One week ago, we brought you news that Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez was named as a “finalist” for the National League Manager of the Year award, but on Tuesday, the final voting was revealed.
Fredi Gonzalez finished third in this year’s NL Manager of the Year balloting. Clint Hurdle won the honor and Don Mattingly finished second.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) November 12, 2013
Unfortunately, Gonzalez finishes 3rd among the 3 finalists (as noted by MLB.com’s Mark Bowman above) as both Clint Hurdle of the Pirates (the winner) and Don Mattingly of the Dodgers surpassed him in the balloting. As far as the tally goes, Fredi did garner 3 1st-place votes (more than Mattingly’s 2), but the majority of the voters (16, to be exact) had him 3rd, and Clint Hurdle ran away with things with 25 1st-place selections.
This isn’t a “slight” of any kind in my view, as while Gonzalez is certainly improving, I don’t consider him to be among the game’s best at his occupation. The real argument for Gonzalez in this voting was the “exceeded expectations” narrative with the Braves winning their first division title in nearly a decade, but with the massive turnaround by the Pirates, that wasn’t going to stand up.
It’s far too easy to make jokes about any of the 3 candidates (chiefly Mattingly, who any Braves fan could reference as the guy who walked Reed Johnson to pitch to Jason Heyward), but Gonzalez’s nomination was an honor nonetheless.