Only a few games left in the season and I’m sure you’ve already seen posts and articles about what teams will be doing for next season. I’ve also read a couple about postseason awards. The season is not over by any means. This was merely a discussion a couple of members of the staff had. We will be voting on the awards in about a month.
So, we started with the NL Manager of the Year. To get the chatter going, I personally threw out a few names: Don Mattingly of the Dodgers, Fredi Gonzalez of the Braves, Clint Hurdle of the Pirates, and Mike Matheny of the Cardinals. When I put these names out there, it was to see the direction the staff would go. Thought might see another name brought into play. It didn’t take long to see where that direction was.
Torry chimed in with this:
“I really think Hurdle has to get it. He and his guys finally broke through with a A) Winning season B) Playoff contender C) Solid team that didn’t buckle under the pressure of their losing culture.”
The last couple of seasons had seen the Pirates take a dive in the latter months. That may have prompted Jesse with this:
“Would have to be in agreement with Hurdle, no question. Gonzalez/Matheny would battle for my 2nd spot, but a far-behind 2nd spot at that.”
Hard to argue with either Torry’s or Jesse’s take here, but I will say this.
Remember when there were calls for Mattingly’s head? On June 21, LA was 30-42, in last place in their division and 9.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks who led the division on that date. Since then, they are 58-23 and NL West champs.
I could also make an argument for Gonzalez as the Braves were completely overlooked at the onset of the season. Very few had Atlanta being the NL East winner. Now, they’re only a win – or a Nationals loss – away from taking their division.
On Matheny, he’s already led the Cards to more wins this year (90) as they had last year (88). He’s had to deal with decimating injuries to the pitching staff and not just one arm either. There’s all of those bats, but you still have to have a staff, and Matheny has pieced together a darn solid one.
Who would you vote for NL Manager of the Year?
- Fredi Gonzalez, ATL (18%, 3 Votes)
- Clint Hurdle, PIT (59%, 10 Votes)
- Mike Matheny, STL (12%, 2 Votes)
- Don Mattingly, LAD (11%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 17
And your vote will represent one vote among the staff when we vote for our year-end awards.