Blog Entry

Who is frontrunner for AL Manager of the Year?

Posted on: September 9, 2011 3:05 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 4:18 pm
By Evan Brunell

During the week, Eye on Baseball will be profiling candidates to win baseball's major awards after the season. Today: the AL Manager of the Year

View contenders for the: AL MVP | NL MVP | AL Cy Young | NL Cy Young | AL Rookie of the Year | NL Rookie of the Year

Manager of the Year voting is fairly unique in all of baseball's modern awards. Winning a lot of games gets you immense credit, but not if you've been on a winning streak for some time. That's why Terry Francona has yet to win the award despite already ranking as Boston's best skipper in franchise history -- unless you consider it Joe Cronin, who never won a ring. Manager of the Year voting is largely awarded to those who succeeded with teams that weren't thought to be contenders. That influences the list of five skippers below, listed alphabetically. (Only three names can be listed on a ballot.)

Manny Acta, Indians
Current record through Sept. 8: 70-71
2010 Indians record: 69-93

Acta is certainly a prime candidate for the award, as no one expected the Indians to get this relevant quickly. After trading one losing situation for another when being fired in Washington, Acta's stature is on the rise. Known as a skipper who studies sabermetric concepts, Acta is also known for his enthusiasm and has many fans in the game. Acta has seen an Indians team survive no shortage of injuries that cut its Cinderella season short, but put baseball on notice that the Indians are a team to take seriously.

Terry Francona, Red Sox
Current record: 85-58
2010 Red Sox record: 89-73

As mentioned above, Francona has never won an Manager of the Year award. At this point, Boston's success is expected, which sets Francona back in his chances to win the award, especially when the offseason saw two high-flight acquisitions join the offense after missing the postseason in 2010. But Francona's work so far this year should be commended, as the team weathered a 2-10 start to sit atop the division for periods at a time. The team has been hit hard by injuries in the pitching staff, but the team has been able to keep it together. It can't be easy to manage a team as loaded as the Red Sox, weighed down by all expectations, but Francona has been able to keep the team free of controversy and focused on the prize.

Jim Leyland, Tigers
Current record: 81-62
2010 Tigers record: 81-81

Unlike the Red Sox, the Tigers had fairly minimal turnover aside from the blockbuster signing of Victor Martinez. Yet, the team has already matched its wins total from 2010 and has the division in hand, setting the team up for just its second playoff appearance since 1987. The other time making the playoffs was Leyland's first year in Detroit, when the team won the AL pennant before falling to the Cardinals. Leyland's done all this despite having to put a fire out in spring training when Miguel Cabrera was arrested for a DUI. The resulting effects could have torn the team apart, but it didn't. When you combine the Tigers' success plus Leyland's stature in the game, you get the mix of someone who should be considered the frontrunner for the award.

Joe Maddon, Rays
Current record: 78-64
2010 Rays record: 96-66

Yes, Maddon's team has taken a clear step back. Just a year after winning the division title, the Rays are slated to miss the playoffs by a fairly significant margin. And yet, this year has to be considered a success. Tampa Bay was clearly out of the race from Opening Day thanks to the presence of the Yankees, a beefed-up Sox team and a Rays club that saw the subtraction of Carl Crawford, Matt Garza and nearly the entire bullpen. Yet, here the Rays are, 14 games above .500 and with an outside shot at the wild card.

Mike Scioscia, Angels
Current record: 78-65
2010 Angels record: 80-82

Scioscia has already won the award twice -- 2002 and 2009 -- but could be adding a third. Despite having to contend with another season without Kendrys Morales and GM Tony Reagins foisting Vernon Wells onto him, Scioscia has the Angels threatening to take away the Rangers' division hopes. Scioscia isn't without his warts, as his insistence on playing catchers who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a bat shows, but he's clearly doing something right. The Angels have long overperformed with Scioscia at the help and this year is no different with a below-average offense being shored up by a trio of pitchers in Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.

Let us know in the comments who your AL manager of the year is.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 12:18 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 7:15 pm

Who is frontrunner for AL Manager of the Year?

Privileged my hubby and i discovered , all of this effective online page, will guarantee to help you search for them in order to take place if you want to normally.

Since: Sep 23, 2011
Posted on: September 23, 2011 1:19 am

Who is frontrunner for AL Manager of the Year?

Manny Acta is Latino and so am I dumbass!! What it's always gotta be racists for...UGH!!

Since: Sep 15, 2011
Posted on: September 15, 2011 7:42 pm

Who is frontrunner for AL Manager of the Year?

The Tigers have a higher pay roll because they have to over pay. Detriot is not thought of as a happening place.

Since: May 2, 2008
Posted on: September 13, 2011 9:02 pm

Who is frontrunner for AL Manager of the Year?

Is the Tigers payroll that much greater than the Twins or White Sox?  It used to be but not anymore.  The fact is hardly anybody picked the Tigers to win the AL Central before the season started and they are running away with it.  They are a threat to win the AL now with the additions of Fister and Delmon Young.  It's hard to give anybody Manager of the Year when they are leading a team .500 or below.  Leyland has been under constant scrutiny all year locally and his team has peaked when it counted. 

Since: Apr 17, 2007
Posted on: September 13, 2011 8:08 pm

Where's Ozzie?

Where's Ozzie Guillen's name?


Since: Nov 8, 2008
Posted on: September 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Who is frontrunner for AL Manager of the Year?

I love the tigers but Manny Acta deserves the award hands down.

Since: Oct 11, 2008
Posted on: September 11, 2011 11:04 pm

Who is frontrunner for AL Manager of the Year?

Whatever ypur just pissed cuz the Lions kicked the Bucs azzes and the Tigers are on the Prowl.

Since: May 18, 2010
Posted on: September 11, 2011 1:09 pm

Who is frontrunner for AL Manager of the Year?

I hate the Yankees, but the job management has done to be leading the AL East with that crap pitching staff and not the deepest of lineups is to me worth a manager of the year award. leyland has done a nice job but winning that garbage division is not close in achievments.

Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: September 11, 2011 7:03 am

Who is frontrunner for AL Manager of the Year?

Last I checked Indians arent even close to in contention.  As far as the crap about the east would tear us up and Maddon would rock in our division, didnt we smoke Tampa this year.  If they are so much better than detroit then why have we rocked them this year.  We are better than we are given credit for.  How far we go, we will see but we are a fun team to watch finally and can beat anybody.

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