Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays and Gabe Kapler of the San Francisco Giants were named the American League and National League Managers of the Year on Tuesday.
Cash became the first AL manager to win the award two years in a row, mirroring how his Rays won the American League East for the second straight season, beating out the high-payroll New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Tampa Bay went 100-62 to post the best record in the AL.
Cash’s Rays succeeded despite the departures of starting pitchers Blake Snell and Charlie Morton, which led to even more of a reliance on bullpen “openers.”
Five different managers received at least one first-place vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America media panel. Cash earned the bulk of them with 19. The Seattle Mariners’ Scott Servais finished second and had five first-place votes. Houston Astros skipper Dusty Baker took third place with two votes for first.
Charlie Montoyo of the Toronto Blue Jays (three first-place votes) and Alex Cora of the Boston Red Sox (one) rounded out the top five.
Kapler’s Giants won a franchise-record 107 games in 2021, ending the Los Angeles Dodgers’ eight-year streak of National League West titles. San Francisco was widely projected to miss the playoffs before the season began.
Last week, Kapler signed a two-year contract extension to remain with the Giants.
Kapler won 28 of a possible 30 first-place votes. The Milwaukee Brewers’ Craig Counsell and former St. Louis Cardinals skipper Mike Shildt finished in second and third, respectively, earning one first-place nod apiece.
–Field Level Media