Wednesday, November 18, 2009

By Eric Denton - Senior Columnist

For the second time in his managerial career Angels skipper Mike Scioscia has been named the American League Manager of the Year. Scioscia received 15 first place votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America to take the honors.

Scioscia was also named "The Sporting News" AL Manager of the Year for 2009.

2009 was by far the most difficult season for Scioscia, who came into spring training minus record setting closer Francisco Rodriguez and first baseman Mark Teixeira. He also had to start the season with his two top starting pitchers John Lackey and Ervin Santana on the disabled list, on his way to using fourteen starting pitchers. Scioscia also had to create lineup cards without sluggers Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero for two months of the season.

However his biggest challenge was keeping his team together through the grief of losing 22 year old starting pitcher Nick Adenhart in a tragic auto accident on April 9, 2009. Scioscia was a pillar of strength and a true leader during the aftermath of the tragedy. Allowing his players to mourn while preparing them for each game, while also supporting the Adenhart family.

It would have been easily excusable for the 2009 Angels to have a forgotten season and look ahead to 2010 in April. Despite all the adversity, Scioscia guided his team to 97 wins (only three less than in 2008) winning their fifth AL West championship in six years. His Angels also defeated the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS and got within two wins of a World Series berth.
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