Best managers of the first half 

June, 27, 2012
Bobby Valentine Jim Rogash/Getty ImagesValentine has endured lots of drama in the first half and yet, Boston remains in contention.

Joe Girardi is having perhaps his best season as manager of the New York Yankees, guiding them to the American League’s second-best record. In Texas, Ron Washington leads the league’s best team with three starting pitchers on the disabled list. However, when you manage two high-payroll teams that are stacked with some of the game’s best players, it makes life a little easier. Here are six other managers (three in each league) who have done very well with much less than what Girardi and Washington have. They are my choices for the best managers in baseball thus far in 2012.

American League

1. Bobby Valentine, Boston Red Sox
Fans and the media have criticized Valentine more than any other manager this year. However, when the dust settles, the fact remains he’s been the AL’s best manager in the first half of the season.