Baldelli win Manager of Year in 1st season with Twins

Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli motions to the bullpen during the third inning of Game 2 of an American League Division Series baseball game against the New York Yankees, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The 38-year-old is the youngest to win the award and the eighth to take it in his first full season on the job.

Posted: Nov 12, 2019 6:08 PM
Updated: Nov 12, 2019 8:40 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Shildt began his life in baseball at his mom's side, tagging along with her to work at a Double-A ballpark and picking up odd jobs around the clubhouse.

When Shildt was recognized Tuesday night for the career that has followed, the late Lib Shildt was the first thing on his mind.

"My mom was remarkable," he said.

Less than a week after his mother died, Shildt was honored for piloting the St. Louis Cardinals back into the playoffs, narrowly beating Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers to win NL Manager of the Year.

Shildt earned the award in his first full season on the job, even though Counsell received more first-place votes (13-10) from the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli won the AL prize in a tight finish over Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees. Both received 13 first-place votes, but Baldelli got more second-place nods (13-9). The 38-year-old is the youngest to win the award.

Shildt teared up upon learning he'd been chosen. The 51-year-old is the first manager of the year who never played pro ball, but he's been around the game since he was a child. His mom worked as an administrative assistant for the Charlotte O's in the Baltimore Orioles' system, and Shildt was a regular in the clubhouse.

"Appreciative of the time and love she and my dad invested in me," Shildt said.

Hospitalized for her final days, Shildt's mother repeatedly told her nurses how important it was that she live until Tuesday to find out if her son had won.

"She was emotional about knowing it was likely she wasn't going to be here," Shildt said. "I said, 'You know what? You're going to know before I am.'

"It still hasn't sunk in in total and I don't know if it ever will, ultimately, what that loss is going to feel like," he added.

Shildt replaced Mike Matheny as Cardinals manager during the 2018 season, and under his steady guidance, St. Louis has been among baseball's best teams since. The club won 91 games and the NL Central crown this year, ending the franchise's three-year postseason drought. The Cardinals gave Shildt a contract extension through the 2022 season.

"I set my sights on being the best coach I could be just like being the best player I could be, and the journey has led me here," Shildt said.

Atlanta's Brian Snitker finished third after winning the award last year. The Dodgers' Dave Roberts was fourth and Nationals manager Dave Martinez came in fifth. Washington turned a 19-31 start into a World Series championship, but voting for the award concluded before the postseason began.

Baldelli and Shildt are the eighth and ninth managers to win this award in their first full seasons on the job.

Baldelli took over a team that won 78 games in 2018 and pushed them to 101 victories and an AL Central title. He worked tightly with Minnesota's analytics-focused front office — a shift from predecessor Paul Molitor, who won the award in 2017 — and oversaw a turnaround powered by the team's major league-record 307 home runs.

"There's really no playbook," Baldelli said. "You certainly take advantage of the resources around you, the people who you trust, you rely on them in a lot of ways. I did that in a lot of different ways."

The self-dubbed Bomba Squad thrived under Baldelli, whose big league playing career was cut short by a rare disorder that led to frequent fatigue and soft tissue injuries.

One of Baldelli's priorities was keeping players rested, a strategy that worked especially well with his catchers. Nobody started more than 73 games behind the plate for Minnesota, yet the trio of Mitch Garver, Jason Castro and Willians Astudillo combined for 48 home runs, most in the majors by any team's backstops.

Young hitters Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler had breakout seasons, Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton began to meet the weighty expectations that followed exceptional minor league careers, Nelson Cruz kept putting up big numbers and a no-name bullpen emerged as one of the most reliable in baseball.

"We have a group of young players here in Minnesota, a nucleus of young guys that were really coming into their own in a lot of ways," Baldelli said. "I think some of those guys were ready to take the next step in their career offensively, and a couple of those guys were doing that at the same time. We also complemented them with some quality, veteran players."

Rays manager Kevin Cash also earned three first-place votes and finished third. Oakland's Bob Melvin was fourth, followed by Houston's AJ Hinch and Cleveland's Terry Francona.

