You didn’t need this article, nor did you need the announcement from MLB moments prior. The news is something you already knew, because it was obvious: San Francisco Giants skipper Gabe Kapler has been named the 2021 National League Manager of the Year.
That’s our guy. Gabe Kapler has been named NL Manager of the Year. pic.twitter.com/mYxYoweBZI— SFGiants (@SFGiants) November 16, 2021
Kapler was a lock for the award by the All-Star break. Despite most projections, analytical and otherwise, pegging the Giants for a losing season, the team won the most games in the Majors, setting a franchise record with 107 victories.
There’s no shortage of people to credit for that: they had four All-Stars (including the traded-for Kris Bryant), a Silver Slugger winner in Buster Posey, a Gold Glove winner (and likely many MVP votes-getter) in Brandon Crawford, and an Executive of the Year in Farhan Zaidi. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to assigning credit.
But Kapler certainly deserves a huge share of it, making this award a no-brainer — and nearly unanimous. He received first-place votes from 28 of the 30 voters, and one second-place vote as well. He was omitted on one of the three-name ballots.
Kapler becomes just the second manager in San Francisco history to win the award, joining Dusty Baker, who nabbed it in 1993, 1997, and 2000. It’s a little bit funny that the person who preceded Kapler with the Giants, Brucy Bochy — widely considered the best manager in franchise history — announced the award, even though he never won it with the black and orange (though Bochy did win the award in 1996 while with the San Diego Padres).
This comes on the heels of the Giants announcing that Kapler’s contract had been extended, which was an equally obvious thing to see coming.
All in all, it’s been a good week for the Giants manager.