The Baseball Writers Association of America announced the results of Manager of the Year balloting this evening. Giants’ skipper Gabe Kapler was named the National League winner, while Rays’ manager Kevin Cash claimed his second consecutive win in the American League.
Kapler and Cash managed the best regular season team in the respective leagues. With balloting conducted before the start of the playoffs, voters are left to judge solely on clubs’ regular season bodies of work. In addition to posting their respective league’s best records, both San Francisco and Tampa Bay finished second in run differential (behind the Dodgers and Astros, respectively).
The Giants’ magical season was unexpected. While most preseason projections figured the Dodgers and Padres would battle for the NL West crown, San Francisco shockingly won a franchise-best 107 games to claim the top seed. That came with an aging core of position players on a team that had gone just 29-31 in 2020, making it all the more impressive that the Giants were able to consistently play at an elite level all year long. The team rewarded Kapler with a two-year contract extension last week.
Manager of the Year awards frequently come to skippers whose teams outperform expectations, so it’s little surprise Kapler fared well in the balloting. He appeared on 29 of 30 ballots, garnering 28 first-place votes and one second-place finish. The other first-place votes went to Craig Counsell of the Brewers and Mike Shildt, who was nevertheless dismissed by the Cardinals after the season. Counsell and Shildt finished second and third, respectively, while the Braves’ Brian Snitker and Dodgers’ Dave Roberts also picked up some down-ballot support.
While the Giants’ great season was unexpected, the Rays’ success shouldn’t have come as much surprise. Tampa Bay also had the AL’s best record in 2020, a season in which they claimed their second pennant. That said, the Rays enter each season in a loaded AL East that includes the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays, each of whom have significantly higher payrolls.
Nevertheless, the Rays continue to churn out talented players and leverage match-ups to great success. Tampa Bay has posted a winning record in four consecutive seasons, and the club has a cumulative 554-478 mark (.537 winning percentage) since Cash took the helm in 2015. That run of consistent success contributes to Cash becoming the first back-to-back Manager of the Year winner since Bobby Cox in 2004-05.
Cash’s hold on the balloting wasn’t quite as resounding as Kapler’s. The Rays’ skipper appeared on 28 of 30 sheets, garnering 19 first-place votes. Scott Servais of the Mariners (five), Charlie Montoyo of the Blue Jays (three), Dusty Baker of the Astros (two) and Alex Cora of the Red Sox (one) each garnered at least one first-place nod themselves, with Servais and Baker joining Cash as finalists. In addition to that group of five, the White Sox’s Tony La Russa and the Tigers’ A.J. Hinch garnered some down-ballot support.
See full balloting in each league.
The Baseball Fan
Agreed. And I root for Dodgers and Cubs.
The Mets "Missed WAR"
I think they both earned it too. When do they announce executive of the year? I hope that executive of the year isn’t one of those awards that’s decided before the playoffs start. That would make no sense. Executive of the year should go to the executive who gets the farthest with the least money and it should be based in moves he made that specific year.
Servais should’ve won over Cash
AA should win hands down. A lot of FO would of given up after the Acuna injury and try again in 2022. It is very impressive they he pretty much rebuilt the OF on the fly without really giving up anything in value.
The Mets MW:
Seriously? Apologies if you intended your post as sarcasm, but Farhan Zaidi was named EoY last week.
I see they dissed by boy Boone again, I mean Cashman, I mean the analytical department. Damn, maybe next year. Ahahahahaha!
If the postseason was taken into consideration for voting, Snitker probably would’ve won It. But since it isn’t, all the voters had to go by was the Braves’ 88 win record. That doesn’t really scream manager of the year, with or without injuries.
They already did. The ’21 executive of the year is Farhan Zaidi
Didn’t they announce that last week? Farhan all day
Snitker should have won NL and Servais AL imho
Fever Pitch Guy
Agreed! And even though I’m a Sox fan, I reluctantly acknowledge Cash deserved the award because he outmanaged Cora by a wide margin. Cash didn’t have nearly the amount of talent on the roster that Cora had, and still won the division by a wide margin.