ON DECK

All teammates a season ago, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Charlie Morton are finalists for the AL Cy Young Award, which will be announced Wednesday. Cole and Verlander pitched the Astros to their second pennant in three seasons and are the favorites for the award. Morton left Houston for Tampa Bay in free agency and had a career year.

Mets ace Jacob deGrom is expected to repeat as the NL Cy Young winner. He's up against the Nationals' Max Scherzer and Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36716

Reported Deaths: 1482
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin11892776
Ramsey4724218
Stearns228719
Dakota221889
Anoka2124107
Nobles16556
Olmsted105815
Washington102540
Mower9282
Rice8247
Scott6714
Clay57637
Kandiyohi5651
Wright4485
Blue Earth4222
Todd4002
Carver3481
Lyon3002
Sherburne2974
Freeborn2860
Steele2190
Benton2083
Watonwan2060
St. Louis16915
Martin1615
Nicollet14912
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1248
Winona11915
Pine1030
Crow Wing10212
Chisago951
Otter Tail921
Le Sueur861
McLeod850
Carlton830
Dodge810
Polk812
Unassigned8137
Chippewa761
Itasca6512
Isanti640
Douglas610
Meeker581
Waseca580
Morrison571
Becker550
Jackson540
Faribault530
Murray510
Pennington510
Sibley482
Mille Lacs342
Brown312
Wabasha310
Rock290
Yellow Medicine290
Beltrami280
Renville282
Fillmore270
Pipestone261
Houston240
Norman200
Swift201
Wilkin203
Redwood170
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Cass122
Marshall120
Pope100
Lincoln90
Roseau90
Grant80
Clearwater70
Mahnomen71
Lake60
Hubbard50
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 29429

Reported Deaths: 716
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6120178
Woodbury317744
Black Hawk213058
Buena Vista169711
Linn121582
Dallas119429
Johnson11818
Marshall101618
Story7223
Pottawattamie70111
Wapello70130
Crawford6672
Scott66410
Muscatine62044
Dubuque53922
Sioux4570
Tama45129
Wright3750
Louisa36013
Jasper31817
Plymouth3054
Dickinson2492
Warren2491
Washington2299
Hamilton1851
Webster1682
Boone1361
Allamakee1264
Clarke1262
Clay1260
Mahaska11517
Shelby1060
Cerro Gordo1051
Poweshiek1048
Clinton991
Bremer886
Carroll861
Des Moines853
Pocahontas841
Henry823
Taylor790
Franklin780
Cedar771
Emmet750
Cherokee730
Monona710
Floyd662
Marion660
Guthrie644
Hardin630
Sac630
Benton591
Osceola560
Jones550
Jefferson530
Harrison510
Humboldt511
Iowa500
Monroe506
Lee492
Butler472
Calhoun472
Hancock470
Buchanan461
Delaware451
Lyon400
Clayton393
Davis381
Madison372
Grundy340
Mills340
Fayette330
Kossuth320
Winneshiek320
Palo Alto310
Lucas304
Greene280
Mitchell280
Chickasaw270
Howard270
Winnebago260
Jackson250
Union250
Ida220
Appanoose203
Page200
Keokuk191
Van Buren190
Cass170
Audubon161
Adair150
Ringgold150
Worth140
Decatur100
Montgomery102
Adams80
Wayne80
Fremont70
Unassigned40
Rochester
Few Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 87°
Mason City
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 88°
Albert Lea
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 90°
Austin
Scattered Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 88°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 90°
HOT AND HUMID
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

City Administrator Transition Out Of Position

Image

Domestic Pet Act Signed Into Law

Image

AI Driven Emergency Medicine Platform

Image

Governor Reynolds in North Iowa

Image

Restaurants in Minnesota might shut down again

Image

SMART Transit delivered thousands of meals

Image

The miraculous catch

Image

New Swine Flu

Image

Charles City athlete is taunted with racial comments

Image

RPD Policy Listening Session

Community Events