Twins' Baldelli named AL Manager of Year
Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins was named American League Manager of the Year, it was announced Tuesday on the MLB Network. The 38-year-old Baldelli is the youngest person to win the top manager honor. The Twins went 101-61 and won the AL Central title under Baldelli in his first season on the job.
"What I can say is nobody takes on the responsibility of working in baseball or doing a job like this for personal accolades," Baldelli said in an interview after the announcement. "I do everything that I can but it doesn't matter necessarily. You need an entire group." Baldelli and runner-up Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees each received 13 first-place votes. But Baldelli also received 13 second-place votes for 106 points to outdistance Boone by 10.
The Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Cash (33) received three first-place votes while finishing third. Bob Melvin of the Oakland Athletics was fourth with 19 points and the Houston Astros' A.J. Hinch had 12 points. Hinch received one first-place vote. Minnesota smacked a major league record 307 homers in Baldelli's debut season.
It was just the second 100-win campaign in the franchise's 59-season Minnesota era behind the 1965 Twins (102-60). Baldelli's win total was 23 higher than the team's 2018 output. He joins Tom Kelly (1991), Ron Gardenhire (2010) and Paul Molitor (2017) as Twins managers to win the honor.
Boone guided the Yankees to a 103-59 record and the AL East crown while winning 100 or more games for the second straight season. He worked around a number of injuries throughout the season, a list that included lengthy stints for outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, third baseman Miguel Andujar, starting pitcher Luis Severino and reliever Dellin Betances among several others. New York slugged 306 homers, one behind Minnesota.
Cash led the Rays to a 96-66 record and an AL wild-card berth. The club flirted with 100 wins despite being without 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell for nearly two months due to elbow surgery.
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