2011 Major League Baseball season

This article is about the 2011 Major League Baseball season only. For information on all of baseball, see 2011 in baseball.
2011 MLB season
League Major League Baseball
Sport Baseball
Duration March 31, 2011 – October 28, 2011
Regular season
Season MVP NL: Ryan Braun (MIL)
AL: Justin Verlander (DET)
League postseason
AL champions Texas Rangers
  AL runners-up Detroit Tigers
NL champions St. Louis Cardinals
  NL runners-up Milwaukee Brewers
World Series
Champions St. Louis Cardinals
  Runners-up Texas Rangers

The 2011 Major League Baseball season began on Thursday, March 31, and ended on Wednesday, September 28.[1] This marked the first time a season began on a Thursday since 1976, and the first time a regular season ended on a Wednesday since 1990. The 82nd edition of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, on July 12 with the National League defeating the American League for the second straight year, by a score of 5–1. As has been the case since 2003, the league winning that game has home field advantage in the World Series. Accordingly, the 2011 World Series began on October 19, and ended on October 28, with the St. Louis Cardinals winning in seven games over the Texas Rangers.[1]

Only two teams were unable to complete the entire 162-game regular season schedule, as the make-up game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 8 was cancelled due to rain and not made up, owing to scheduling constraints and the game being inconsequential to the playoffs.[2]


Green backgrounds indicate teams that made the postseason. Numbers in parentheses indicate seedings for the postseason, determined by won-lost records.

American League

AL East
W L Pct. GB Home Road
(1) New York Yankees 97 65 .599 52–29 45–36
(4) Tampa Bay Rays 91 71 .562 6 47–34 44–37
Boston Red Sox 90 72 .556 7 45–36 45–36
Toronto Blue Jays 81 81 .500 16 42–39 39–42
Baltimore Orioles 69 93 .426 28 39–42 30–51
AL Central
W L Pct. GB Home Road
(3) Detroit Tigers 95 67 .586 50–31 45–36
Cleveland Indians 80 82 .494 15 44–37 36–45
Chicago White Sox 79 83 .488 16 36–45 43–38
Kansas City Royals 71 91 .438 24 40–41 31–50
Minnesota Twins 63 99 .389 32 33–48 30–51
AL West
W L Pct. GB Home Road
(2) Texas Rangers 96 66 .593 52–29 44–37
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 86 76 .531 10 45–36 41–40
Oakland Athletics 74 88 .457 22 43–38 31–50
Seattle Mariners 67 95 .414 29 39–45 28–50

National League

NL East
W L Pct. GB Home Road
(1) Philadelphia Phillies 102 60 .630 52–29 50–31
Atlanta Braves 89 73 .549 13 47–34 42–39
Washington Nationals 80 81 .497 21½ 44–36 36–45
New York Mets 77 85 .475 25 34–47 43–38
Florida Marlins 72 90 .444 30 31–47 41–43
NL Central
W L Pct. GB Home Road
(2) Milwaukee Brewers 96 66 .593 57–24 39–42
(4) St. Louis Cardinals 90 72 .556 6 45–36 45–36
Cincinnati Reds 79 83 .488 17 42–39 37–44
Pittsburgh Pirates 72 90 .444 24 36–45 36–45
Chicago Cubs 71 91 .438 25 39–42 32–49
Houston Astros 56 106 .346 40 31–50 25–56
NL West
W L Pct. GB Home Road
(3) Arizona Diamondbacks 94 68 .580 51–30 43–38
San Francisco Giants 86 76 .531 8 46–35 40–41
Los Angeles Dodgers 82 79 .509 11½ 42–39 40–40
Colorado Rockies 73 89 .451 21 38–43 35–46
San Diego Padres 71 91 .438 23 35–46 36–45

Game 162

On the last day of the 2011 regular season, the post-season fate of four teams fighting for two playoff spots across both leagues was decided.[3] In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated their National League Central division rival Houston Astros to win the National League wild card berth after the Atlanta Braves lost to their National League East division rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies.[4] In the American League, the Tampa Bay Rays defeated their American League East division rivals the New York Yankees with dramatic home runs in the 9th inning by Dan Johnson and later in extra innings by Evan Longoria to win the American League wild card berth after the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Boston Red Sox, both also rivals in the American League East, on a walk-off single.[5][6] This has been cited as the "most thrilling 129 minutes in baseball history."

