Sorry Charlie, Sweet Lou Takes Bitterness Out of First Round Knockout

It will be on the radio, TV and all over the news.

His face will be on the front of all the magazines including the heralded Sports Illustrated and his city will love him.

And you better believe it will be the ultimate water cooler conversation.

The winner of the  2008 National League Manager of the year -- the man who turned his team around -- who bounded the troops and brought his city together is...

Charlie... er... Lou Piniella?

What the Chuck?

Listen, it's the sound of a million hearts breaking.

Sweet Lou is the manager of the year securing 15 of the 32 total first place votes for 103 points to Charlie Manuel's mere eight first place votes and 67  total points.

There is nothing sweet about Lou right now.

This is the same man who guided his team to the NL Central title, boasting a NL best  97-64 record only to get swept -- no wait -- spanked and utterly humiliated in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight year.

The Dodgers beat down the Cubs yet Lou's the Baseball Writers of America Associations selection for manager of the year.

What the Chuck?

Sorry Charlie, I guess a World Championship just isn't enough sometimes. 

Joe Madden, who almost brought his team to the promise land only to lose the World Series to the Phillies was the overwhelming choice in the American League for the award. The Rays went from the worst to the best team in baseball in quite possibly the greatest turnaround in baseball history.
The payoff only seems fair for Maddon.

Yet for Manuel, the good ol' southern boy who brought Philadelphia its first championship in 25 years by tallying the second best regular season record in the National League.

He Phils then chugged past C.C. Sabathia and the Brew Crew in the Divisional Series and manhandled the Dodgers the way only Sly Stallone could do in a Hollywood blockbuster in the NLCS before they made the Rays look like a fish out of water in the World Series.

But Phillies fans, before we march down Broad Street like General Sherman's last stand destroying everything in our way or volunteer firefighters start putting the smack down on their own trucks, let's take one thing into consideration.

The voting was conducted before the start of the playoffs.

It just doesn't seem right, does it? Maybe the awards name is too deceiving but it sounds like Manager of the Year should be for the entire year including the playoffs. That's not the way it's done.

The current system is a disservice to the game and its accomplishments.

Manuel would been only the second Phillies manager take home the award. The man he replaced Larry Bowa won it in 2001.

Piniella is the first Cubbie manager to win mounting this one on the mantle next to the two others he received with his days on the Mariners bench.

This isn't the first time a Phillies manager was overlooked in the voting. Jim Fregosi finished second behind San Francisco's Dusty Baker in 1993 after leading the  Phillies to the National League Pennant.

San Francisco didn't make the playoff that season.

So buy  up the Lou Piniella SI cover edition because it looks like a championship jinx for the Cubs will be another hundred years.

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