In the year of underdogs, it seems fitting that the TTFB Manager of the Year from each league be from an underdog team.
In the American League, the Athletics and Orioles both had magical seasons. The Orioles fought the Yankees all the way down to the last game, even denying the 90-game winning Tampa Bay Rays from a playoff berth; in most leagues and years that’s good enough to win. Ninety wins is the postseason benchmark for most teams, and the Orioles clinched their first playoff appearance since 1997 with 93 wins. The Orioles relied on rookies and breakout seasons from pitchers who 90 percent of the world wouldn’t be able to name. Like the Orioles, the Athletics were in the same boat, except they pulled out the AL West crown from the defending AL champion Texas Rangers.
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The Orioles ended a streak of 14 straight losing seasons, while the supposed playoff-bound Pittsburgh Pirates ended up exploding down the stretch, cementing a 20th straight losing season.
Some wouldn’t consider the Nationals underdogs, considering a few big signings in the offseason and a trade that brought Cy Young hopeful Gio Gonzalez to town. Nonetheless, the Nationals brought the first playoff series to D.C. in 79 years and the first since the Nationals moved there in 2005.
TTFB writers were polled, and 25 writers weighed in on who should be the AL and NL Managers of the Year. Only two managers in the AL were submitted, with Buck Showalter of the Orioles taking in 13 votes to Bob Melvin’s 12. In the NL, Davey Johnson of the Nationals took the award with 15 votes. Dusty Baker (Reds) earned four votes, Mike Matheny (Cardinals) three votes, Bruce Bochy (Giants) two votes and Fredi Gonzalez (Braves) got one vote.
|Jamie Shoemaker||Dusty Baker||Buck Showalter|
|Cory Whitmer||Dusty Baker||Buck Showalter|
|Mike Viso||Davey Johnson||Buck Showalter|
|Dustin Salyer||Davey Johnson||Bob Melvin|
|Martin Marrufo||Davey Johnson||Bob Melvin|
|Adam Cumbee||Davey Johnson||Buck Showalter|
|James Poellnitz||Davey Johnson||Bob Melvin|
|Jacob Karasik||Dusty Baker||Buck Showalter|
|Jon Sumple||Davey Johnson||Bob Melvin|
|Paul West||Bruce Bochy||Bob Melvin|
|Aaron Czarnolewski||Mike Matheny||Bob Melvin|
|Michael Dault||Davey Johnson||Bob Melvin|
|Matthew Kennedy||Davey Johnson||Buck Showalter|
|Jackie Micucci||Davey Johnson||Buck Showalter|
|Danny Zyskind||Fredi Gonzalez||Bob Melvin|
|Russell Whiting||Davey Johnson||Bob Melvin|
|Jake Mastroianni||Mike Matheny||Bob Melvin|
|Eric Aron||Davey Johnson||Buck Showalter|
|Dean Harakas||Davey Johnson||Bob Melvin|
|Jed Rigney||Davey Johnson||Buck Showalter|
|Kevin Lochner||Davey Johnson||Bob Melvin|
|Dan Kirby||Dusty Baker||Buck Showalter|
|Chol Souders||Mike Matheny||Buck Showalter|
|Scott Annis||Bruce Bochy||Buck Showalter|
|Matthew Hamilton||Davey Johnson||Buck Showalter|