Florida was privileged to see some first-rate managing this season. Don Mattingly of the Marlins and Kevin Cash of the Rays have been named the Manager of the Year in their respective leagues, per the BBWAA NL and AL announcements. The ballots for the 30 participating writers in each league can be seen in full on the announcements page.
Mattingly becomes just the fifth manager to win the award after having won an MVP award as a player, which Mattingly won with the Yankees in 1985. The Marlins’ skipper finished with 20 of 30 first-place votes and 8 second-place votes. He was left off two ballots. He finished with 124 total points, well ahead of the Padres’ Jayce Tingler, who finished second for the award with 71 votes. David Ross of the Cubs finished third with 25 votes. Ross and Tingler each head into just their second years on the bench, while Mattingly will be entering his 6th season as the manager of the Marlins next season.
The award comes in the same season that his former club, the Los Angeles Dodgers, won their first World Series of this century. Mattingly managed Los Angeles from 2011 until 2015, finishing in first place for the final three seasons of his tenure there, which began the Dodgers’ current stretch of 8 consecutive division titles.
This season, Mattingly helped the Marlins to a 31-29 wild card run that ended their playoff drought at 16 years. The Fish enjoyed quite the turnaround after suffering 98 and 105 losses in the two seasons prior. Perhaps a more telling harbinger of the hardware that would be coming Mattingly’s way was the way his club battled throughout the postseason. They swept the NL Central champion Cubs in a three-game series before being swept themselves in a 3-game series by the division rival Braves. The Marlins were without star centerfielder Starling Marte for their NLDS series.
In the American League, Kevin Cash wins a new trophy for his mantle after leading the Tampa Bay Rays to the World Series. He received 22 first-place votes, 5 second-place, and 1 third-place vote to finish with a total of 126 points. He was left off two ballots. Rick Renteria – who has been dismissed by the White Sox – finishes in second place with 61 points. Charlie Montoyo of the Blue Jays finishes in third place with 47 votes. This is Cash’s first time winning the award.
Cash has taken his lumps of late for pulling Blake Snell in Game 6 of the World Series, but he’s more than deserving of this award. He led the small-market Rays to a 40-20 record, the best mark in the American League. They swept the Blue Jays in the Wild Card Round before heading to a decision final game in each of the next two series. They outlasted the Yankees in the divisional round and the Astros in the ALCS to win the pennant. It was just the second time in Tampa’s history making it to the World Series.