Kapler a Manager of Year finalist, Crawford snubbed in MVP race

Crawford and Kapler

What more did Brandon Crawford need to do? 

At 34 years old, Crawford had the best season of his storied career. The Giants' star shortstop won his fourth Gold Glove and is a Silver Slugger finalist, looking to win the award for the first time since 2015. But on Monday, Crawford fell short as the NL MVP finalists were announced. 

Crawford was beat out by San Diego Padres shortstop/right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr., Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper and Washington Nationals right fielder Juan Soto.

Aside from the disappointing news, Crawford's career year shouldn't go unrecognized. Upon a whole new coaching staff arriving ahead of the 2020 season, Crawford made swing changes that turned into real results late in his career. His .792 OPS in the shortened 60-game season was the best of his career. That is, until this past season.

Crawford slashed .298/.373/.522 over 138 games, which amounts to an .895 OPS. All were the best of his career, as were his 24 home runs, 90 RBI and 79 runs scored. To add the cherry on top, Crawford stole a career-high 11 bases in his 11th season. 

And that's just mentioning his offensive outburst. Crawford again was brilliant at shortstop, becoming just the fourth Giant to win at least four Gold Gloves. He joined a special group that includes Willie Mays, Barry Bonds and J.T. Snow. 

There's a reason, or many reasons, why the Giants handed Crawford a two-year contract extension through 2023 in August.


Crawford's 6.1 bWAR was a new career high. The same goes for his 5.5 fWAR. 

Oh, and he did this all for a 107-win team, the most in the majors this year. As the season went on, Crawford's MVP case only strengthened. He came up short in the eyes of voters but his season will be remembered in Giants history. 

Now to the good news. 

Though fans rightfully are upset about Crawford's snub, it's no surprise that Gabe Kapler has been named an NL Manager of the Year finalist. In fact, he likely is the favorite to win the award and should be.

When the Giants hired Kapler before the 2020 season, he came with a whole lot of questions and people on the outside believing he was the wrong choice to replace Bruce Bochy. So far, he has quieted his critics. 

RELATED: Kapler salutes Crawford's Gold Glove with unique perspective

Kapler led the Giants to a franchise record in wins this season, all while battling the Los Angeles Dodgers all season long. The Giants also won the NL West for the first time since 2012.

In his two seasons as the Philadelphia Phillies' manager, he had a .497 win percentage. In his two seasons in San Francisco, he has .613 win percentage. 

If Kapler does win the award, he'd be the first Giants manager to do so since Dusty Baker in 2000.

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