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Why Willie is NL Manager of the Year by default


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Last night, Willie Randolph and the Mets celebrated a division title earlier than anyone else. Counterpart Joe Girardi has nothing to celebrate except a 3rd place finish and a sub-.500 record. Someone explain to me why it makes sense that Girardi is a better choice than Willie, especially if the Marlins continue to fall out of the Wild Card race.

The Marlins are a great story, and they will be a hot topic this offseason. Girardi deserves bigtime credit for keeping up the faith despite a disastrous start to the season.

But big payroll or not, the Mets have something to play for, and no manager led a more dominant team this season. No other candidate "jumped out" as someone who made the most out of a team with low expectations before the season, unlike Jim Leyland for the Tigers, the obvious choice in the AL. Thus, while Willie wouldn't be an ideal choice in the average season BECAUSE he led such a talented team where they were EXPECTED to be, this is one of those rare years where a league has no "obvious" choice for Manager of the Year. And this is exactly why Willie should take home the award.

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