San Francisco’s Gabe Kapler and Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash were named NL and AL Managers of the Year, respectively, on Tuesday. Associated Press photos

Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash became the second skipper to win Manager of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons, taking the American League award Tuesday night.

San Francisco’s Gabe Kapler won the NL honor.

Cash led the low-payroll Rays to a second consecutive AL East crown. Tampa Bay (100-62) finished with the AL’s best record before losing to Boston in the Division Series.

Bobby Cox had been the only person to win Manager of the Year two straight seasons, doing it with Atlanta in 2004-05.

The Rays made it to the World Series in 2020, but Cash came under criticism for removing starting pitcher Blake Snell in the final game. But if anything, quick hooks like that were a fairly normal strategy in this year’s postseason – perhaps another example of Cash and Tampa Bay being ahead of the curve on new ways to approach the game.

Seattle’s Scott Servais finished second behind Cash in the voting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Houston’s Dusty Baker was third.

Charlie Montoyo of the Blue Jays was fourth, followed by Alex Cora of the Red Sox, Tony La Russa of the White Sox and A.J. Hinch of the Tigers.

Cash received 19 of the 30 first-place votes.

Kapler won the NL award after guiding San Francisco to a franchise-best 107 victories in his second season with the Giants. He beat out Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers and Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Kapler managed two seasons in Philadelphia before being fired. The Giants hired him after Bruce Bochy’s retirement. Kapler had both big shoes to fill – Bochy won three championships with San Francisco – and a struggling team to take over. When the Giants went 29-31 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, it was their fourth straight losing record.

Then, in a year when the star-laden Dodgers and Padres were supposed to compete for NL West supremacy, San Francisco surged to the best record in baseball. The Giants beat out the Dodgers by a game for the division crown, although they lost to Los Angeles in a tightly contested Division Series.

Counsell finished second after leading the Brewers to the NL Central title. Shildt was third – a month after he was fired over what Cardinals president John Mozeliak described as philosophical differences.

Brian Snitker of the World Series champion Braves and Dave Roberts of the Dodgers were the other managers to receive votes.

Kapler received 28 of the 30 first-place votes, which were cast before the playoffs began.

BLUE JAYS: Toronto reached an agreement with pitcher Jose Berríos on a seven-year, $131 million deal, pending a physical, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

The Blue Jays acquired the 27-year-old right-hander at the July trade deadline from the Minnesota Twins. The two-time All-Star was due to become a free agent after the 2022 season.

Berríos went 5-4 with a 3.58 ERA in 12 starts with Toronto down the stretch. He finished 12-9 last season with a 3.52 ERA overall. Berríos, who is from Puerto Rico, was taken 32nd overall by the Twins in the 2012 amateur draft and has been a durable and reliable starter.

The contract will become only the third $100 million-plus deal in Blue Jays history. Toronto signed outfielder George Springer to a $150 million, six-year contract last offseason. Vernon Wells and the Blue Jays agreed to a $126 million, seven-year contract in 2006. At the time, it was sixth-largest deal in baseball history.

GUARDIANS: Cleveland will have two teams called the Guardians.

The Major League Baseball franchise and a local roller derby club have reached a resolution in a lawsuit filed over the use of the name Guardians, allowing both to continue using it.

The sides on Tuesday jointly announced an “amicable resolution,” an agreement that permits the Indians to continue their changeover to Guardians – a switch that was delayed due to the legal matter and isn’t completely finished.

No other terms of the agreement were disclosed.

The legal scuffle was another hurdle in a long route to the official name change for the Indians, whose decision to drop Indians angered some fans and alienated others. The American League team has been known as the Indians since 1915.

PHILLIES: Fire up the hot dog cannon — the Phillie Phanatic is back in Philadelphia.

Not that the mascot largely – large as in that green, furry, bulbous belly – ever really went anywhere. But a legal dispute between the Philadelphia Phillies and the mascot’s creator forced the team to give baseball’s most beloved native of the Galapagos Islands an extreme makeover.

But the Phillies and Harrison/Erickson, the New York company that created the Phanatic, reached a settlement his week that allowed the more familiar version to return in 2022 to Citizens Bank Park.


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