They need to rename the Manager of the Year award to “Manager of the Regular Season” as Steve Mears exclaimed. Make it accurate for what it is. Maybe this is the one award voted on by the BBWAA that should be voted on after the World Series. After watching this NLCS in replay and knowing that Cardinals manager Mike Shildt won the Manager of the Year award over all other NL managers including Dave Martinez. You know that it isn’t about the “year” rather more about the regular season — if that. You know the way the NLCS went as the Nats convincingly swept the Cardinals in four games. The Cardinals batted .130 in the series, and they did not score an earned run off of a Nationals starter until the fourth inning of the fourth game when the Nats were up 7-0 in the game. Prior to that, the Cardinals only RBI was on a misread of a ball hit at Michael Taylor. Martinez in his second year of managing also took an injury ravaged team from a 19-31 record to the postseason and a World Series win.
In baseball’s entire history, only one other manager, George Stallings, took a team at 12-games-under .500 and won a World Series until Davey Martinez did it last year. Stallings pulled off his feat in 1914 for the Boston Braves going 61-16 in the second half of the season with 3 ties. It was a different game back then. In the last 100 years, Martinez stands alone yet he finished 5th in the Manager of the Year voting. He finished behind Shildt, Craig Counsell of the Brewers, Brian Snitker of the Braves, and Dave Roberts of the Dodgers. Ironically, Davey beat three of those aforementioned managers in the postseason, and probably would have beaten the other manager if he faced the Braves.
“This guy was fifth in the Manager of the Year voting? C’mon,” Nats’ general manager Mike Rizzo said last week on 106.7 radio. “What league were they watching?”
In fact, Martinez did not even garner one first place vote in the MOY voting among BBWAA voters. What games were those writers watching? He got three votes for second place and from David Driver of the Washington Times, he did not vote for Martinez on his ballot. There was a time in May when Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, and Juan Soto were all on the Injured List at the same time.
“If he wasn’t the best manager in the [National League] out of anybody, then I haven’t been around long enough,” Rizzo said in that interview. “The skipper on the Cardinals won it, good manager, but he didn’t have the year Davey had. He wasn’t the manager Davey was for about four and a half months and then through the playoffs.”
Again, rename it Manager of the Regular Season to accurately call the award what it is. While Martinez probably did not lose an ounce of sleep over not winning the award, his boss, Mike Rizzo, sure took up for him.
“I do believe that Dave Martinez did not get nearly the credit he deserved for guiding that team to win the World Series,” Rizzo said on The Sports Junkies.
Tonight if you tune into MASN at 7 pm, you will get to see Patrick Corbin start for the Nats in this decisive game four sweep of Shildt’s team. You will see Davey Martinez hoist the NL Championship trophy as the Nats headed to their first World Series, and Howie Kendrick would win the MVP award for the NL Champs for his performance in the postseason.
Buster Olney and Dave Martinez spoke today on a Podcast. Click here.
St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:00 pm EDT