Imagine the disappointment Bruce Bochy felt upon not winning the Manager of the Year award yesterday.
Where would he put it? He certainly isn’t going to move the 2023 World Series trophy off his mantel. Or the 2010 World Series trophy. Or the one from 2012. Or 2014.
The guy with 2924 major league wins as a manager and four World Series titles has won the Manager of the Year award once. Way back in 1996, his second year as a manager.
The award this year went to Brandon Hyde, in his fifth year of managing the Baltimore Orioles.
You remember the Orioles, right? They won the most games in the American League but were outmanaged in the playoffs by Bruce Bochy as his Rangers knocked them out in the Division Series.
These awards are based on the regular season, voted on and due on the last day of the season, in fact. You remember that day? The Rangers lost 1-0 to Seattle to cough up the American League West Division title to the Astros in disappointing fashion.
All Bruce Bochy did in the regular season, though, beyond that last day, was something that had never been done before. He took a team to the playoffs that had a bullpen that had blown more saves that it converted. In fact, in the history of baseball, a team with a negative save conversion rate had finished over .500 only once. The 1971 Yankees at 82-80. They finished fourth in the East that year.
Bochy did a masterful job managing a seriously flawed baseball team. It is like driving a car with three wheels to the checkered flag in the Indianapolis 500.
He didn’t win the Manager of the Year Award. Maybe because everyone expects the best manager in baseball to be the best manager. He didn’t change perceptions. In that regard, he’s a victim of his own success.
But the Rangers don’t make the playoffs, let alone with the World Series, without Bruce Bochy as manager. Sorry, but Chris Woodward would still be talking about process as he watched his 2023 Rangers win 80 games and finish just under .500.
The Rangers don’t have Bruce Bochy without Chris Young in charge. And they don’t have Chris Young in charge without Jon Daniels being fired.
But who cares that Bochy didn’t win Manager of the Year? He has so many World Series trophies, all a Manager of the Year trophy is going to do now is make a good doorstop.