Rocco Baldelli is your 2019 AL Manager of the Year.
Baldelli managed the Twins to 101 wins in his first season in Minnesota, including an incredible 55 road wins. Minnesota won the AL Central and then went 0-3 in an ALDS loss to the Yankees.
Baldelli edged out Aaron Boone and Kevin Cash by a narrow voting margin, according to the announcement show on MLB Network. He joins Paul Molitor (2017), Ron Gardenhire (2010) and Tom Kelly (1987) as Twins managers to win AL Manager of the Year award.
The Twins won 78 games the year before Baldelli arrived, so he checks that box for the Team Overachievement criteria. In true Baldelli fashion, he said in an MLB Network interview that he doesn’t accept this as an individual award.
“I do everything I can but it doesn’t matter what I’m going to do every day when I come to the ball field — you need an entire group,” Baldelli said.
“We needed everybody to come together, and then it really comes down to the players going out there and doing it. … We had a lot of things going really well this year and it’s because of our group. … But I don’t accept this award as an individual; I accept it as a member of the Minnesota Twins.”
The last time that the Twins were managed on a full-time basis by a guy who has NOT win a Manager of the Year award? That would be 1986, the year before TK took over.