Angels’ Mike Scioscia Wins AL Manager Of The Year Award

For the second time since 2002, the man New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman called the “Bill Belichick of our sport” won the American League Manager of the Year award.

Of course, that statement was made before Belichick’s meltdown on Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts. I am not going to talk about that fourth and two call because the media has shoved that call down our throats the last three days.

What I am going to talk about is how the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim’s Mike Scioscia won his second Manager of the Year award. Scioscia received 15 out of 28 first-place votes to win the award.

Scioscia was the AL's best manager in 2009

The Minnesota Twins’ Ron Gardenhire and the New York Yankees’ Joe Girardi came in third respectfully.

Even though Scioscia probably had his best team in 2008, he did his best managerial job in 2009.

Not only did the Angels overcome a rash of injuries to their pitching staff early in the season, but Scioscia held that team together during the Nick Adenhart tragedy and guided them to their sixth postseason appearance in the last 10 years.

What Scioscia has done is build a “system” in Anaheim–which is very hard to do in baseball. Every player in the Angels’ organization–from rookie ball to the major leagues–plays the game the way Scioscia wants them to play.

A player is going to play the game a certain way and if not, they won’t be around for too long.

Tony LaRussa has built a similar system in St. Louis.

Building a “system” or an “organizational philosophy” is much easier to do in the NBA, NFL, or even the NHL because it is more of a team game and players are drafted more on whether or not they fit the team’s style of player rather than because they have the most talent.

Scioscia has taken talented players and has molded them into the players he wants and ultimately, has made them better players. Very hard to do in baseball.

In terms of the voting, I was a little surprised that Texas Rangers’ Ron Washington didn’t finish higher. The Rangers weren’t expected to compete for a playoff spot in 2009 and Washington had that team in contention all the way till the last couple of weeks of the season.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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