Miami Marlins manager and former Cincinnati Reds player Skip Schumaker led his team to the postseason in his first season at the helm in South Beach and won the 2023 NL Manager of the Year Award.
Schumaker received eight first-place votes, eight second-place votes, and eight third-place votes. Each vote has a different point value, and the total was enough to hand the award to the first-year skipper. Brian Snitker, who also received eight first-place votes, finished third.
Reds manager David Bell, who received one first-place vote himself, finished a distant sixth in the race for the NL Manager of the Year despite overcoming a myriad of injuries to his starting rotation, a roster comprised of rookies, and 100 losses in 2022.
David Bell gets first-place vote, finishes 6th for NL Manager of the Year
But in the end, the Baseball Writers' Association of America probably got it right. While David Bell's team made great strides in 2023, the Cincinnati Reds did not make it to the postseason.
There's an argument to be made that Bell should have finished higher than sixth-place. After all, much like runnerup to the 2022 AL Manager of the Year Brandon Hyde, Bell took a bunch of first and second-year players to the brink of the playoffs after having lost 100 games the year prior.
But other skippers like Skip Schumaker, Craig Counsell, and Dave Roberts led their clubs to the MLB Postseason. While those teams arguably had more talent that the Reds last season, voting for the Manager of the Year Awards are not as clear cut as MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year.
Are the voters supposed to reward a manager who's team gets the most out of the talent? Should the award be handed out to the skipper whose team posted the best win-loss record? Or, is about the man who leads his team to unexpected heights? There's a lot of gray area when it comes to this award.
But David Bell received some much-desreved recognition from the BBWAA, and even a first-place vote from Mark Schmetzer. Bell received a three-year contract extension this past season and will look to improve upon the team's 82-win season from 2023.