Mike Sciossa is the 2008-2009 MLB manager of the year. Really? I’m not saying he shouldn’t have been considered, but the New York Yankees Joe Girardi was far more deserving, for several reasons. First of all, he won the World Series in only his second year managing the team. In New York, where the goal each year is to win the World Series, he was under much more pressure than Sciossa, and he came through. But looking at the regular season, the Yankees were the only team to break 100 wins, and the only team with a 600 or better winning percentage. They had a better home record, a better road record, scored more runs and gave up fewer runs than the Angels. Girardi was able to do something that Joe Torre was never able to do, and that is beat the Angels in the playoffs.
In 2002, when the Angeles won the World Series, Mike Sciossa won manager of the year that year as well. But again judging by regular season statistics, they were only a wild card team, while the Yankees had the best record during the regular season. So if voting is based on the regular season alone, Torre should have easily beta out Sciossa that year, just as girardi had much better regular season numbers this year. The voting is too subjective. Perhaps like with the BCS, a formula should be used to determine the winners. Number of wins, losses, runs scored, sacrifice plays, blown saves, and things like that could be used to help determine who is more deserving to win. Mike will tell you he would rather trade in his award for the World Series ring, and that may well be true, and Girardi is I’m sure much happier with a ring than a Manager of the Year award, but it still would’ve been nice for Joe to win it simply because he was so much more deserving. Another thing that would make voting easier is if there was some criteria. What makes a person the MVP of the league, or the manager of the league. Is it stats alone, leadership, guiding the team to the playoffs? Is it a person who most helps his team win, or is the best player in the league? There needs to be better guidelines, and less human judgment involved.
Also, look at the turn around both teams had. The yankees went from making the playoffs 13 years in a row to not making them the first year Girard took over, to not only making them his second year, but winning the whole thing. The Angels went from a 100 win team to a 97 win team, having a worse home and away record than the previous year and giving up 64 more runs than the previous year. In an interview on a local Los Angeles sports radio show, the Angel’s GM was heard saying the the manager of the year award is in a way a team award that has to do with the GM and owners and other personal. And so if that is the case, what owner is more committed to winning than Steinbrenner. What Gm is more interested than keeping his job based mostly on World Series success than Cashman. If it is indeed a ream award, the 2009 Yankees far and away were much better than any other team in baseball from ownership to management to players. Sure, they had the highest payroll, but that shows just how much Steinbrenner is committed to winning.
Not only did the Yankees go farther than the Angels in the post season, but they beat the very Angels in 6 games in the post season. Girardi out managed in the reguar season, and head to head in the playoffs. They pretty much dominated against every team as far as having a winning record during the Torre years, but they did not have a winning record against the Angels. This year, Girardi not only ousted them in the playoffs, but had a better regular season record against them as well.
The Angels did have the unfortunate, untimely death of Nick Adenhart to deal with. It was a tragic accident that could have easily been avoided, but the argument could have been made that the Angels would have even more motivation to play for a cause. Sciossa and the Angels handled the situation well and with class, but as they said themselves, they still had to move on because they had a job to do, and they just didn’t do it this year. They had a good year, but Girardi had a better year.
Over all, in my mind, it is not even close that Joe Girardi is the 2008-2009 Al, and MLB manager of the year based on pure numbers, and based on pressure from expectations, and on previous Yankee failure with the Angels to this year’s dominance of them, so Congratulations Joe on the ring, I know you’d much rather have that than the award anyway, and I’m sure yours will be coming soon.