Here at FanSided we take our regular season awards very seriously. While our awards may not have the same glorification or esteem as the official BWAA regular season awards, our awards allows a voice from each respective team site to have a say in the voting process. The first awards that were announced, over at Call To The Pen, was the NL Manager of the Year in addition to the AL Manager of the Year.
For the National League, the honor went Kirk Gibson of the Arizona Diamondbacks. While the Diamondbacks were eliminated last night in a decisive game 5 against the Milwaukee Brewers, that should not take away from the remarkable job that Gibson did as manager. Unlike Mike Quade and his first season as full-time manager, Gibson led a storybook season for the Diamondbacks. Being in the same division as the last season’s World Series champions, many expected the Diamondbacks to once again finish last in the National League West for the third consecutive year. However with the help of breakout superstars Ian Kennedy and Justin Upton, Gibson managed the D’backs to first place in the National League West.
Meanwhile, Joe Maddon was voted as the top American League manager this year. The Rays are faced with a daunting task every season in having to go against the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox while operating at significant financial disadvantage in comparison to those two teams. This season was especially difficult. The Rays entered the season with Carlos Pena, Rafael Soriano, Carl Crawford, and Matt Garza no longer with the organization. Despite the roster turn-over, the Rays managed to unseat the Red Sox in the American League Wild Card and make their way into the post-season. Maddon is widely considered as the best manager in baseball, and he definitely had an affect on the Rays winning 91 games this season.
No Cubs fans, Mike Quade was not among the finalists for the National League manager of the year.