Don Mattingly started the 2020 season on the hot seat after the rebuilding Miami Marlins lost 105 games last season. Now he’s being recognized as the top man in his field after being named National League Manager of the Year on Tuesday.
Mattingly, who shockingly led Miami to its first postseason berth since 2003, was given the honor over fellow finalists David Ross of the Chicago Cubs and Jayce Tingler of the San Diego Padres following a vote by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Mattingly received 20 of 30 first-place votes.
Despite a successful run with the Los Angeles Dodgers, this is Mattingly's first time winning Manager of the Year. He's the third Marlins manager to win the award, joining Jack McKeon (2003) and Joe Girardi (2006).
The Manager of Year award exists to recognize seasons exactly like those engineered by Mattingly in 2020. He entered in what appeared to be a no-win situation. That outlook only got worse after an early-season COVID-19 outbreak affected 18 players and forced the team to miss over a week of scheduled games.
Somehow, Mattingly maneuvered his severely undermanned squad through the outbreak and through a heavily backloaded schedule to finish with a 31-29 record. Granted, Miami would not have made the postseason without the expanded format, but everyone was playing by the same rules in that regard. Simply leading Miami to a winning record under any circumstance was a mark in Mattingly's favor.
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