Mattingly, Cash win Manager of the Year honors

Field Level Media

November 11, 2020 at 12:54 am.

Don Mattingly of the Miami Marlins became the fifth MVP winner to earn Manager of the Year as he won the National League honor, and Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays was selected the American League’s top skipper.

The announcements were made Tuesday on MLB Network.

Mattingly received 20 first-place votes and 124 total points in the NL balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Cash received 22 first-place votes and 126 points in the AL voting.

Mattingly won the AL MVP award in 1985 when he was a star player for the New York Yankees. The others to win both MVP and Manager of the Year awards are Frank Robinson (MVP 1961, 1966; MOY 1989), Joe Torre (MVP 1971, MOY 1996, 1998), Don Baylor (MVP 1979, MOY 1995) and Kirk Gibson (MVP 1988, MOY 2011).

“I look at the MVP as more of an accomplishment as a player, this is an organizational thing,” Mattingly said during the awards show. “This doesn’t happen without a great staff, without the organization setting you up with players, the front office making moves with all the (COVID-19) stuff that was going on early and the players believed in what we talked about that this was something that could happen.”

Cash was a finalist for the third straight year. The Rays went 40-20 and won the AL East during the 2020 regular season and advanced to the World Series before falling in six games to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“It is an honor, no doubt,” Cash said. “I think it is a great representation of the Rays and what we do.”

The AL runner-up was Rick Renteria, who was fired by the Chicago White Sox after the season despite leading the club to a 35-25 record and its first playoff berth since 2008. He received 61 points and five first-place points. Charlie Montoyo (47 points, two first-place votes) of the Toronto Blue Jays finished third.

First-year manager Jayce Tingler of the San Diego Padres finished second in the NL with 71 points and received six first-place votes. David Ross of the Chicago Cubs, also in his first season, was third with 25 points and one first-place vote.

Mattingly, 59, guided the Marlins to a 31-29 record and a second-place finish in the NL East. The playoff berth was just the third in franchise history, joining the 1997 and 2003 World Series championship clubs.

The winning record was attained despite the team being ravaged with COVID-19 issues early in the season. The club had 18 positive COVID-19 tests and made 174 roster moves. A total of 18 players made their major league debuts during the shortened 60-game season.

The Marlins won a playoff series against the Cubs before losing to the Atlanta Braves in the second round. The turnaround followed a 57-105 mark in 2019.

“With what we’ve been through the past couple years, it’s great for our (entire organization,” Mattingly said of the award. “It shows we are on the way, and that’s where we are trying to go in Miami.”

Mattingly is 307-399 in five seasons with the Marlins after spending five seasons managing the Los Angeles Dodgers. He owns a 753-762 regular-season record and a 10-14 mark in the postseason.

Cash, 42, has earned a reputation of being one of the top managers in the game while going 454-416 in six seasons with Tampa Bay. He joins Joe Maddon (2008, 2011) as the only Manager of the Year winners in club history.

Cash’s regular-season success this year was overshadowed by his controversial decision to pull ace Blake Snell with a 1-0 lead with one out in the sixth inning of Game 6 of the World Series. Snell was dominating the Dodgers and had struck out nine and allowed two hits while throwing just 73 pitches.

After the move, the Dodgers pushed two runs across in the inning and went on to a series-ending, 3-1 victory.

“There really wasn’t anything different about that game,” Cash said on the MLB Network show. “I can totally respect all the opinions that have been talked about. But I think after the game I gave the best answer and the most honest answer, that I felt that was our best chance.

“I had ultimate confidence in Blake but had a lot of confidence in Nick (Anderson) and tried to be consistent with what we all felt as an organization was our strong suit — that was handing the ball to some really, really key relievers when … that lineup turns over multiple times.”

Montoyo, 55, guided the Blue Jays to a 32-28 mark while dealing with the situation of playing home games in Buffalo due to travel restrictions in and out of Canada.

Tingler, 39, managed the Padres (37-23) to a second-place finish and their first postseason berth since 2006 in his first campaign with the club. The winning record was the franchise’s first since the Padres went 90-72 in 2010.

Ross led the Cubs (34-26) to the NL Central title. The 43-year-old former catcher had a strong relationship with many of the key players after being part of Chicago’s 2016 World Series championship team.

In the NL, Brian Snitker of the Atlanta Braves finished fourth with 16 points and one first-place vote. The Dodgers’ Dave Roberts (13 points, one first-place vote) was fifth.

As for the AL, Bob Melvin (22 points, one first-place vote) of the Oakland Athletics was fourth and Rocco Baldelli (13 points) of the Minnesota Twins was fifth.