I suppose there’s a universe where Terry Francona is not named the 2022 AL Manager of the Year, but that’s a universe where justice is an unknown concept.
To put it simply, there is no one more deserving of the award this season than the Guardians’ skipper. Francona, who isn’t sure how much longer he’ll even manage due to his ongoing health issues, has pulled off perhaps his most impressive season yet, guiding Cleveland to the AL Central title in a season where nobody expected them to do it.
But it’s not just about surprising everyone in the baseball world – there are always a couple teams doing that each season. What the Guardians have done in 2022 is downright historic – no team has ever won a division or league title with 16 players making their debut in a season, which is exactly what Cleveland has just done.
Not to mention the average age of the Guardians’ roster is not only the youngest by a mile in the majors, but it beats the average age of their own Triple-A team.
These things just don’t happen in baseball, and here the Guardians are, building their own impressive brand of baseball and not only defying the odds, but becoming a team that could be a very tough out in the postseason, playing great at the exact right time.
Here’s another fun stat for you while we’re at it: Since Francona became the manager in 2013, the Indians/Guardians have played only 19 regular season games where they were mathematically eliminated from the postseason.
That’s… a ton of important baseball Cleveland fans have been privileged to watch over the past ten seasons.
So sure, there could be a debate over the American League’s best managers this season and who should win the award, but it wouldn’t be in good faith when the answer is so clearly, so unequivocally Terry Francona.