of a team in the largest market of the country. But then again, Freddy and Uncle Saul are Bud’s BFF’s, so Selig has put aside his job as Commissioner and has turned a blind eye to the “best interest of baseball” commandment that gets played in time of crisis, and right now Mets fans the Skill Sets are on the brink of crisis.

Freddy and Jeffey were chirping on the opening of camp about being victims and being duped and proclaiming vindication when the dust settles on the Madoff trustee lawsuit, but they forgot one other important item, they will have to sell the team when it’s all said and done.

You have to believe that the Skill Sets will not be the owners of the New York Mets by this time next year, or even sooner. With all the stories that come out ever few days on the financial status of the team especially today’s revelation of money floated to pay the Mets bills, I cast my vote of No Confidence in the Skill Sets to running this team. If this were any other owner, Selig would have had him in a headlock screaming “SELL GOD DAMN IT SELL” but because it’s Freddy and Uncle Saul he will do by any means necessary to help them keep ownership of this team. Best interest of baseball, my ass.

This story would have been bad enough, but when you add the bluster by Freddy and Jeffy in their St Lonesome presser’s, it’s an absolute insult to you and me. I’d love to grab Freddy, Jeffy and Uncle Saul by the collective scruff of their necks and scream at them to be truthful with us.

They want our money, they want our support and we are willing to give it to them and all we ask is to be truthful and stop taking us for assholes. We didn’t sink our fortune with a thieving scumbag, like you did.

Freddy always sings the siren song of loving the Mets and wants the team to stay in his family for generations, well here is a smack in the face of reality for you Freddy, that ship has sailed, when you got fucked over by your “pal” Bernie Madoff and he’s the one you will cost you of your dream.

SELL THE TEAM SKILL SETS, SELL THE TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN TONIGHT AT 10PM ET ON BLOGTALK RADIO

Join me tonight at 10PM ET for THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio as my guest will be Steve Slowinski of Drays Bay. Steve and I will be talking about the Tampa Bay Rays and skin tight race between the Rays and Highlanders in the AL East.

Join us live at 10PM ET or on the podcast later right here at Kranepool Society (lower left side bar) or at the show page on Blog Talk Radio or download from iTunes.

Don’t for get to check out the THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN store at Café Press.

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BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE ANNOUCES IT’S ALL STAR SELECTIONS

CANO, LONGORIA HEADLINE ALL-STAR VOTING BY BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE
New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano was the leading vote-getter in All-Star Game ballots cast by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, outpacing Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.  Cano received a whopping 45 votes, with only Longoria and Texas’s Josh Hamilton also reaching the 35-vote level in the American League.  Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies led the National League with 36 votes.
Cano was the clear choice at second base by the BBA, with only the one vote received by each of Seattle’s Chone Figgins, Texas’s Ian Kinsler, and Boston’s Dustin Pedroia keeping Cano from an unanimous decision.  Longoria’s 39 votes outpaced Boston’s Adrian Beltre (with six), with Michael Young of the Texas Rangers a distant third with two votes.
The rest of the American League infield, if selected by the BBA, would feature Minnesota’s Justin Morneau, who just edged out Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera by two votes for the first base nod, and New York Yankees’ captain Derek Jeter at shortstop, as he more comfortably finished ahead of Elvis Andrus of the Rangers and Alex Gonzalez of the Toronto Blue Jays.
While the Rangers were close with many of their infielders, it is in the outfield that they finally break through, as Hamilton led all outfielders with his 35 votes.  He would be joined in the outfield by Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford and Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki, who used a late surge to surpass Alex Rios of the Chicago White Sox for the final slot.  Texas also would be honored with the designated hitter, as Vladimir Guerrero easily outpolled the Red Sox’s David Ortiz for that position.
The battery for the American League was Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins and David Price of the Rays.  Mauer won handily over Boston’s Victor Martinez, while Price got the nod to start over the Mariners’ Cliff Lee.
Races in the National League were a little more competitive.
The closest race was in the middle of the diamond.  As of right before the deadline, Philadelphia’s Chase Utley and Atlanta’s Martin Prado were tied with 16 votes apiece.  The late votes pushed Utley over the top 19-16.
Other close races included third base, which saw New York’s David Wright take out Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman by four votes and Cincinnati’s Scott Rolen by six, and the last outfield slot.  Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Andre Ethier were overwhelming picks, receiving 30 votes each, but Chicago’s Marlon Byrd slipped past Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen by two votes in the last surge of voting to take the final position.
Rounding out the National League selections were Colorado catcher Miguel Olivo, St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols and Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez.  Jimenez was the overwhelming choice to take the ball for the senior circuit, receiving over 30 more votes than his closest competitor.

All members of the BBA were eligible to make their selections.  Bloggers were allowed to vote for either the American League, the National League, or both leagues if they so desired.  Ballots were published on the individual blogs as a show of transparency.

