As we begin award season around baseball, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance unveils the first award for the 2012 season.
The Connie Mack Award is given annually by the alliance to the top managers in each league. This year’s vote was a landslide in the National League and the closest of all the award votes in the American League.
Davey Johnson, who led the Washington Nationals into the post-season for the first time in the past 31 years as a franchise, was acknowledged by the group as the premier skipper of the Senior Circuit. The Nationals franchise, then known as the Montreal Expos, last appeared in the playoffs in 1981. Johnson led an exciting group of young players to the best record in Major League Baseball this season, winning 98 games and a division title in a highly competitive National League East division.
Davey Johnson received 71% of the vote throughout the BBA.
In the closest vote out of all five awards to be given by the BBA this season, Bob Melvin of the Oakland A’s took the victory over his counterpart, Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles, by a narrow 2% margin.
Two of the most surprising teams in all of baseball earned their managers plenty of votes before the Oakland skipper emerged as the victor. Melvin would lead the A’s to the second best record in the American League, winning 94 games and holding the defending American League champion Texas Rangers off, forcing the Rangers to qualify for the postseason as a wild card.
The ballots for the BBA Awards are completed prior to the end of the regular season annually. While both managers found regular season success and led their teams forward into the postseason, both teams would be eliminated in their respective Division Series appearances to Detroit and St. Louis.
Previous Connie Mack Award Winners
2011: Joe Maddon, Tampa; Kirk Gibson, Arizona
2010: Ron Washington, Texas; Bud Black, San Diego
2009: Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles of Anaheim; Jim Tracy, Colorado
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 232 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.
CALCATERRA WINS 2012 JOE POSNANSKI AWARD
July 13, 2012–The Baseball Bloggers Alliance today named Hardball Talk lead blogger Craig Calcaterra as the winner of the 2012 Joe Posnanski Award, honoring the top internet writer of the year. Besides being the lead voice at Hardball Talk, the baseball blog of NBCSports, Calcaterra can also be found interacting with his readers via his Twitter account.
The Writer of the Year Award was created by the BBA to honor those writers who, beyond being exceptionally great at their craft, have taken to the internet in a full and vigorous fashion. Voters were instructed to take into account not only the writing abilities of the nominees but also their online presense, whether via blog or other media, as well as how they interact with their followers and fans.
“It seems only appropriate to honor Craig Calcaterra, as he could be seen as ‘living the dream’ for many bloggers,” said outgoing BBA president Daniel Shoptaw. “Calcaterra quit lawyering, began blogging and quickly rose to a place of prominence. What blogger wouldn’t want to follow in those footsteps?”
Voters were allowed to vote for three of the five nominees, casting a first, second and third place ballot. Those ballots were tabulated based on a 5-3-1 point scale.
Calcaterra received 276 points, which included 32 first-place votes from the 119 ballots cast. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was runner-up with 245 points and Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus third with 209 points. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs (208) and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (194) rounded out the ballot.
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. You can follow the BBA on Facebook and Twitter or contact them at email@example.com
BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE SELECTS NEW PRESIDENT
Bill Ivie replaces founder in top slot
July 13, 2012–The Baseball Bloggers Alliance, the top organization of baseball bloggers, today announced that after a polling of the membership, Bill Ivie would replace Daniel Shoptaw as the president of the group.
Ivie, who writes at I70 Baseball and Full Spectrum Baseball, is no stranger to large groups, having been an assignment editor at Baseball Digest in the past, as well as an active member of the United Cardinal Bloggers. Ivie also is the organizer of Ivie League Productions, under which label the BBA has its weekly show, BBA Baseball Talk featuring David Mitchell. Ivie’s voice can be heard weekly on Gateway To Baseball Heaven, as part of the Seamheads Podcasting Network.
“It is an honor and a pleasure to accept this position. Daniel Shoptaw has done an amazing job cultivating this group and I look forward to working with everyone involved to help the organization grow and move forward consistently.”
Shoptaw was the founder of the BBA, starting the group in the fall of 2009 and watching it grow to hundreds of members. Born out of a couple of personal projects, the Alliance quickly expanded to cover every MLB team and also included blogs with more of a general baseball approach or those that covered a specific aspect of the game, such as fantasy baseball or minor league baseball.
For his part, Shoptaw still plans to be involved with the organization but will focus more of his time on other projects, such as his blog C70 At The Bat and its related podcast Conversations With C70, his leadership of the United Cardinal Bloggers, and his weekly appearances on Gateway To Baseball Heaven.
Shoptaw stated, “It was time to move on. I appreciate all the members of the BBA and what they have done to strengthen this organization. It truly is a world-class collection of talent and I’m proud to know all of them. I’ve known Bill for a long time and I know that he will provide extreme amounts of energy and leadership in this role. I look forward to seeing what the next few years hold for the Alliance!”
The membership requests continue to overwhelm the BBA staff. Here are some of the newest ones that have been processed:
–Justin follows the Padres with the FanSided blog Chicken Friars.
