Every writer who is a member of the FanSided Family was given the opportunity to vote for who we thought deserved to win multiple awards this season. The awards we voted for were Manager of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Reliever of the Year, Starting Pitcher of the Year, and of course MVP (Most Valuable Player). Every writer for a team in the AL only voted for AL players. Each winner will be announced on FanSided’s general baseball blog, Call to the Pen. However, I will also post the winner every time it is released on the site, give you a link to the article, and throw in my own opinions.
First up, Manager of the Year. We were asked to name our top 3 picks with number one being the best. My number one was Jim Leyland with the Detroit Tigers. Second, I had Manny Acta with the Cleveland Indians. Finally, I had to put in Joe Girardi with the Yankees. You’ll probably notice two things. One: I did not include the winner, Joe Maddon, and two: Buck Showalter is not on my list either.
In retrospect, I should have exchanged Maddon for Girardi. Maddon took a team with a small payroll who also lost a ton of players last year -and who were expected to maybe take over the Orioles role in the bottom of the division (depending on how the O’s did)- into the playoffs. Although they didn’t make it past the ALDS, it was still a very impressive feat for the guy. Just imagine what he said and did to get his team to rally from a 7-0 deficit on game number 162!
I still think Leyland deserves the award overall. The Tigers finished at .500 last season earning 3rd place in their division. This year, they ended the season with an amazing 95-67 record and will play game one of the ALCS against the Rangers tomorrow night thanks to a game 5 win over the Yankees in New York.
Manny Acta deserves some major credit as well. Even though the Indians couldn’t pull off a post season appearance, he did surprise everyone. After taking over last year in Cleveland (after his unsightly 26-61 record in 87 games with Washington), he finished with a 69-93 record, 4th in the division. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? What doesn’t sound familiar is the turn around year the club had. The Indians finished only 2 games under .500 at 80-82, but they placed 2nd in their division (clearly, a terrible one). Good for you Manny.
As for Showalter, how could he ever win that? The O’s improved by a few games this season. That’s it. However, it seems as a few writers disagree with me as he was voted number 7.
To read the full article and see who else made the top list, go here!
Also, the winner for the NL is Arizona Diamondbacks’ Kirk Gibson who brought the Dbacks from the basement to the top of the division this year with a 94-68 regular season record. He also coached them back from a 0-2 deficit in the NLDS against the Brewers to force a game 5 tonight. Read all about that and other NL Manager winners here!