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in 2009 and numbers 184 blogs covering all major league teams and various other aspects of baseball among its members, as well as blogs and sites that have affiliated as Friends of the BBA.  The official website of the BBA is located at www.baseballbloggersalliance.com.  The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba.  Members of the BBA may be heard at Blog Talk Radio each Tuesday night with their call-in show, BBA Baseball Talk.

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TONIGHT AT 10PM ET ON BLOG TALK RADIO IT’S THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN

 

Don’t forget tonight at 10PM ET I will be hosting THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN on BLOG TALK RADIO. My guest will be Steve Slowinski of DRAYSBAY. Steve and I will talk about the Tampa Bay Rays and the AL East race. I’ll also recap the Mets-Dodgers doubleheader and also look at the upcoming weekend series between the Mets and Phillies in Philadelphia. If you can’t listen live, you can hear the replay right here at Kranepool Society (check out the lower left hand side bar) or at my show page on BLOG TALK RADIO.

The only thing missing from tonight’s twi-nighter at $iti Field is a Banner Day procession between games. With the way Mets management has all of a sudden become “fan-friendly” I’m surprised they haven’t green lighted that event already.

This is one of the perks of having a ton of tickets available for every game. It makes management humble. I know the word was there were a lot of fans at Sunday night’s game walking around the concourses and watching the game either under the stands or in McFaddens but the bottom line for the Mets, MLB and ESPN is empty seats are not very photogenic. Give the Mets credit, not only did they encourage the hardy fans who sat in the rain in the Promenade to move down and sit with the swells in high rent district (those of the silk stocking ilk who did show up Sunday must have been in the single digits) but all ticket holders for Sunday’s game were offered a freebie for another game. I’ll give the Skill Sets the benefit of the doubt here but something tells me that a call by MLB was placed to Freddy and Jeffey during the game to find as many seat fillers as they can to  make $iti Field look like the place to be on a rainy Sunday night.

The best part of Frenchy’s,  One on One with Pope Francesa on his daily snoozcast was D-Wright, Rod Barajas and Jason Bay screaming at Francouer during his interview. Pope Mikey I was not thrilled by this which is what made all the more fun to listen too. Also another awkward moment on the Francesa Time Warp Machine radio show (“Charlie un da car phone, whazz up” ) was another of those mind numbing Brad Benson car commercials where Benson talks about his “40 foot erection”.  It seems Benson, the one time NY Giants OL, bought one of the goal posts from Giants Stadium and had it “erected” it on his car dealership property. He asks everyone to come down to Brad Benson Hyundai to see his erection. As soon as the spot was done Francesa comes on and says “Steve Phillips will join us at 5:05” It made me wonder if Philips was bringing his erection along with him as well.

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METS MISSIVES

 

  2 days until pitchers and catchers

Ed Ryan over at Mets Fever has a great write up on Shawn Riggans, the catcher cut loose by the Tampa Bay Rays and picked up by the Mets as part of the parade of back up catchers. After reading Ryan’s piece, if Riggans is healthy he could make a run at one of the catcher roster spots on the Mets.

JOSE,

 JOSE-JOSE-JOSE,

 JOSE,

 JOSE 

“Once again, Daniel Murphy was the first player to arrive. This kid won’t lose the job because he was lazy.”

And my Murphy man-crush continues to blossom.

Adam Rubin can write it and Omar Minaya can say it but it would be a major upset for Mike Jacobs to beat on Murph for the first base job. Why the Mets keeping fucking with Murph is puzzling. He has been working out in Florida all winter; he’s the first guy at the workouts and the last to leave. He is doing everything plus more to become a strong first baseman and a better hitter. I have no beef with Mike Jacobs but I just don’t see where he is a fit here. Jacobs reeks of DH.

Dave Singer at NY Sports Dog has the complete TV/Radio Mets Spring Training Schedule posted.  First game Tuesday March 2 will be on SNY.

D-Wright has been in camp since late January, and it seems his mind set is to pull the ball more in 2010. The biggest plus for Wright this year will be the protection in the lineup he’ll get from Jason Bay. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Sandy Koufax is in the house!

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DOUSE ME BABY, I MADE THE 7AM FERRY!

When did winning a playoff series turn into an all night celebration? All these champagne and beer baths after the Division Series is a bit much. Look, I can see the Tampa Bay Rays going nuts after beating the White Sox as losings ones virginity is a cause to celebrate but the Dodgers, Red Sox, and the Phucking Phillies? Com’on you guys know you’re better than that? Yeah, yeah I know you think it’s sour grapes on a Mets fan part as we are still kept behind the velvet rope of post season baseball but it’s not we gotten over it (I think we have?) but with the wild celebrations after a first round win what do you guys do if you win the World Series? Make a snuff film?

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Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

Visit BangTheBook.Com for daily free MLB Mets Picks and gameday previews, also join the baseball handicapping discussion in the forum or track your plays in our sports monitor.