Kapler was an easy choice as well.
Are you high dude? Alex Cora managed through one the worst Covid outbreaks in sports, somehow managed to get them into the playoffs, please for the love of god grow up. You’re not a Sox fan, you’re a pink hat.
Cash is money. Everyone likes to play for Cash.
And Kepler deserved it as long as he kept the boys inside.
What you did there. Saw it.
Thank God Mike Shildt didn’t win again with ZERO first place votes
Congrats to these gentlemen
Very well deserved!!! However— I was rooting for Mike Schildt!!!
Just to make John Mozeliak look worse than he already does!!!
I’m glad Schildt was at least in the running. The Cardinals will miss him!!
Whoever signs him as a Manager will be Blessed.
Really? I think Cora should’ve won it over Cash. No one picked the Red Sox to have a good year and he kept that team going all year long. The Rays did exactly what they were expected to do.
Congrats to the former Red Sox players – Kap and Cash!
You know Cash is calling Tito right now tho, saying, “BUT I GOT TWO, BIG MAN!!!!”….
Article says Tito has two awards too. bbwaa.com/21-al-mgr/
Congratulations to the former Tampa Bay players- Cash and Kapler!
Scott Cirvex (how ever you spell his name) was robbed. Atleast Kevin Cash is a worthy opponent to lose to
It’s easy to look up how to spell his name. With such attention to detail, I’m surprised you don’t work for the Mets.
@Cey Hey, you made me literally laugh out loud with that one!! Thank you! I needed that.
especially since it literally says it in the article
Well deserved. A remarkable season in San Francisco.
Brian Snitker was better than both combined.
Wow, such a definitive statement. That couldn’t at all be a subjective opinion now could it?
I think, even if the vote happened after the WS which would have helped Snitker, and not at the end of the regular season, those two are, still awarded the honors.
He deserved to win it as well, but considering the media and quite a few fans had the Giants finishing only ahead of the DBacks in the division and losing close to 90 games this year, I think Kapler was the right choice. Kapler got 28 first place votes to Snitker’s 4. In face the only other NL manger that got more than half votes of what Kapler got for was Craig Counsell
Cash is overrated. He’s simply the person the Rays front office has snapped into the position. They give him all the data and moves. He’ll eventually leave for another org for better money, he’ll be exposed, and the Rays will snap someone else in. An experienced manager leaves Blake Snell in the World Series game assessing how he was pitching and his bullpen options. Cash pulled him because that’s what the data sheet said. No thinking required.
Has Joe Madden been exposed after leaving the Rays? Wasn’t he fed all of the same data moves?
Yes. Madden has been exposed. He was given a great, great team in Chicago and almost screwed it up. Every subsequent season he’s been worse, and he’s not been good with the Angels.
By your standards, everyone out of the Rays org is overrated since most leave for other teams eventually. Credit should then be given to the owner Steinberg for hiring talent and getting them all to fall in line. What are your criterias for MOY?
Cash definitely deserved it.
Well earned, especially for Kapler who unfairly became the scapegoat for the Phillies failures but yet the Phillies still stuck in .500 Purgatory while the Giants just won a 107 games this year.
I mean a manger can only work with what they have. Giants had a lot more than the Phillies. Well deserved by Kapler.
Giants had a lot more than the Phillies? Um, no they didn’t. Philly had a larger payroll. Gausman being the exception, our starters were put together on the cheap. SF signed DeSclafani, who nobody wanted, then the injury pron Alex Wood, & Aaron Sanchez, who didn’t even end up on the team. Logan Webb was not a starter at the beginning of the season. And then SF put together a bullpen on the cheap too. Kapler wasn’t given much. So I don’t understand you saying that.
