With the AL/NL Managers of the Year and NL Cy Young awards presented in the last 2 days, do you think that the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) right people got the award?
AL Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon, TB
I think they nailed this one. The Rays were down 9 games in the Wild Card with a month left to play. In their last month of the season, the Rays went 17-9. They caught the Boston Red Sox with 3 games to play and won the Wild Card on the final day of the season. Maddon also had to deal with a roster that saw star outfielder Carl Crawford bolt to AL East rival the Red Sox, as well as most of their bullpen from the year before.
NL Manager of the Year: Kirk Gibson, ARI
This manager lead a team that a year ago was dead last in their division. He was named interim manager in July 2010 and since his hire the D-Backs have gone 125-110 over his period as manager. In 2010 the D-Backs finished 26 games back in their division, good for last in their division, but in 2011 the won their division over the defending world champions the San Francisco Giants by 8 games.
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, LAD
Kershaw deserves this award for one reason, or maybe four, he beat the two-time defending Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum not once but four times this season. Those games were scored, 2-1, 1-0, 2-1, and 2-1 while only giving up 1 earned run over 30 and 1/3 innings. His season stats were evenly impressive going 21-5 with a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts. Those stats are pretty good for a pitcher who played on a team that finished just under 12 games back.
As the awards are presented I’ll try to give my thoughts about them.