Baldelli beats out Boone for AL Manager of the Year
These smaller awards for Major League Baseball really don’t mean much in the long run. However, it’s still an honor to receive one of those said awards. Unfortunately for Aaron Boone, he was robbed of AL Manager of the Year once again. The award went to Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins.
The Manager of the Year award is supposed to go to the “manager of the team that most exceeds expectations”. While at first glance it may seem that Baldelli was a shoo-in, upon further review it should have been Boone all along.
Baldelli did a fabulous job as manager of the Twins, guiding the team to a 101 win season and their first AL Central title in nine years. In 2018 the team went 78-84, good for second in the AL Central. They greatly exceeded expectations even though they had a ferocious lineup coming into the season.
Now this is no knock on Rocco Baldelli but Aaron Boone not winning the AL Manager of the Year is a travesty. From the beginning of the season to the playoffs, Aaron Boone had a makeshift lineup practically every day of the season. Didi Gregorius missed half the season after Tommy John surgery. Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge were in and out of the lineup with different ailments. Really the only one to stay fully healthy through most of the season was Gleyber Torres.
Sure the Yankees had won 100 games in 2018. However, the team they were playing with was a mish mosh of minor leaguers and unknown entities. Who would have thought that Gio Urshela would emerge as a top tier third baseman after Miguel Andujar’s season-ending shoulder surgery? Who knew that guys like Austin Romine and Cameron Maybin would make lasting impressions on the team?
Regardless of how good of a job Rocco Baldelli did with the Twins, Aaron Boone maneuvered through a historically bad season injury-wise for the Yankees. He should have won AL Manager of the Year not for the team that was assembled, but the team that he had to work with all season.
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