Rising Apple could not agree more with the choice for NL Manager of the Year. Gibson, who ran away with the honor, took a team that finished 65-97 and last in the National League West in 2010 to a 94-68 record in 2011, culminating in a division title and near advancement to the NLCS. Safe to say that expectations for the Arizona Diamondbacks will be higher next season.
Our second and third choices, Don Mattingly and Clint Hurdle, didn’t finish as high as we thought. In his first year as a big league manager, Mattingly guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 82-79 record, despite injuries, lack of quality talent and many off the field problems, all with little fanfare. In fact, the Dodgers went to under the radar that many people express surprise when they realize the Dodgers finished above .500. Hurdle, meanwhile, had the Pittsburgh Pirates in contention through the first half of the season before spiraling downward in the second half. While he didn’t prevent another sub-.500 season, the Pirates still show youth and promise.
For what it’s worth, Terry Collins received one vote and should receive some recognition for posting a respectable record despite decimating injuries and numerous off the field issues.
Although Rising Apple didn’t cast a vote for AL Manager of the Year, Joe Maddon is the right choice, especially after leading the Tampa Bay Rays through their furious September push to the playoffs.
Stay tuned to Rising Apple and the Fansided network as more awards are revealed throughout the postseason.