The American League East has been a two-team division in recent years, but this season the standings will get a considerable shakeup. Along with some roster changes for a few teams, some new managers are joining a division that has had some of the game’s best skippers.
The Boston Red Sox’ John Farrell and Toronto Blue Jays’ John Gibbons join the New York Yankees’ Joe Girardi, Baltimore Orioles’ Buck Showalter and Tampa Bay Rays’ Joe Maddon.
Farrell arrives in Boston trying to fill the gaping hole left by Bobby Valentine last year. After his shortened adventure with the team across the northern border (Toronto), he is right back where he wants to be. It may not come as a surprise that there is a new atmosphere around Boston with the arrival of Farrell, whom general manager Ben Cherington and company have long coveted ever since Terry Francona left Fenway Park.
Over the course of Farrell’s coaching career, he has a record of 154-170. Considering all the transactions Boston has put in place, the newly named manager could be an envisioning a turnaround season from last year.
Girardi is going into his fifth year as the Yankees skipper in 2013. New York’s roster does have a decent amount of older players on the team, including Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez, but as long as they can stay healthy, Girardi may like his team’s chances. Girardi is 557-415 overall after a dominating 95-67 record in 2012.
On a day of remembering Earl Weaver, one of the greatest managers in Orioles’ history, it is only right to add Showalter into the mix. Baltimore’s manager has a ton of young, talented players in his possession to mix and match. Showalter (1,078-1,018) has created quite the resume in his time in the big leagues, but he has yet to break through for postseason success. Is this the year it happens?
In Tampa, Joe Maddon is and always will be an effective manager in the AL East. His team just gets the job done on an annual basis. With B.J. Upton out of the fold, Maddon may have a little worrying to do. But as long as the pitching can stay consistent and accurate the way David Price and company look on paper, he could have another AL East contender.
Gibbons will have a handful with the newly acquired players that were dealt to his team this past summer, including Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle. In his second go-round with the team, he’s looking to keep the success from last time but take his team farther in the division.
The AL East certainly has some of the best managers in the game. But who is the best of them all?
Tune in to the Red Sox Town Hall presented by Cape Air on NESN at 11 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 19.