Happy off-season 2021/2022 to all you beautiful ballboys, ballgirls, and those who are new; WELCOME! This off-season, we are going to have a lot of fun. I love writing, I think about it daily, and between kids, work, school, the time has been limited. But it's my time to get back into more content and more writing!
Today, we will make a case for A.L. and N.L. Manager of the Year award finalists who I think deserve to take home the hardware. Before we jump into the post, I want to make a case for Dan-o's seasoning as the best seasoning on the open market. This winter, sign Dan-o's to your spice racks and thank me later. Click here to let them know I sent you.
1: Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners
What a year it was for Mariners fans everywhere. After being projected to win only 72.5 games on the season, the Mariners took over as the next team to beat in the A.L. West. Nobody thought that Mariners would finish just a game short of the playoffs in 2021. Servais led the M's to 90-72 record and 2nd place in the A.L. West. He did this while the M's posted a .688OPS, .986FLD%, 4.30ERA, which are the worst of the bunch of the six finalists for the two awards. How? How? Ask Servais and this particular group of players as they look to dethrone the Astros in 2022.
2: Dusty Baker, Houston Astros
Well, as much as I don't like to say. Dusty did a great job with the Astros leading them to the World Series and finishing in first place in the A.L. West and smashing the over of their projected win total of 86.5 games. After finishing the season with a 95-67, the Astros extended Baker and will attempt to run it back against the Mariners for the A.L. West. The Astros posted a .783OPS, .988FLD%, and 3.76ERA. Hats off to the Astros on a great season and what could have been even better with J.V. in the rotation.
3: Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays and Cash were my picks to go to the world series again, and Cash had my money on him to win back-to-back awards. After Vegas only projected the Rays to win 85.5 games, I believed they would win 94+ from the early parts of the season. The Rays smashed both their projects and my projected win totals and won 100 games and the A.L. East, which wasn't easy to pull off. However, with a team, .750OPS, .986FLD%, and 3.67ERA were enough to get the job done.
1: Mike Shildt, St. Louis Cardinals
The now jobless Shildt had one of the best 2nd half runs of all time with this Cardinals team. I had high hopes for the Cardinals as a playoff team all season, and I am glad they get Yadi and Waino back or one more run. While the Cardinals still smashed the over of their 86.5 Vegas projected win total. I don't understand how the Cardinals moved on from their manager after a 90-72 finish on the season with a team .725OPS, .986FLD%, and 3.98ERA. Great season from Shildt, and I can't wait to see where he lands next.
2: Gabe Kapler, San Francisco Giants
From 3rd place projected to 1st place in the N.L. what a wild and crazy ride for the Giants. Vegas projected them to win 75.5 games, and I projected them to win 82 games. Wow, I feel dumb. After a great season, the Giants rightfully extended their manager for two more seasons. The extension was well earned at a 107-55 record and a top seed in the N.L. finish. The team posted a team .769OPS, .986FLD%, 3.24ERA. What a season it was in the Bay.
3: Craig Counsell, Milwaukee Brewers.
The Brew-Crew, my goodness. Was this team fun to watch. Vegas projected them to win just 82.5 games, and I had them projected to finish right at .500. Counsell said to everyone, hold, on I got three top their arms; I can plug and play the hot hands at most positions on my roster. Counsell led this Brewers team to a 95-67 record and was a lock for the playoffs for the majority of the second half of the season. The Brewers combined for a .713OPS and .948FLD%. At the same time, they were pitching to a team of 3.85ERA.
*INSERT DRUMROLL* I am all in on Servais winning the A.L. award. I love my Mariners, and this group and this team and this leadership we have are right where it needs to be to dethrone the Astros. He did with this team to win 90 games, almost more than 20, than a project. Unbelievable.
The N.L. award goes to Kapler in my eyes. The N.L. west was set to be hyper-competitive between the Dodgers and the Padres. NOT the Giants and the Dodgers. It was some of the best September and October baseballs many of us have ever seen. Kapler will have to move forward without Buster Posey behind the plate. However, the Giants have a great skipper that might need to put down the protein powder.
Don't forget to watch or stream the awards on November 18th.