Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin led his team to a National League-best 90 wins and a playoff berth, finishing with 119 points including 19 out of a possible 32 first-place votes.
Charlie Manuel, who guided the Phillies to their first post-season appearance in 14 seasons, finished second with 76 points, receiving seven first-place votes. Colorado Rockies manager Clint Hurdle and Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella also received first-place votes and finished third and fourth, respectively. Beerleaguer: Cholly did a nice job keeping the Phillies ship from sinking, but Melvin was the right choice for conquering a tough NL West with a young, unheralded club.
Amaro says payroll over $100 million last season: Yesterday on Comcast Daily News Live, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said team payroll topped $100 million in 2007 and he reiterated that the budget will stay the same or go just a little north of that in 2008. Most reports put last year’s payroll in the neighborhood of $95 million, 13th highest in baseball according to USA Today, but Amaro strongly contends that it was higher. Amaro says contractual commitments already put them close to their limit, with arbitration to Ryan Howard and several others still looming. The assistant GM maintains that pitching remains a priority and indicated they may not have enough to meet the demands of Aaron Rowand. If that’s the case, Amaro says they will be seeking a fourth outfielder. Beerleaguer: This team is very close to taking the next step. Phillies ownership will face the fire like never before if they continue standing in the way of it.
In other news: Amaro told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the team has discussed free agent pitchers Randy Wolf and Bartolo Colon.