The position of manager in baseball is often the most criticized by fans, players and commentators, including myself.
We're all platform managers and that's the beauty of baseball. Every decision of a manager is scrutinized, as there are several other strategies that can be used. As an example with a runner on base: a bunt, a hit and run, a goal steal or none of the ones I just mentioned. As the season draws to a close, my heart swings to Charlie Montoyo of the Toronto Blue Jays for Manager of the Year.
Long before the first pitch of the season, the Tampa Bay Rays were among the favorites to finish first in their division. And that bodes well for Kevin Cash's cast. Unless the sky falls on their heads, they will be crowned champion of their division
Further north in the Bronx, the Yankees can bet on one of the best pitching numbers, including starting pitcher Gerrit Cole in the lead as well as Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman in relief. At batting, PJ LeMahieu is flirting with the batting championship and Luke Voit is among the leaders for home runs.
Oakland will win its division title ahead of the hard-hitting Houston Astros.
As for the Chicago White Sox, two of their players José Abreu and Tim Anderson are vying for the title of MVP in the American League.
And the Blue Jays …
Now let's take a look at the Blue Jays. No starting pitcher has pitched seven innings in a game. There is Hyun Jin Ryu who throws an average of nearly six innings per start. The other pitchers, hold on tight, average just four innings each time they are on the mound. Top relief pitcher Anthony Bass preserved six games.
At batting, the Toronto reps are doing quite well. On the other hand, they only have one top hitter in the league, Teoscar Hernandez in the home run category despite missing several games with injury.
The Jays have better pitching staff on the injured list than their 28-man roster. Manager Charlie Montoyo has managed his relief pitching staff without relying on one of the league's top relief pitchers, Ken Giles, who will also miss the 2021 season with surgery to his right elbow.
The season for the Blue Jays is far from an easy one. Because the border is closed, the Blue Jays had to establish their headquarters in Buffalo. Since the start of the season, they have stayed at the hotel, far from their families. Few observers ventured to say early in the campaign that the Jays were going to fight the Yankees all the time for second place. Let's be honest with ourselves, seeing the Jays in the playoffs was utopian.
We have to admit that they could cause a nice surprise despite all the obstacles that have arisen in front of them. The players are doing their job, but it takes a solid leader at the helm of this team, and let's throw our hat in front of Charlie Montoyo who deserves serious consideration for Manager of the Year.
Rarely have we seen a baseball season with such a long injury list. There are not a thousand and one ways to explain this situation. COVID-19 has changed the way we train. The training camp usually takes place over a period of almost six weeks.
This year, the camp took place in two phases.
The pitchers have never been able to prepare physically for 110 shots per game. The best proof is that the first Jays starting pitcher to cross the 100-pitch mark in a game did so last Sunday in the 53rd game of their season.
The future of many launchers is in jeopardy. Just think of Astros pitcher ace Justin Verlander who will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right arm. He will miss next season and his career may be in jeopardy.
Other star pitchers have not been spared from injury, including the Sonny Gray of the Reds, Mike Clevinger of the Padres, Walker Buehler of the Dodgers and Chad Pinder of the Athletics. The baseball season will end this Sunday, but at what cost for some pitchers.