It’s time for the managers to be awarded for their work this season. All three managers had teams that did better than expected and a couple of those teams really shocked the hell out of people.
Let’s start with Bob Melvin who helped guide the Oakland A’s to a last minute American League West Division victory.
The Oakland A’s were the anti New York Yankees of the American League with a paltry $55 million payroll and yet Melvin was able to lead those A’s to a 94-68 record and to the American League West title.
Oakland kicked it into high gear after July 1st. Entering play on that day they were 13 games behind the Texas Rangers who were leading the Division. And while things were going well for the A’s as they cut Texas’s lead, things also started taking a bad turn.
First on August 22, Bartolo Colon was suspended 50 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Then poor Brandon McCarthy nearly died after he was hit in the head by a line drive in September.
Despite all of this, the A’s found themselves in play for the Division with a week left to play. And what did they do? They won their last six games of the regular season, including a sweep of the Rangers – who were looking for a wire to wire Division win – in the final series of the season to steal the division title and shock the hell out of everyone.