From the second the National League Manager of the Year was announced I was shaking my head. Don’t get me wrong, I love Clint Hurdle and what he has done with the Pittsburgh Pirates. It’s just that there is no way his managing job was more successful given the situation than Fredi Gonzalez of the Atlanta Braves who was also a finalist for the award. Hurdle, as good as he was has to realize he stole this from Fredi.
It could have been worse I guess if someone completely undeserving won. Honestly it seems to me that Gonzalez was the only finalist of the three that had large obstacles to overcome though. The Pirates played hard and played well for Hurdle all season long. Really all he had to do was manage a hard playing team that refused to quit. I don’t mean to suggest that is way easy but it is certainly easier than what Fredi had to go through.
He had not one but two of the best relievers in the game go down within a week not to mention his ace starter breaking his ankle in half. Also two of his highest paid players were dead weight all season long and Gonzalez had to manage around them. He did so and the Braves finished with a two more wins than the Pirates did and both teams excited during the same round of the playoffs.
Honestly I see no way what Hurdle did is better than what Gonzalez had to go through. It seems crazy to think that anyone of the other finalist besides Fredi could win this. It’s highway robbery. I respect the Pirates and Hurdle a great deal but he isn’t the manager of the year, or shouldn’t be. It’s a steal from Fredi of the Braves, plain and simple.