Blog Entry

Gibson, Maddon named top managers

Posted on: November 16, 2011 2:02 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2011 5:10 pm
Kirk Gibson Joe Maddon

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson and Rays manager Joe Maddon overwhelmingly won the Manager of the Year award in the National League and American League, respectively, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced on Wednesday.

Award Season
Tony La Russa
If voting were done after the playoffs instead of before the playoffs, would Tony La Russa have won the National League Manager of the Year award?
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Gibson, who took over as the Diamondbacks skipper during the 2010 season, received 28 of 32 first-place votes after he guided Arizona to a 94-68 record and the National League West title. Arizona lost their National League division series to the Brewers in five games. First-year Brewers manager Ron Roenicke received three first-place votes, with former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa receiving the other first-place vote. Roenicke finished second and La Russa third.

Maddon, in his sixth season with the Rays, received 26 of 28 first-place votes after leading the Rays to a 91-71 record and the American League wild card. The Rays trailed the Red Sox by 9 1/2 games on Sept. 2, before the team went 16-8 over their last 24 games, including winning their last five games to slip into the playoffs over the collapsing Red Sox. It is the second time Maddon has won the award, also winning in 2008. Detroit's Jim Leyland and Texas' Ron Washington received the other first-place votes, with Leyland finishing second and Washington third.

Voting for the award is done after the regular season and before the playoffs begin. 

Both managers won the award in the time-honored tradition of exceeding expectations. Although the Rays won the AL East in 2010, the team lost Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Matt Garza and nearly the team's entire bullpen from its 2010 team. 

Gibson's Diamondbacks were an afterthought in the NL West after losing 97 games in 2010. However, Arizona took the NL West lead on Aug. 10 and left the defending champion Giants in the dust over the final two months of the season.

In the name of full disclosure, I was a voter for the National League Manager of the Year and was one of the 28 voters to put Gibson atop my ballot. I put La Russa second and Roenicke third -- flip-flopping those two in the final week of the season after the Cardinals' remarkable run to the playoffs.  

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Since: May 11, 2008
Posted on: November 16, 2011 6:20 pm

Gibson, Maddon named top managers

Who beat this year's MOY in the playoffs both this season and last season?  Who beat this year's MOY runner-up in the playoffs this season?  Who led his team to the World Series in back-to-back seasons?  Who led his team to the World Series after losing Cliff Lee to free agency and having his team picked THIRD in the historically weak AL West behind the Angels and A's?  The answer is of course Ron Washington.  This has to be one of the biggest snubs ever in awards.  Giving it to Gardenhire last year was a joke, and I like Joe Maddon and all, but this year is just as big of a joke.  Back-to-back World Series appearances for a franchise who had previously won ONE playoff game in it's 50+ year history (including the Senators years) is an amazingly accomplishment that has seemingly gone unnoticed for the team's manager.  Simply astonishing!

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 5:43 pm

Gibson, Maddon deserve their awards

What Joe Madden did in Tampa Bay should get him an award named after Merlin the Magician.  He took a team that was gutted by the economic inequities that are allowed to run rampant in MLB to the playoffs.  Madden should be pronounced the Grand and Wise Shaman of Florida, if not MLB.  
Getting TB into the playoffs using barely over 25 percent of the payroll the Yankees and Bosox have is one of the most ridiculous acheivements in the game, and Maddon does it over and over and over.  The only thing more amazing than what Maddon is doing is the utter lack of enthusiasm in the Tampa Bay market.  They watch the games on TV, buy playoff T-shirts, but don't bother going to the games during the season.  
Sadly, many of the same people who don't bother to go to the games and vote against a new stadium will be vilifying the owners when they get a better offer and go elsewhere.   

Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: November 16, 2011 5:02 pm

Gibson, Maddon named top managers

I get it, but I don't understand why the criteria for MOY seems to be "Manager of a Team people thought would suck but made the playoffs".  The Red Sox showed that teams that are supposed to make the playoffs don't so isn't it an accomplishment to make the playoffs even when you are expected to...

