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San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler was the easy choice for NL Manager of the Year, but who challenged him the most?
Kapler’s Giants fell short in the postseason, but they won 107 games for a reason. San Francisco was picked by some pundits to finish in the bottom half of the NL West before the season. Instead, they won the whole damn thing, holding off the Dodgers at the very last minute.
The Giants went with an outside-the-box hire in the first place with Kapler, who failed in his first go-around with the Philadelphia Phillies. Yet, he’s been a huge success by the Bay. Kapler was honored for his efforts with the NL Manager of the Year for 2021, and was presented the award by former Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
NL Manager of the Year: Full ballot and results
Kapler received 28 of 30 first-place votes, with the other two going to Craig Counsell (who finished second in voting) and Mike Shildt (who finished third).
Shildt, ironically enough, parted ways with the St. Louis Cardinals after the season due to a conflict with the front office.
“Where we are in this point in time, we’re not making this decision on a reaction of the season,” Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said at the time. “This is a decision that as we start to look forward, what do we want it to most look like, and how do we want that to be run? … The decision that both [chairman Bill DeWitt Jr.] and myself and some others came to was — what we want to do and where we want to go, we needed to go in a different way.”
Counsell managed a talented yet underrated Brewers team to the NL Central crown, holding off Shildt’s Cardinals. Brian Snitker finished in fourth place, receiving four second-place votes after leading the Braves to the World Series. Dave Roberts finished fifth, receiving five third-place votes.
The full results can be found here.