Manager Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays directs his team against the Detroit Tigers during a game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Remember the Sporting News? It used to be the "Bible of Baseball", but if you're younger than about 40, you probably know it only as a fading magazine that tried to be all sports to all people. Those of us of "a certain age" remember getting it each week and reading it in detail for boxscores that often didn't make the local paper and minor league stats you couldn't get anywhere else.
Yes, I'm showing my age. Tempus fugit, etc.
Today, the Sporting News named Rays manager Joe Maddon and Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson as its Managers of the Year in the American League and National League, respectively, and at least as of the time this feature was written, couldn't even be bothered to feature this on the front page of their website. Instead, there was a wacky, arty photo of World Series Game 5 starter C.J. Wilson, which has nothing to do with this article or the awards at all.
Both Maddon and Gibson did excellent work with their clubs; the Rays were not expected to contend this year after losing several key players via free agency or trade, but they had a terrific September run to win the AL Wild Card. The Diamondbacks, who had MLB's worst bullpen in 2010 and lost 97 games, improved by 29 wins under Gibson and won the NL West. Gibson is credited with creating a change in clubhouse culture which, along with better pitching, helped them win.
Both men should be favored to win the BBWAA Manager of the Year awards, which will be announced in November. But for now, I can't quite get this image of C.J. Wilson out of my mind:
What is that supposed to be, anyway? Make him look like a wacky bird?
Just another reason the Sporting News has faded into irrelevancy. It's sad, really.