You clearly don’t follow the Phillies who had 1 starting pitcher under Kapler, a horrific bullpen, and absolutely no depth. The Giants have significantly more talent than what Kapler had on the Phillies. Payroll has nothing to do with it. Kapler did great in SF, and he was not the problem in Philly. If Kapler was managing in Philly in 2021, the Phils still don’t make the playoffs.
Phillies are a joke. But you’re lucky you got Bryce Harper, the guy who leaves DC only to watch them win it all in 2019. I doubt the Phillies win anything with Harper on the team.
You mean one of the best players in baseball and a likely 2021 NL MVP? Yea. Who wants that kind of talent? Phillies have problems. Harper isn’t one of them.
@pwn Harper and Kapler are both amazing.
@Bruh. Kapler I agree with bur Harper I’m not so sure about. Too much hype and seems to lose wherever he goes.
Kapler hardly looked this good and really didnt seem to improve while in Philly.
Scott Servias just gets disrespected. What a joke.
Too much credit for his team’s success.
The worst goes to… that guy in Toronto! Lol
The Phillies always seem to hire managers before they figure things out.
It’s because the Phillies and their fanbase are not patient, but Kapler would not have gotten the Phillies to the playoffs. He had more tools to work with in SF. Still well deserved of course. He did a great job.
@von Farhan over dombrowski every day of the week.
Farhan did great so I won’t argue, but Dombrowski has only been in Philly 1 year. Give him time.
I feel like Craig Counsell deserved it over Gabe Kapler. I know the Giants finished with a better record and majorly outplayed expectations, but the Brewers also outplayed expectations and did it with fewer resources. Counsell’s decision making was a huge part of that success. I suppose I am biased…
Councell is a great manager but you are not going to beat a manager who lead a team that nobody even had sniffing the playoffs to winning a 107 games and best record in baseball.
Yep. There’s no disconnect in thinking Councell is one of the top 4 managers on the game (I certainly do) with saluting Kapler for the great performance he achieved. At the end of the day, I’d rather have Councell on the bench, but, really, I remember some of us picking the Giants to finish behind Arizona. Kapler deserved it.
CC IS A BEAST ! I respect the Crew so much, but kapler deserved it.
The Baseball Fan
They both deserved it, and that’s the beauty of these awards.
The Giants were, by almost all accounts, predicted to be a below .500 team and instead won the most games in franchise history, which dates to 1883.
The Brewers didn’t really exceed expectations nearly as much as the Giants. Pecota had them winning the NLC. In the ESPN preseason power rankings the Brewers were ranked 13, higher than any other NLC team, and the Giants were 23rd.
SI predicted the Brewers 6 games over .500. one game back of the division winning Cards. They predicted the Giants 4 games under, and 20+ games behind the Dodgers. There was a big difference between the expectations of the Brewers and Giants.
Cash over Servais, no way !!!!!
Who is better? Cash or Kapler?
I think what Brian Cashman needs to do is pry Kevin Cash away from TB, so when it all goes to hell in a hand basket -which it always does- you can simply say, “it’s all Cash’s fault & everyone will just nod stupidly & say you’re so right.” Ahahahahaha!
not sure what Cash did this year to deserve it given his team was in the WS last year but okay.
I would of chosen Servais for manager of the year in the AL but I really don’t have any issue with Cash winning it either.
Cash deserves the honors too and why I have no issue with him winning, but I would of chosen Servais, he did a great job leading the unexpected Mariners to almost playoff berth with that group.
It was impressive.
Not sure I understand the logic of winning a 2nd straight division title after losing Blake Snell, their #2 SP, and Charlie Morton, somehow disqualifying a guy from MoY, even though he didn’t get back to the WS.
Blake Snell was very overrated. I call him Mister Five because he can rarely pitch past five innings as a starter. That doesn’t make him good.
