So all the major baseball awards (aside from the Most Valuable Player) have been given out. I'll focus in on the American and National League Manager of the Year awards. Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Jim Tracy of the Colorado Rockies have won the AL and NL managers of the year awards respectively. Let me first cover the AL vote.
Scioscia won the award with a total of 106 points (15 1st place votes, 10 2nd place and 1 3rd place). Following Scioscia in the voting was Ron Gardenhire of the Minnesota Twins with 72 points and Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees with 34 points. Though the Angels finished 1st in the AL West and dealt with adverity with the death of Nick Adenhart I don't believe that he should have won the award. Allow me to address Joe Girardi.
As a Yankees fan I believe that Girardi had as much right to win the award as anyone else. But he suffers (as does his ace pitcher CC Sabathia which I will discuss later) from the expectations that the Yankees have throughout the league. How can a manager like Joe Girardi with the talent that he has at his disposal not succeed though we all know that having massive amounts of talent on your team doesn't guarantee success. Instead of celebrating the fact that the Yankees won 103 games and had the best record in the league (103-59 .636), it works negatively to Girardi's position as the Yankees should have done it. I guess that's what comes with managing the Yankees. So who do I believe should have won the award? Ron Gardenhire!
I believe that Scioscia should be held to the same standard as Joe Girardi since his team has talent comparable to both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Aside from losing both Francisco Rodriguez and Mark Texiera in the offseason, both players were suitably replaced by Brian Fuentes, Kendry Morales and Bobby Abreu. Scioscia's team was virtually stocked with all of their superstars for the entire season. This is not the case with the perennial 2nd place finisher Gardenhire.
Gardenhire has now finished 2nd in the AL manager of the year voting 5 times. This season was even more impressive since the team only has 3 superstars in Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan and Morneau was lost to the team with 3 weeks left. With the team being behind 5.5 games in the standings with 21 games remaining the team went 17-4. Even more amazing was that the Twins were coming back from three games down with four to play to force a division tie and a dramatic 1 game playoff against the Detroit Tigers to win the AL Central title for the 5th time in the last 8 seasons. I guess Gardenhire needs to have the Twins win a World Series to finally win the award.
Now on to the NL Manager of the Year vote. To me this one was a no-brainer. Jim Tracy of the Colorado Rockies won the award with a total of 151 points (29 1st place votes, 2 2nd place). Tony Larussa of the St. Louis Cardinals placed 2nd with 55 points and Joe Torre of the Los Angeles Dodgers placed 3rd with 33 points. when Tracy was hired as manager of the Colorado Rockies after the firing of Clint Hurdle on May 29 with the team playing at a record of 18-28. After that point the team played to a record of 74-42 (.638 winning percentage) finishing with a franchise best 92-70 (.568 winning percentage) and capturing the NL Wild Card.
For more information on these awards and others, please check out the following link: 2009 MLB Awards on MLB.com Please feel free to comment with your agreement/disagreement. Maybe you believe someone else should have gotten consideration. Let me know, I'd like to hear about it. In my next post, I'll cover the AL and NL Cy Young Awards winners and I'll give my prediction for the MVP awards.