There are stark differences between each manager remaining in this years MLB Playoffs. From Jim Leyland finishing his 21st MLB season at the helm, to St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny entering his first year of managing at any level the results are still the same. Not to mention, World Series Champion managers Bruce Bouchy and Joe Girardi also have a few quirks of their own. Here is a quick rundown of what hasty decisions each manager has made and how they’ve worked out, ending with an overall grade of (A,B, C or D).
Detroit Tigers – Jim Leyland ( B ) Ever since the acquisition of slugging 1B Prince Fielder this winter, Leyland made the quick decision to move former 1B Miguel Cabrera back to 3B where he had not played full time since 2007. Overall, the move worked out as Cabrera won this year’s triple crown and Fielder has made great strides at first base. Now, Leyland has to deal with Jose Valverde‘s demise in this years postseason, the jury is still out on whether he will go to someone else to close or stick with Valverde. Leyland barely took a team with plenty of expectations to a divisional title, but he still is in line for another World Series trophy.
New York Yankees – Joe Girardi ( A-) Girardi is managing with the biggest payroll of these four playoff teams. With that being said Girardi has had to deal with two lynchpin players going down due to injury and that is unfortunate. With that being said, Girardi produced a 95 game winner without Mariano Rivera all season. The postseason has been an offensive disappointment as the big time bats have not produced, furthermore Girardi has been criticized for not moving a struggling Alex Rodriguez down in the lineup. Overall, Girardi went all year without his closer and will go the rest of the way without the team captain.
St. Louis Cardinals – Mike Matheny ( A ). Replacing a legend like Tony La Russa cannot be easy, but Matheny has done an excellent job making it look like a breeze. Minus Albert Pujols for the first time in 12 years, the Cardinals are primed for another NL pennant. Matheny has gotten the most out of an injured and depleted pitching staff and for that should be commended. In the postseason, Matheny rallied the troops from a game one lose at home to a vibrant Washington Nationals team to win the series and move onto the NLCS. Mike Matheny has done an incredible job and deserves a bright future in St. Louis.
San Francisco Giants – Bruce Bouchy ( A+) – The Giants were an unlikely playoff team thanks to a sub par season by Tim Linceum and a scuffling offense, but are alive and well in the NLCS. Bouchy handled the Melky Cabrera situation with upmost class and for that he is the most honorable manager on this list. In my opinion, Bruce Bouchy has done the most with the least this season and turned Buster Posey into the next big thing behind the plate. When comparing lineups, the Giants definitely have the more unproven names and without Bouchy squeezing every drop out of his players the Giants would be at home.