NL Manager of the Year: Finalists and Prediction

Don Mattingly

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The finalists for NL Manager of the Year are Atlanta BravesFredi Gonzalez, Los Angeles DodgersDon Mattingly and Pittsburgh PiratesClint Hurdle.

Before the 2013 MLB season got under way, I don’t think there was anyone who would have predicted the Pirates to win 90-plus games. Postseason has been a word that hasn’t been in the Pirates’ vocabulary in 21 years. Not only did Pittsburgh win 94 games, they were within one victory of moving onto the NLCS. What Hurdle did for the Pirates this year is nothing but amazing and he should get a lot of votes because of it.

Atlanta’s manager has a chance to win the manager of the year award too, but it’s not Bobby Cox. What Bobby did for the Braves will never be forgotten, but the transfer of managerial power is easier to accept when a guy like Fredi is able to manage the Braves to 96 wins. The Braves lost in the NLDS, but that shouldn’t affect the votes for Gonzalez.

Mattingly was on the verge of getting fired, and now he’s a candidate for manager of the year. What a roller coaster of a season it’s been for the Dodgers and Mattingly. Voters are going to take into account the timing for the run Los Angeles went on. Yasiel Puig‘s debut and Hanley Ramirez‘s return from injury both coincide with the team’s turnaround. It will remain to be seen if that affects how people look at Mattingly.

When it’s all said and done, Gonzalez will come in third, Mattingly second and Hurdle will be the NL Manager of the Year.

Michael Pidgeon is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Rant Sports.com: “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter @1AndOnlyPidgeon, add him to your network on Google or e-mail him at black24mamba@aol.com

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