Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash won the AL Manager of the Year award on Tuesday night, and Miami’s Don Mattingly took home the NL honor.
Long regarded as one of baseball’s bright young minds, Cash guided Tampa Bay to an AL-best 40-20 record during the pandemic-shortened season. But he was roundly criticized for pulling ace left-hander Blake Snell in the sixth inning of the decisive Game 6 in the World Series against the champion Dodgers.
Voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America concluded before the beginning of the playoffs. Rick Renteria, who was let go by the White Sox after the team made the postseason for the first time since 2008, finished second, followed by Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo.
Mattingly guided the Marlins to their first playoff appearance since 2003 despite dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that paused their season and ravaged the roster.
The Marlins’ 31-29 record was Mattingly’s first winning season in his fifth year with the club. The former big league first baseman had a winning record in each of his five seasons as the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Mattingly, the first Manager of the Year for the Marlins since Joe Girardi in 2006, was the AL MVP with the New York Yankees in 1985. He is fifth person to win both MVP and Manager of the Year.
“They’re just different. The first one feels personal and this one feels more like a team thing," Mattingly said, "and that’s why I’m proud of it because we’ve struggled for a couple years and for us to move forward is important, and I think this is a sign that we’re heading in that direction.”
San Diego’s Jayce Tingler finished second behind Mattingly in balloting by the BBWAA, followed by David Ross of the Chicago Cubs.