First of all, the way baseball is managed these days, many pitchers don’t pitch much beyond 5 innings. Most pitchers suffer the 3rd time through the line up. Analytics show that going to the bullpen after the 2nd time through gives you a better chance to win the game. As it is, for his 135 game career, he averages over 5.2 IP per game.
Snell has had one bad season in his 6 season career, and that was after being traded. The production of a lot of players is hurt when they have to make the transition to a new team. That’s well documented by the players themselves.
Otherwise, despite that 92 ERA+ last season, he still carries a 120 ERA+ for his career. He won the CY with 217 ERA+. I wish my team had a bunch of overrated pitchers like that.
Winning the toughest division in baseball with 10 pitchers on the 60 day IL at one time is a good place to start. That would kill just about every other team.
Joe Girardi got in 2006 for fourth place finish with a 78-84 record.
which he probably shouldnt have gotten. what’s the relevance?
Baseball voting is very subjective which you already know.
Cora didn’t win it this year as punishment for the scandal. Red Sox were a bottom 5 team last season and made the playoffs. Any other manager in the same circumstance wins the award easy.
I like Kapler but I’m indifferent about Cash. Cash is certainly deserving but he won it last year as well with the same formula and he didn’t show much change. I’m not trying to be biased but Cora took a bottom feeders team and got us within 2 games of a World Series. It’s obvious he wasn’t a good candidate because of the scandal but he was way better than the Mariners. Out of these top three choices in the AL (Servais was one I believe), Cash was the best choice. I just think he shouldn’t have won it because there wasn’t much change.
Kapler hands down deserves it on the NL side of things, though Shildt is another great choice.
Forget Dusty Baker and the other guys who didn’t make the postseason in the AL.
How was he “way better” than Servais? You have a team like the Mariners who were expected to win 72 games (the most generous analysis) and went all the way to 90 wins, a run differential of -50, and within one game of the playoffs. The team had the worst batting lines in the first half of the season, no-hit twice, and cycled through injuries upon injuries.
Cora still has a loaded line-up to help carry their pitching woes. He did not deserve it more than Servais, let alone Cash.
Not surprised they won, but who the hell doesn’t even have them on their ballots?
I’m an Astros fan, but I have to confess they picked the right guys. These two managers made the most of what they were given. Congrats to both
Writers vote before the postseason? So they’ve known roughly six weeks the winners and are just now releasing this information? The way they conduct business is just a bit unusual. Baseball is an after thought to most people now. WS ended 2 weeks ago. Giants haven’t played in six weeks. Ray’s knocked out in first round? Why now ?
Steve Garvey's Son
You might want to check out NFL Trade Rumors. I think that might be your cup of tea.
MLB used to announce all the awards right after the WS. Other than a big signing, baseball was almost completely out of the news after that. They now parse these announcements out once a week in an effort to keep baseball from being an afterthought once the season is over.
I had to look it up because I thought it was like a month ago. Days must really be dragging. Maybe it is the news that has made it seem longer.
Huge Kevin Cash fan but even Cash himself, in the final month of the season, said that Montoyo deserved to win it this year.
Modesty….of course Cash is going to say that. He’s certainly not going to say that he deserves it
Charlie got more first place votes than Dusty.
Kinda disappointing that Servais did not win the AL Manager of the Year award…
Kapler? Yes. LaRussa deserved it for the A.L.
LaRussa is waiting for the AARP award. It comes with coupons and discounts for local diners and bingo parlors. Win-win!
Both were well deserved, but i would’ve like to see Montoyo get it. I had a chance to meet him many years ago when he was in Durham, and he’s easily the least pretentious “baseball guy” I ever met.
Do you know what happened with one of his kids (daughter?) who was very ill at the time? I know it was a difficult time (as it would be for anyone) at the time.
Mitch Stacy? How does this guy have a vote? Obviously biased writer from Ohio and doesn’t have Kapler in his top three.The guy shouldn’t have a vote. What a joke. Who gave this clown a vote?