All Things Baseball

Managers of the Year

The Manager of the Year award seems simple: it goes to the best manager from each league. But wait, how do you determine the best manager? In my opinion, there’s 5 things which factor in.

  1. On-field decision-making
  2. Ability to keep players focused and involved in the game
  3. Ability to motivate players and keep the team going during slumps
  4. Self-control during arguments with umpires — teams do not do well when their manager is ejected
  5. The obvious: the team’s final record and place in the standings

So, based on those 5 factors, here are my choices for the 2006 Manager of the Year award.


Ron Gardenhire

Up until this weekend my choice would’ve been Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland. But something very important took place on Sunday afternoon; the Twins passed the Tigers in the AL Central standings and won the division, leaving the Tigers with the Wildcard. Leyland and Gardenhire are two of the best managers in baseball. Each of them makes great decisions during the game, can keep their respective teams focused on baseball, knows how to motivate the team to keep playing during difficulties and struggles, and (least importantly), each can control himself when arguing. The edge goes to Ron Gardenhire simply because the Twins won the AL Central crown (factor #5), though the award could very well go to Jimmy Leyland as well.

AL Choice: Ron Gardenhire — Twins


Willie Randolph

Honestly, there just isn’t a clear-cut Manager of the Year in the National League. None of the 16 NL teams has been overly impressive this season, so I’m simply going to give my award to the manager of the best NL team: Willie Randolph of the Mets. You can’t argue with the fact that the Mets are the best team in the National League this season, and the job that Willie Randolph has done to bring them there is no joke. Since taking the subway from Yankees Stadium to Shea Stadium, Randolph has been one of baseball’s best managers, and it has shown in his team’s on-field production and attitude this season.

Ron Gardenhire and Willie Randolph — could the two teams managed by my predicted winners possibly meet in the World Series? It’s certainly possible, though both the Twins and the Mets have a tough road to the October Classic.


Trivia Time!

Here’s the answer to yesterday’s question…

Q: If Greg Maddux wins another Gold Glove this season, it will the 16th of his career; a remarkable one, both in the way that he has pitched, and in the way that he has fielded position #1. A 16th award would tie Maddux with two former MLB greats. Can you name one or both of them?

A: Brooks Robinson (3B) and Jim Kaat (P)

Today’s question is…

Tony LaRussa has won the Manager of the Year award 4 times, with 3 different teams. Can you name all 3?


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