I know that AL Manager of the Year was pretty much decided back in June/July when the Rays beat everyone's expectations and had their first winning season ever. All the credit went to Joe Maddon. Nevermind that he was working with a significantly improved roster, and had players who finally lived up to expectations, instead of under performing like they had previous years.
Ron Gardenhire is simply a more deserving manager. I certainly criticize Gardy's in-game management, but his ability to motivate players is simply superior to all others. Plus, it's hard to ignore all the times he does make the right personnel decisions. Take tonight's key matchup with the White Sox.
Joe Christenson if the Strib wrote before the game, "The DH decision likely comes down to Jason Kubel vs. Michael Cuddyer. Kubel is 2-for-21 (.095) against Vazquez, and Cuddyer is 12-for-35 (.343) with two homers and six RBI."
Who did Gardy go with? Kubel. Who was the key player of the game, with 2 HR and a triple? Kubel.
I don't know how he did it, but he made the right decision. And that's the key to a great manager.
Throw in the fact that the Twins have outperformed expectations (just like the Rays) but have done so after losing the best pitcher in baseball and one of the best center fielders. The Rays didn't lose talent after last year. The Twins did. They also lost their most important right-handed hitter for a good chunk of the season, had their starting 2b go down with an injury for a while, lost their best set-up guy for the season, and cut their opening day pitcher and third baseman. Oh, and the Twins are the youngest team in baseball.
I'm not the man's biggest fan, but there's just no way that Gardy shouldn't be Manager of the Year.
You stated your case time and again
I thought about it