They will go down as the most thrilling 129 minutes in baseball history. Never before and likely never again—if we even dare to assume anything else can be likely ever again—will baseball captivate and exhilarate on so many fronts in so small a window the way it did September 28, 2011.[7]
Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated

The Rays returned to the playoffs for the second consecutive year despite losing many players from the year before. The Red Sox and Braves suffered two of the most epic collapses their franchises had due to their losing the playoff spot the last day despite leading the next contending teams by multiple games the last month of the season.[8] The Cardinals eventually rode the momentum of their win to win the NLDS and NLCS on their way to defeating the Texas Rangers for their 11th World Series title in the 2011 World Series.[9][10][11] Of note, the 2011 season was the final season of the single wildcard format, as MLB added second wildcard teams to each league starting with the 2012 season. The excitement of the final day of the 2011 season was cited as an argument against this change in format, as the new format would not have allowed for such an ending to the season.[12]

American League wildcard race

Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 – 7:05 pm (EDT) at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 11 0
Baltimore 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 7 2
WP: Jim Johnson (6–5)   LP: Jonathan Papelbon (4–1)
Home runs:
BOS: Dustin Pedroia (21)
BAL: J. J. Hardy (30)
Attendance: 29,749
Notes: The game was delayed in the middle of the 7th for 1:26 due to rain

The Red Sox were favored by pundits to win the American League pennant prior to the start of the season due to acquisitions of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Bobby Jenks.[13][14][15] Despite a slow start, Boston darted to the top of the division during the summer months. Injuries plagued the team and they slowly lost first place to the Yankees, but were still in comfortable contention for the wild card. The month of September started an epic slump for the team where the team had allowed the Rays to get back into contention.[16] However, Boston still controlled its own destiny going into their final series with the last place Orioles, but wound up having the season come down to the last game.[17]

The Red Sox had taken a lead for a good part of the game, but the Orioles mounted a comeback. The game was interrupted by a rain delay in the middle of the 7th with Boston ahead 3–2. After play had resumed almost an hour and a half later, the Orioles still trailed by a run in the bottom of the 9th. When leading after eight innings, the Red Sox were 77–0 in 2011.[18] Facing closer Jonathan Papelbon, Chris Davis and Nolan Reimold hit back-to-back doubles with two outs, which tied the game. The next batter, Robert Andino, hit a line drive to left field which Carl Crawford was unable to catch, allowing Reimold to score and the Orioles walked off with the win.[19][20]

After the Orioles won, Andino, who had been a Red Sox killer of late, said, "End of season like this, to make Boston go home sad, crying, I'll take it all day."[21][22]

New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 – 7:10 pm (EDT) at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
New York Yankees 1 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 9 1
Tampa Bay Rays 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 1 0 0 1 8 10 1
WP: Jake McGee (5–2)   LP: Scott Proctor (2–6)
Home runs:
NYY: Mark Teixeira 2 (39), Andruw Jones (13)
TB: Evan Longoria 2 (31), Dan Johnson (2)
Attendance: 29,518

The Yankees had already won the American League East several days prior to this contest.[23] The Rays had been in third place behind both the Yankees and the Red Sox for much of the season.[24] However, Boston had slowly started to lose many games in September due to poor starting and relief pitching, disappointing hitting from newly acquired free agent Carl Crawford throughout the year, and injuries to key players like Kevin Youkilis. The Rays, who had won the division in 2010, had lost many of their players to free agency. Despite the losses, the Rays had crawled back into contention and faced the Yankees in the final series of the year.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi indicated that he would approach the final games so that the team's pitching staff would be set up for the 2011 ALDS against the Detroit Tigers.[25] Suspicions rose to whether or not the Yankees would compete intensely due to them wanting to rest their aging players for the playoffs and to keep the Red Sox out, their fierce rivals whom they had a lopsided losing record to that season.[26] Girardi indicated that many of his post-season pitchers would not be pitching that game. The Yankees, however, started the game strong by taking a 5–0 lead by the 2nd inning. Their lead grew to 7–0, which they held as the game entered the bottom of the 8th inning. In the 8th inning, the Rays scored six runs, capped off by a three-run home run by Evan Longoria. In the bottom of the 9th inning, down to his final strike, struggling Rays first baseman Dan Johnson hit a solo home run to tie the game. Already depleted from wanting to get pitchers who were not going to be on the post-season roster in, the Yankees went into extra innings with struggling pitchers. During Tampa Bay's half of the 12th inning, Evan Longoria hit his second home run of the game, a walk-off home run that cleared a short wall near the left field foul pole to win the game for the Rays just minutes after the Orioles' victory over the Red Sox.[27] The win clinched the American League Wild Card for the Rays.[28]

