One was fired after a winning season and another dealt with the first massive COVID outbreak. Nonetheless, Rick Renteria of the Chicago White Sox and Don Mattingly of the Miami Marlins were named Manager of the Year finalists announced Monday by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays, Charlie Montoyo of the Toronto Blue Jays and Renteria finished in the top three in voting and are finalists in the American League. Mattingly, David Ross of the Chicago Cubs and Jayce Tingler of the San Diego Padres are the National League finalists.
Winners for each league will be announced Nov. 10 on MLB Network. Voting was done by select BBWAA members before the playoffs began.
Cash will finish in the top three for the third straight season. He finished third for the award in 2018 and 2019. He led the Rays to the best record in the AL (40-20) and lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. Cash will most be remembered for his controversial decision to pull ace Blake Snell in Game Six of the deciding game of the Series.
Montoyo, in his second year with the Blue Jays, was faced with a bit more adversity than most managers. Canada did not want teams from the U.S. crossing the border on a regular basis and possibly infecting more of its citizens. So the Jays wound up playing their home games at their Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo. They finished third in the AL East at 32-28, including 17-9 at home, to earn a wild-card playoff berth.
Renteria guided the White Sox to a 32-25 record, their first winning mark in his five seasons. Despite that fact, Renteria was fired with one year remaining on his contract.
Mattingly overcame a COVID outbreak that included 18 players to get the Marlins to the playoffs with a 31-29 record, good for second place in the NL East. Numerous players made their major-league debuts on a team that last season went 57-105.
Ross was in his rookie season as a manager after a 15-year career as a major-league catcher. His Cubs won the NL Central at 34-26 on the strength of a hot start to the season.
Tinger’s Padres finished second in the NL West at 37-23. It was their first winning record since 2010 and their first playoff berth since 2006.
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