Stelton: Mariners’ Scott Servais should have won AL Manager of the Year

Nov 16, 2021, 11:30 AM | Updated: 7:20 pm
Mariners Scott Servais J.P. Crawford...
J.P. Crawford and Scott Servais of the Seattle Mariners talk before a June 15 game against the Twins. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

If you’ve listened to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob since the end of the 2021 Seattle Mariners season, one thing has been made abundantly clear by co-host Bob Stelton: Mariners manager Scott Servais deserves to named American League Manager of the Year.

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Servais was one of three finalists for the award, along with Houston’s Dusty Baker and Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash, but we found out Tuesday afternoon that Cash took the award.

Before the announcement was made, though, Stelton made one last impassioned plea on Monday for Seattle’s skipper to get the honor.

“They won 90 games, and he had to sit there and push every button correctly in order to get to that number,” Stelton said of Servais and the Mariners.

Stelton’s biggest point about the Manager of the Year race is that even though Cash’s Rays were the AL’s only 100-win team and Baker’s Astros took the AL West at 95-67 and reached the World Series, Servais clearly had a harder task than either of them. Even though the 90-72 M’s didn’t make the playoffs, they actually finished with two more wins in the regular season than the World Series champs from Atlanta, and Seattle not only blew away the low expectations it came into the year with, but it did so while struggling at the plate and losing numerous key players to injury. That was especially true in the rotation, starting in the first week of the season when James Paxton was lost to Tommy John surgery after not even two innings on the mound.

“You can look at the lack of production position by position, look at the number of injuries to their rotation… your Gold Glove first baseman (Evan White) gone, Rookie of the Year (Kyle Lewis) gone,” Stelton said. “You’re springing leaks everywhere, and (Servais) just keeps plugging the holes somehow, some way, and was able to get this team to 90 wins. And they didn’t beat up on the Sisters of the Poor every weekend. They sat there and beat good teams.”

There’s also no comparing where the Mariners came from to the Rays, who made the World Series in 2020, and Astros, who have appeared in three World Series since 2017.

“(Servais) had to manage his tail off. He had to do more managing than both (Cash and Baker) combined,” Stelton said.

You can hear Stelton’s full thoughts in the player below or in the final segment of the podcast at this link.

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