For the second time this off-season, Clint Hurdle has won a Manager of the Year award. Hurdle was named the NL Manager of the Year tonight by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Previously he was named the NL Manager of the Year by The Sporting News. Tonight Hurdle beat out Fredi Gonzalez of the Braves and Don Mattingly of the Dodgers, taking 25 of 30 first place votes.
There’s not much to say about Hurdle that wasn’t said the last time around. He does make some questionable decisions, but a lot of those decisions are the same ones that are made by every other manager in baseball. Hurdle gets a lot of credit for his work in the clubhouse to keep the players focused. That allowed the Pirates to go the whole season without losing more than four games in a row, and prepared them to perform well in almost every big game of the season. Hurdle also gets credit for signing off on the defensive shifts, which isn’t something that every manager would stand behind.
For more on why Hurdle deserves this award, check out my post from last month explaining why this is more than just a team award.