Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Scioscia, Tracy Named AL & NL Managers of the Year

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia and Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy have been named AL and NL Managers of the Year.

This is the second time Scioscia has been named AL Manager of the Year. He won those honors previously in 2002 when the Angels won their only World Series. The Angels won the AL West for a third consecutive season in 2009. They did this despite the sudden death of rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart. Honestly, when Adenhart was killed on April 9th I thought the Angels season was over.

When a team has one of their own lose their life playing baseball is the last thing they want to do. The 1979 New York Yankees season went into the tank after Thurman Munson. The 1993 Cleveland Indians never got off the ground when pitchers Steve Olin and Tim Crews were killed in a boating accident during spring training. Twice this decade, the St. Louis Cardinals have lost players during the season. Darryl Kile died of a heart attack in 2002 and Josh Hancock was killed in a car accident in 2007. The Cardinals did everything they could just to get through the season in those years. So if the Angels had failed to reach the postseason in 2009 it would have been perfectly understood.

Yet after struggling in April, the Angels returned to their winning ways and would win the division by ten games over the Texas Rangers. Even more remarkable was that the Angels did this while key players like John Lackey, Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter missed significant parts of the season due to injury. So Scioscia deserves all the credit in the world for not only keeping the ship afloat but winning the race as well.

The Colorado Rockies were 18-28 on May 29th when manager Clint Hurdle was fired and was replaced with bench coach Jim Tracy. While Tracy guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to a NL West title in 2004 he also had two very undistinguished seasons at the helm of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006 and 2007. I honestly didn't think his hiring would do very much for the Rockies:

It is worth noting that each of the last three seasons he managed his teams have lost at least 90 games. So I'm not sure if he is the answer. Then again the Rockies might be already looking to 2010.

Well, I am also the guy who said the Yankees would finish last in the AL East this season as well.

Whatever Tracy did it worked. The Rockies were 74-42 under Tracy's stewardship and won the NL Wild Card for the second time in three seasons. So the Manager of the Year honors are well deserved.

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