AL and NL Managers of the Year were announced last night and while the AL winner isn’t much of a surprise, the NL was a very pleasant (and, in my opinion, very welcome) surprise.
AL Manager of the Year – Terry Francona, Cleveland
Tito was an easy choice. This is the second time in four years that Francona has won manager of the year for a team that has had an enormous turnaround in the last several years, and I believe have the potential to return to the World Series next year as well. Also – champion ice cream eater. Congrats, Terry.
NL Manager of the Year – Dave Roberts, Los Angeles
What’s this? Joe Maddon didn’t win? While most people are surprised at this, I personally think that this is a really good choice.
Most of the time, there is too much credit given to a manager, but I think that a good manager is a guy who stays out of the way when the team is going well, yet rights the ship when the team isn’t going too well. And a bad manager…well…I think a bad manager actually does affect the team because he’s going to make crappy decisions.
The mark of a good manager is one who can take all the rotten stuff that happens throughout the year and can still make decisions that help the team instead of just rolling over and dying.
Dave Roberts had a team that was falling apart at the seams. I can’t tell you how many people ended up on the DL over the course of the season in LA; not to mention the decimation of the pitching staff, losing a legitimate perennial Cy Young and MVP candidate Clayton Kershaw for most of the year – a player that, for many teams, would ring the death knell. Under Roberts, a rookie manager mind you, Justin Turner and Rich Hill bounced back and had some of their finest seasons on record.
For the Dodgers to not only finish as strong as they did, but reach the playoffs, was basically a minor miracle. I do think that Dave Roberts did an excellent job with the team and was rightfully awarded the National League Manager of the Year.
But, what do you think?