Friday, October 21, 2011

AL Manager of the Year Picks

This post marks the fifth in our eight-post installment highlighting baseball's major awards. Today we break down the candidates and give you our picks for American League Manager of the Year.

Joe Girardi - New York Yankees
-Guided his club to a league-best 97-65 record and a first place finish in the AL East Division. Benefited from the majors' largest payroll at nearly $200 million.

Jim Leyland - Detroit Tigers
-Led team to AL Central Divsion title with a 95-67 record. Improved win total by 14 over previous season. Boasted the majors' 10th highest payroll at $106 million.

Joe Maddon - Tampa Bay Rays
-Managed the Rays to an improbable Wild Card berth with a 91-71 record. Did so using a payroll that ranked last in the league at $42 million.

Mike Scioscia - Los Angeles Angels
-Directed squad to a 86-76 record and runner-up finish in the AL West Division. Ranked fourth among MLB in payroll at $139 million.

Ron Washington - Texas Rangers
-Helped team capture second consecutive AL West Division crown with a 96-66 record. Texas was the owner of the 13th highest payroll this season at $92 million.

@RedlegsReview's pick:

Joe Maddon - I continue to marvel at this guy's ability to do so much with less. He's simply a wizard when it comes to managing his team -- as indicated by the Rays' third trip to the postseason in four years. Maddon lost several key players from those playoff teams in the past, namely Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, Carlos Pena and Rafeal Soriano, but yet still found a way to surge past Boston for the last playoff spot. And in spite of being hamstrung by having the league's lowest payroll, playing in the rugged, ultra-competitive AL East, dealing with offseason addition Manny Ramirez's untimely retirement and having to shuffle the lineup when his best player Evan Longoria battled injury, Tampa Bay still continued to beat the odds by winning. My apologies to Ron Washington who comes in a close second on my ballot, but Maddon deserves this honor in my opinion.

@RedlegsWriter's pick:

Ron Washington - The Rangers lost their best pitcher and one of the best pitchers in the game today and won six more games than they won last year. They won their division fairly comfortably, though some say the Angels made it interesting. In the end though, the Rangers took care of business and made their own destiny, finishing 9-1 in their last 10 games to win the AL West by 10 games. All that has to say something about how Ron Washington managed this team, and for me it says he was the best manager in the AL.

Remember to check back tomorrow as we break down the candidates and our picks for NL Manager of the Year.

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