–Billing their site as a “collision between baseball and pop culture,” check out Geoffrey at our new General Chapter site, Pop Fly Boys.
–You can keep an eye on the Astros’ minor league system by reading Jayne’s blog, What The Heck, Bobby?
–Another new General Chapter site is Baseblog, written by Justin with a specific eye on the NL Central.
–Corey is a journalist by trade but also writes a Cardinals blog called Balls & Strikes.
–Yet another General Chapter member, this time Jeremy writing about baseball at The Wolf’s Den.
–Craig writes from the Bay Area, covering the team in orange in black at THE San Francisco Giants Blog.
–Heading up north, Gideon can be found monitoring the Toronto squad at Blue Jays Plus.
There are still more new members to come, so keep watching!
The welcomes that started yesterday continue on this afternoon!
–Loic bring his Major Baseball to the General Baseball Chapter of the organization and in doing so becomes the third foreign-language blog on the rolls.
–There’s always something baking at Aaron’s Tasty Baseball Blog and Aaron brings his goods into our General Baseball Chapter.
–The General Baseball Chapter has to add on a new wing for all their new members! Also joining up is Niklas and Niktig’s Baseball Blog.
–Keeping an eye on the up-and-comers is the job of the new Other Baseball blog, Minoring In Baseball.
–Jeff writes up the Mets and their players over at Metsrospectus.
–Check out Clave and Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks if you are needing some help preparing for your league this year.
–Kyle keeps up with baseball cards at his Miscellaneous Chapter blog, Jabo’s Baseball Card Blog
–Out on the West Coast, Trevor follows all things orange and black at The Giants Baseball Blog.
–Dizzy and Curley bring you Crum-Bum Beat, yet another General Baseball Chapter member.
–Steve has a look at a specific card set in his Miscellaneous Chapter blog, The Greatest 21 Days.
–The other squad in New York gains a new BBA member as well with Rasheeda writing at Bomber Boulevard.
–Andrew helps keep your baseball history knowledge spruced up at his aptly-named blog The Baseball Historian.
–Finally (for now), another Other Baseball blog that focuses on disbanded minor league teams. Check out Andy’s work at Fun While It Lasted!
Over the last few months, a slew of applications to join the Baseball Bloggers Alliance have come in. Slowly but surely, we are processing them all and getting them set up as full members of this great group. So welcome some of our new members:
–Corey writes about the independent Long Island Ducks for his LI Ducks Blog and will fit in well in the Other Baseball Chapter.
–Stevo is a new addition to the General Baseball Chapter with his blog wonderfully entitled The Baseball Enthusiast.
More on the way!
In the annual polling of members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin and former Houston Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell were recommended for induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame. This is the third year the organization has conducted this survey of the membership.
Larkin, a 12-time All-Star who fashioned an .815 OPS over 19 seasons, received the largest percentage of votes, being named on 84.25% of the 148 ballots cast. This is the highest percentage garnered by any player in the three years of BBA voting.
Bagwell, who hit 449 HR and had a .948 OPS in his 15 seasons in Houston, was selected on 115 ballots for a 78.77% rate. As with the official voting done by the Baseball Writers of America, a player must be named on 75% of the ballots to be recommended by the alliance.
Last year, the BBA recommended second baseman Roberto Alomar and pitcher Bert Blyleven, both of whom were inducted into Cooperstown during the summer. In 2010, no player reached the 75% mark in BBA balloting, the year that outfielder Andre Dawson was selected for the Hall by the baseball writers.
The Baseball Bloggers Alliance’s vote has no impact on the official vote taken by the Baseball Writers of America. However, the BBA has often been a predictor of major awards granted by the writers.
The final voting results are as follows:
Barry Larkin 84.25%
Jeff Bagwell 78.77%
Edgar Martinez 60.27%
Tim Raines 57.53%
Alan Trammell 44.52%
Mark McGwire 41.10%
Larry Walker 35.62%
Lee Smith 33.56%
Jack Morris 32.19%
Don Mattingly 29.45%
Rafael Palmerio 28.77%
Fred McGriff 28.08%
Dale Murphy 16.44%
Bernie Williams 11.64%
Juan Gonzalez 6.16%
Javy Lopez 2.74%
Brad Radke 2.05%
Tim Salmon 1.37%
Bill Mueller 0.68%
Phil Nevin 0.68%
Ruben Sierra 0.68%
Tony Womack 0.68%
Jeromy Burnitz 0.00%
Vinny Castilla 0.00%
Brian Jordan 0.00%
Terry Mulholland 0.00%
Eric Young 0.00%
The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was established in the fall of 2009 for the purpose of fostering collaboration and communication among bloggers from across baseball. The BBA has quickly grown to its current membership of 347 blogs, including some of the most prominent blogs on the Internet, spanning all major league teams and various other general aspects of the game.