New York Yankees skipper Joe Girardi received some support for the 2016 American League Manager of the Year award despite the club’s disappointing finish.
The BBWAA announced the results of the 2016 American League Manager of the Year award Tuesday night, and as many expected, Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees received a few nods from the voters but was never really a serious contender for the honor.
Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians took home the award for the second time. He previously won it in 2013 back when he was at the helm of the Boston Red Sox. Only eight other managers in history have won the award multiple times.
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Francona was definitely the most deserving choice after leading the team to a surprising 94-67 record, weathering the loss of several of the club’s best players to injury. He received 22 of a possible 30 first-place votes.
Rangers manager Jeff Bannister finished second, garnering four first-place votes, after guiding Texas to the best record in the American League at 95-67. Former Yankees manager Buck Showalter, currently of the Orioles, finished third, earning two first-place votes. The other two first-place votes went to Boston Red Sox skipper John Farrell.
Girardi received just one vote for second place and two for third, but the fact that he was one of just six AL managers to receive votes is impressive. It is pretty incredible to think that the Yankees game within a few games of the postseason when you consider how much went wrong for them this year.
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The Yankees skipper has received Manager of the Year votes in each of the last eight seasons. The only year on the job he hasn’t gotten some consideration was in 2008, his first year in the Bronx. Girardi has taken home the award in the National League, during his first and only season at the helm of the Miami Marlins in 2006. Incredibly, he was fired immediately after the season despite leading the team with the lowest payroll in baseball to the brink of a Wild Card berth.
The 2017 season is a real crossroads for Girardi. The Yankees haven’t made the playoffs in three of the last four seasons, and with the team committed to rebuilding through the farm system, the time seems right for a change in leadership.
After nine seasons running the show, Girardi has just one year remaining on his contract. It seems likely that with anything short of a playoff berth next season will result in him being replaced, despite the general feeling around the game that he is one of the best at what he does.