Alright, now we get in to the fun part of being in the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (not that there's not a fun part...). So it's awards time, which means that we get a chance to talk about other teams, and how good they are - this time not necessarily in comparison to the Astros. The Connie Mack Award highlights the best manager in each league.
We'll start with the National League. Because it's superior.
Don Mattingly, Los Angeles. Mattingly was up against a limited payroll, limited options for improvement, and limited hope of doing anything noteworthy. So finishing up 82-79 is impressive, given his circumstances.
Ron Roenicke, Milwaukee. Yes, Milwaukee won the NL Central, but they were decent last year, and got better in the offseason in an attempt to make a run at the title. You shouldn't get first place votes for doing what you're supposed to do.
Kirk Gibson, Arizona. Now this, this is impressive. They went 65-97 (34-49 under Gibson), and turned around to win the NL West in impressive fashion.
Ron Washington, Texas. He falls in Ron Roenicke territory. They were good, they're still good, and they did what they were supposed to do.
Jim Leyland, Detroit. The Tigers, on the other hand, were supposed to be okay. Maybe challenge for the AL Central. They were certainly not supposed to win it by 15 games.
Joe Maddon, Tampa. Maddon took a Longoria-less Rays to the post-season, taking advantage of the historic collapse of the Red Sox (as if "collapse" isn't enough, you have to preface it with "historic") to do it, and playing in probably the most exciting game of the season. Seriously, Maddon deserves the award just for pinch-hitting Dan Johnson in the 9th inning.