Your! Call: Who should be named Managers of the Year?

{eot} Staff
11/12/2012 12:16:18 PM
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On Tuesday, Major League Baseball will hand out its second off-season award when it announces the AL and NL Managers of the Year and there is a very familiar look to the group of finalists.

Five of the six men that remain in contention for the award are previous winners, including two who have been awarded the prize multiple times.

In the National League there were several teams that surprised the baseball world by turning in better-than-expected seasons, but no one over-achieved in the regular season more than the Washington Nationals.

Led by veteran manager Davey Johnson, who was named Manager of the Year in 1997 with the Baltimore Orioles, the Nationals won the NL East crown and finished the season with the best record in the majors.

Johnson's team featured two of the best young players in the game in outfielder Bryce Harper and starter Stephen Strasburg. The team opted to shut down their fireballing pitcher before the end of the season due to an innings limit.

Dusty Baker led the Cincinnati Reds to the best record in the National League Central as they held off the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals to capture the division crown.

The Reds won 47 road games in the regular season, the second-most in the National League and did so while battling injuries all season including being without both Joey Votto and Scott Rolen for major parts of the season.

Baker has been named manager of the year three times previously, in 1993, 1997 and 2000.

Having already captured a World Series crown in 2010, Bruce Bochy led his upstart Giants squad back to the promised land in 2012. During the regular season, the Giants fought off a challenge from the hard-charging and harder spending Los Angeles Dodgers to earn their place in the post-season.

Bochy was honoured as the season's best manager in 1996.

Meanwhile in the American League one rookie manager qualified among the veterans.

Chicago White Sox first-year skipper Robin Ventura helped turn around a team in turmoil and take them to the brink of the playoffs before finally falling short to the Detroit Tigers.

Ventura, who had never been a manager at any level before being hired for the White Sox job, took over a team with a losing record and immediately changed their fortunes - almost getting them into the post-season.

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter, on the other hand, was also at the helm of a team with lower expectations but managed to ride them right into one of the two American League Wild Card positions.

The Orioles, playing in the ultra-competitive American League East, were consistent all season and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1997.

Showalter was named Manager of the Year in both 1994 and 2004.

Bob Melvin, who captured the manager's honour in 2007, led the Oakland Athletics to the AL West crown when they swept the two-time defending AL champion Texas Rangers in the final series of the season. 

The Athletics traded away their two winningest pitchers, Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez, in the off-season but were still able to surprise everyone and capture the division crown.

There are six worthy candidates but who would you choose as the American and National League Managers of the Year?

As always, it's Your! Call.

Dusty Baker (Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)


(Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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