Since: Apr 17, 2010
Posted on: November 16, 2011 4:59 pm

Gibson, Maddon named top managers

Along with the AL Cy Young these had to be the two easiest decisions for voters. The others will be decided between three or four guys but those three were absolute no-brainers as far as I'm concerned. Congrats to both of them.

Since: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2011 4:07 pm

Gibson, Maddon named top managers

Fair enough. You have your opinion, and it's based on your observations, though I will not be the least bit surprised if Gibson suddenly turns out to be a mediocre manager next year. The reason is, there's almost nothing you mentioned that can actually be attributed to Gibson himself. How did he get max performance out of pitchers? How did the D-Backs suddenly become one of the best defensive teams after leading the league in errors in preseason? What EXACTLY did he do? What happens when the so-called average pitchers return to being average?

The Diamondbacks had a horrible bullpen in 2010, almost all of which was replaced by Kevin Tower before the season started. Gibson deserves no credit for that aspect of the team improving. Had they kept the same bullpen and gotten the same results from them this year, there is no way Arizona would have won the division, and all the other points about being aggressive on the bases, etc, would be irrelevant. Nothing against Gibson, as I've said before in other Manager of the Year discussions. I would credit Towers with Exec of the Year, no doubt about it, but Gibson, not so much.

Since: Aug 21, 2008
Posted on: November 16, 2011 3:39 pm

Gibson, Maddon named top managers

SPARTACUS:  Totally disagree with you.  I guarantee you that you didn't watch any diamondbacks games IN-DEPTH!  If you would have seen what he did all year long, and the decisions he made, there is no way you couldn't have voted him manager of the year.  I can't tell you how many times during the season he made the right call with guys.  He was able to get peak performances out of guys that were lucky to be in the league, that were released by other teams, and that had to try out just to make the Diamondbacks team.

This team over the past 5 years has been one of the worst teams in baseball in the bullpen and defensively.  They lead the league in errors in the preseason, which was typical of them, and suddenly they became one of the best defensive teams.  He rotated men into so many different positions in the outfield and hitting, and it paid off all year long.  He got max performance out of starting pitchers that were thought to be average, or 3rd in a starting rotation.  He got way more aggressive than the previous diamondbacks teams running the bases, and it paid off.  There were so many times when he litterally out managed the opposing teams manager.  I watched all but three games this season, so I am telling you without a doubt that this guy did an amazing job.

And the players worked their butts off for him, they believed in him.  It was one of the best managing jobs in a season I have seen, this team was expected to finish last in the division.

Since: Feb 4, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2011 3:20 pm

Gibson, Maddon named top managers

Joe Maddon won Manager of the Year in the AL and Kirk Gibson won Manager of the Year in the NL.And thats a great honor for both of them,when the Rays 91-71 record and The AL wild card and Diamonbacks 94-68 record and The NL West Title.But lost to the Brewers in five games and the Rays over the Collapsing the Red Soxs and this is maddon second AL Manager Of the year award,also winning in 2008.

Since: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2011 3:14 pm

Gibson, Maddon named top managers

Maddon is one of the best, if not the very best; no question. Gibson, eh, who really knows. Arizona's previous manager was an announcer with no experience, and Kevin Tower remade the team, especially the bullpen, when he took over as GM last year. The bar was set pretty low for Gibson this year. If the voting were for best manager in the NL the top candidates would probably have to be LaRussa and Bochy.

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2011 2:52 pm

Gibson, Maddon named top managers


Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 2:41 pm

Gibson, Maddon named top managers

As a Cardinal fan, I don't see any problem with this decision.  A worst to first finish for the D-Backs is a pretty astounding feat.  I also think that Roenike and La Russa were the other two options, but I have absolutely no issues with Gibson getting the nod.  Great job by that entire team.  You can make a good point for any of the three, and there's valid arguments against, but in the end I think all of the awards for the season so far have gone to the correct people.

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