With the Chicago White Sox in first place in the AL Central and pushing for playoff positioning during late-August, it's probably time to start talking about Robin Ventura's candidacy for AL Manager of the Year. J.J. Skankevitz of CSN-Chicago decided to break down the field, and although the Sox have surprised most analysts Stankevitz still thinks Ventura has an uphill battle to win the award:
...with Oakland and Baltimore part of a four-way tie for the Wild Card heading into Friday's action, Ventura has some stiff competition. Buck Showalter may be the favorite for the award, as he's kept the Orioles in the playoff race against all odds (the Orioles currently have the third-worst run differential in the American League, ahead of only Minnesota and Kansas City).
Bob Melvin's A's were five games under .500 on July 1, then went 19-5 in that month and barged their way into the Wild Card race. If Oakland can navigate their way into the postseason, he'd certainly be a top candidate as well.
If the White Sox keep winning and if they beat out the Detroit Tigers for the AL Central crown, general manager Ken Williams and Robin Ventura will both have very strong cases to bring home year-end hardware. It's a good time to be a White Sox fan.