Kurt Mensching wrote a story for Bless You Boys titled Is Jim Leyland the front runner for AL manager of the year?
The article came on the heels of a podcast appearance by the author where the topic was discussed. The highlights of the article are noted below:
- Joe Girardi and Terry Francona were expected to win; therefore, they aren't considered candidates.
- Manny Acta was considered because the Indians have performed well above expectations but it was noted that a manager with a sub-.500 record has never won the award. (The manager of the year with the worst record was the 2003 Kansas City Royals who were managed by Tony Pena and finished the year 83-79 after finishing 2002 at 62-100).
- Ron Washington, like Girardi and Francona, was supposed to win this year which will probably cost him the award. The author felt that Washington probably should've won the award last season ahead of Gardenhire.
- Joe Maddon was mentioned in the article and it was noted that although the Rays will probably have a win total in the upper 80's,, he probably won't win the award. The article did site a reference to Notes on Wikipedia that noted that only four managers have won the award while leading a team that finished outside the top two spots in its division.
- Jim Leyland was considered the front runner because many pundits picked the Tigers to finish at around .500 and in 3rd place.
- The author at BYB lists the manager of the year voting in terms of probability as follows: Jim Leyland, Ron Washington, Manny Acta, Joe Girardi, Joe Maddon, Terry Francona, and Mike Scioscia.
- The BYB article concludes with a poll which doesn't list Joe Maddon as an option to vote for and as of this morning, a total of 527 votes had been cast and Jim Leyland leads the voting at 73% with Manny Acta a distant second with 11% of the vote.