Mike Matheny is in his third year as manager of the Cardinals and he has led St. Louis to the playoffs in each of those three seasons. Even with a middle-of-the-road payroll, the Cardinals continue to be the model of consistency in the National League. Early this season the Cardinals fell behind the Brewers in the NL Central race and then lost Yadier Molina to injury for six weeks. Under Matheny’s guidance, the Cardinals weathered the storm and went on a late run to nail down the NL Central title.
Bruce Bochy is now the winningest active manager in Major League Baseball. Just recently, Bochy moved past both Tommy Lasorda and Fred Clarke into 18th spot for wins on the all-time managerial list and he’s likely heading to the Baseball Hall of Fame. All he did in 2014 was lead the Giants to the playoffs and keep them close on the heels of the powerful Dodgers -- with almost $100M less in payroll.
My National League ballot is therefore:
- Clint Hurdle
- Mike Matheny
- Bruce Bochy
Bob Melvin has been managing Oakland for three full seasons and the A’s have made the playoffs in each of those years. Coincidence? I think not. In spite of having the fourth-lowest payroll in baseball, Oakland made it into the post-season once again in 2014. They may have just squeaked in after an incredible first half, but they qualified -- and that’s all that matters.
The Baltimore Orioles have been dealt some tough cards this year, including serious injuries to Manny Machado and Matt Wieters, but Buck Showalter did a fine job of leading his squad over those hurdles to the AL East title. Considering that they are in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox and that they have the 14th-highest payroll in baseball, winning the division was no easy feat. Hats off to Mr. Showalter and the rest of the O’s.
My American League ballot is therefore:
- Ned Yost
- Bob Melvin
- Buck Showalter