When the team plays well, they reap all the benefits. When the team goes sour, all blame is put on them (just ask Terry Francona). Managing a big league ball club for 162 games is a difficult task, and most of the time a thankless job.
These managers deserve some thanks for the job they did in the 2011 season.
3- Joe Girardi- I know the Yankees are supposed to win, and I know they have over a 200 million dollar pay roll, but he probably has the most difficult job in all of sports. He is expected to win over 95 games every season and take his team to the World Series, or else the season is a failure. Although they lost in the first round to the Tigers, the Yankees won 97 games with an unknown starting rotation. He also does a superb job dealing with the overcritical media and fan base.
2. Ron Washington- People will soon realize the Rangers are exceptionally good, and Washington is a terrific manager. People probably still think of Washington as the guy who did cocaine, or the guy who helped Scott Hatteberg play 1st base in Moneyball, but people need to recognize the job he does down in Texas. They won a second straight division title, and he did a fantastic job managing a young talented bullpen.
1- Joe Maddon- The Rays were so far behind the Rex Sox that people forgot they existed. Their fan base and stadium are awful, yet he was able to motivate them not to give up and give it 110% each day. He also managed a bullpen that people thought before the year was going to be one of the leagues worst, but ended up as one of the best. The fact he got what he did out of Kyle Farnsworth says enough. The everyday line up was not too strong either.
By Rob Bonanni