1.) Kirk Gibson, Arizona
No way Arizona wins the West without Gibson at the helm. Having inherited a 65-win team that used 48 different players in 2010, Gibby led a charge to unseat the defending world champs and advance to the postseason as a division winner. What more can be said?
Now the only question is how much longer Arizona will wait to extend his contract with one season remaining on it?
2.) Tony LaRussa, St. Louis
No Adam Wainright. No closer. Pujols missed considerable time. An epic late season comeback from 10-games back of the Wild Card leading Braves. Typical LaRussa–always finding a way, even when battling shingles.
3.) Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia
The Phillies, unquestionably, had the best rotation in baseball–on paper. But they still had to prove it on the field, and did so with little to no offense and World Series expectations to boot.
Manuel pulled all the right strings leading the Phils to the major’s best record (102-60).
NLDS loss aside, Manuel’s bunch couldn’t have been much better during the regular season.
*) Honorable Mentions: Ron Roenicke, Milwaukee–Fredi Gonzalez, Atlanta–Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh