Awards week continued tonight with the most narrative driven of the awards—the Managers of the Year. The aren’t manager metrics to make comparisons of how well they do easy. Thus the voters tend to look at which teams outperformed expectations for whatever reason.
That reasoning is clearly at play for this year’s winners: X-ray Rocco Baldelli for the AL and Mike Schildt for the NL. Baldelli as a rookie manager for the Twins, led his club to 100 wins and ended the Indians’ division championship streak. Schildt’s Cards were not expected to overcome the Cubs and Brewers to take the NL Central Crown.
Congratulations to them both. Meanwhile, two of the other finalists also had compelling narratives that I thought might carry the day but didn’t. Aaron Boone as Yankees manager never had a stable roster all year; they won the AL East with over 100 wins despite having a record number players spend time on the IL—having to use the IL over 30 times. Speaking of injuries, Craig Counsel’s Brewers lost their best player to injury for the last month of the season, and they got hot and made the playoffs anyway.
Kevin Cash of the Rays and Brian Snitker both led high performing teams that were expected to be good with mostly young rosters.