In the wake of the Rookie of the Year awards being announced yesterday, tonight we were greeted by the announcement of the Manager of the Year awards. While this particular set of awards tends to be a measure of a team’s performance vs. expectations than anything else, it is still interesting to see how members of the media view the managers in each league.
In the National League, the finalists were the Braves’ Brian Snitker, the Brewers’ Craig Counsell, and the Rockies’ Bud Black with Counsell and Snitker considered to be the favorites going into the announcement.
In the AL, we had Kevin Cash from the Rays, Alex Cora from the Red Sox, and Bob Melvin from the Athletics. This was a harder race to handicap although it would be hard to argue with Cora getting the win now that the Red Sox are World Champions, but both Cash and Melvin both piloted their squads to surprising strong seasons.
Now, we know the winners as Brian Snitker and Bob Melvin took home the hardware.
Lowest Opening Day payroll. 97 wins. Postseason.— MLB (@MLB) November 13, 2018
No surprise, Bob Melvin is your 2018 AL Manager of the Year. pic.twitter.com/2zg5OLlLyy
No one expected the Braves to win the National League East in 2018, but they did exactly that with a 90-72 record that surpassed even the most optimistic of projections for the team. Snitker was widely credited with providing leadership for the Braves’ young roster and players are effusive with praise for Snit.
The A’s Bob Melvin had a similar path to his MOY award as the Astros were expected to run away with the AL West and Oakland was expected to be a middling team at best. Instead, Melvin helped the Athletics to 97 wins and gave Houston all they could handle in their division race until the very end of the season.