MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has been named the American League Manager of the Year.
You could say Gardenhire has been the Susan Lucci of this award, after finishing runner-up five times, including each of the past two seasons.
Gardenhire received a total of 108 votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA), including 16 first-place votes. Coming in second place was Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington, who received 88 total votes and 10 first-place votes.
San Diego’s Bud Black barely beat out Cincinnati’s Dusty Baker as the NL Manager of the Year.
According to the Twins, Gardenhire led the Twins to a 94-68 record, including their sixth division title in their last nine seasons.
Gardenhire joins Tom Kelly, who won the award in 1991, as the only Twins manager to win the honor.
Gardenhire was also named The Sporting News Manager of the Year. This year, he won his 800th career game on Sept. 21, the same night the Twins clinched the 2010 American League Central Division.
A couple of hours after he was told he won, Gardenhire called Michele Tafoya on WCCO radio. He was in Ft. Myers, Fla. with his wife when he got the call from the BBWAA in New York.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Michele Tafoya Interviews AL Manager of the Year Ron Gardenhire
“I raised my thumb up and she was like ‘You’ve got to be kidding me’,” he said.
The Twins overcame a number of challenges this past season. Other than injuries to key players like Justin Morneau, they also had to get used to Target Field.
“We never really knew how it was going to play until you get out there and start playing,” he said.
As for celebrating this victory, Gardenhire is planning a low-key get-together Wednesday night with his wife, Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson and Anderson’s wife in Ft. Myers.
“We’re going to find a nice little place and have some dinner and maybe do a little left-handed toast for the win column,” he said.