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MLB Managers to be honored come November

Sam Allery, Sports Editor

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Will the Astros win yet again?

With another MLB season in the books, another awards season has arrived. All 30 managers are vying for the honor of Manager of the Year. Even though only two get the trophy, many more are deserving.

American League Manager of the Year

These are 2017 file photos showing Paul Molitor, left, Terry Francona, center, and A.J. Hinch. The American and National League baseball Managers of the Year will be announced Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. The AL favorites are Minnesota’s Paul Molitor, Cleveland’s Terry Francona, and Houston’s A.J. Hinch. (AP Photo/File)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The American League was full of managerial success stories this season, but none of them were better than A.J. Hinch, Houston Astros; Paul Molitor, Minnesota Twins; and Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians.

Hinch’s Astros won 101 games this season and even won the World Series. It was a major improvement from the team’s 84 wins from last season, and it takes a good manager to control where all-stars effectively get positioned in the lineup.

Hall of fame (HOF) player Paul Molitor accomplished something in 2017 that no manager has ever accomplished in the history of baseball. He took a team that lost 100 games, and turned them into a playoff team the very next season.

The Twins were dead last in all of baseball in 2016 (59-103 record) and this season they managed to turn it around and win 85 games to secure a spot in the American League Wild Card Game.

Francona’s Indians went on a very historic run late in the year, when they won an AL-record 22 straight games. Francona is responsible for picking the starting lineup and pitcher for each of these games. Francona’s Indians also had the best record in the AL by season’s end (102-60).

While just about every manager who made the playoffs could get this award, Molitor is the one to truly make history. He turned a team that finished last in AL earned run average (ERA), and made them one of the top five offenses in the league. It will most likely be a long time before another 100-loss team makes the playoffs the very next year.

National League Manager of the Year

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts watches batting practice before Game 6 of baseball’s World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National League (NL) may have featured the pennant-winning Los Angeles Dodgers, but their manager (Dave Roberts) will have to beat the managers of the division rival Colorado Rockies (Bud Black) and Arizona Diamondbacks (Torey Lovullo) if he wants the award.

Roberts led the Dodgers on one of the most successful stretches in baseball history. Over the course of 50 games, the Dodgers won 43, that’s the best 50 game stretch since 1912. While they did even it out with a 1-16 run during September, no one can deny that the Dodgers have had one of the most successful seasons ever.

The Rockies won the second NL wild card this year, which was very significant for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2009. Black managed to create a middle-of-the-road pitching staff in the most hitter-friendly ballpark in baseball.

Black also had to deal with writing a lineup consisting of three all-stars and a few former all-stars that underperformed. He placed Charlie Blackmon in the leadoff spot and followed him with a more traditional leadoff hitter in DJ LeMahieu. Black also had to manage a pitching staff in the most hitter-friendly ballpark in baseball.

The Diamondback’s Tony Lovullo was at the head of another dramatic team transition this year. The Diamondbacks reversed their 2016 record this year and went from 69-93 to 93-69.

The Diamondbacks has a few players in their lineup that provided power, but none of the team members managed to hit .300, that’s where Lovullo comes in. He had to arrange the lineup to optimize power above contact hitting. He also took the team to the NLDS (National League Division Series).

Roberts stands out among these managers for the simple reason that he made history. Comebacks are great, but they mostly happen every season. Winning 43 out of 50 games is a lot more rare than making the playoffs with a team that missed them last year.

The Manager of the year awards will be announced on November 14th.

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MLB Managers to be honored come November