Seat No. 10 in the first row behind the right-field foul pole has been painted white in honor of Dan Johnson's, game-tying, ninth-inning, pinch-hit blast during Game 162. They have also renamed the section beyond the left field foul pole "162 Landing" in honor of Longoria's game winning, 12th-inning home run.[29]

National League wildcard race

The National League wildcard race came down to the fate of two games on the last day of the regular season.

St. Louis Cardinals at Houston Astros

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 – 7:05 pm (CDT) at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 5 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 8 12 0
Houston 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
WP: Chris Carpenter (11–9)   LP: Brett Myers (7–14)
Home runs:
STL: Allen Craig (11)
HOU: None
Attendance: 24,359

The National League Central had been a two way race late into the season with the Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers vying for contention. After the Reds had fallen off, the Brewers had clinched the division.[30][31] The Cardinals battled back despite perennial all-star Albert Pujols serving on the disabled list and not having pitcher Adam Wainwright.[11] Upon Pujols' return, the Cardinals came within one game by defeating the Astros under nine innings of dominant pitching by ace pitcher Chris Carpenter.[32]

Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 – 7:10 pm (EDT) at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 R H E
Philadelphia 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 11 0
Atlanta 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 10 1
WP: Justin De Fratus (1–0)   LP: Scott Linebrink (4–4)   Sv: David Herndon (1)
Home runs:
PHI: None
ATL: Dan Uggla (36)
Attendance: 45,350

The Philadelphia Phillies had clinched a playoff berth, the division title, and the best league record for weeks. For most of the season, the Atlanta Braves had been in 2nd place in the National League East by a good margin and well ahead in the wildcard standings.[33] The Phillies had something to play for, a franchise record in wins. They battled back to force the game into extra innings where they won and in effect, not only eliminated the Braves from post-season contention,[34] but also set that record with 102, surpassing the previous record of 101 set back-to-back in 1976 and 1977 during their run of three straight division championships from 1976–1978.[35][36] Charlie Manuel also became the winningest manager in the history of the Phillies with 646 wins, surpassing Gene Mauch, the manager of the Phillies when they collapsed in a similar way the Braves did in 1964.[35]


  Division Series
League Championship Series
World Series
  1  New York Yankees 2  
3  Detroit Tigers 3  
  3  Detroit Tigers 2  
American League
  2  Texas Rangers 4  
2  Texas Rangers 3
  4  Tampa Bay Rays 1  
    AL  Texas Rangers 3
  NL  St. Louis Cardinals 4
  1  Philadelphia Phillies 2  
4  St. Louis Cardinals 3  
  4  St. Louis Cardinals 4
National League
  2  Milwaukee Brewers 2  
2  Milwaukee Brewers 3
  3  Arizona Diamondbacks 2  

Note: Two teams in the same division cannot meet in the Division Series

League Division Series

American League

2011 American League Division Series
Texas Rangers defeat Tampa Bay Rays 3–1
Game Date Score Series
Location Attendance Time Weather (°F)
1 September 30 Rays 9, Rangers 0 0–1 Rangers Ballpark 50,498 3:00 84 degrees, sunny
2 October 1 Rangers 8, Rays 6 1–1 Rangers Ballpark 51,351 3:28 83 degrees, clear
3 October 3 Rangers 4, Rays 3 2–1 Tropicana Field 32,828 3:51 72 degrees, dome
4 October 4 Rangers 4, Rays 3 3–1 Tropicana Field 28,299 3:05 72 degrees, dome
2011 American League Division Series
Detroit Tigers defeat New York Yankees 3–2
Game Date Score Series
Location Attendance Time Weather (°F)
1 September 30 Yankees 9, Tigers 3 1–0 Yankee Stadium 50,940 3:26 (1:17 delay) 55 degrees, cloudy
2 October 2 Tigers 5, Yankees 3 1–1 Yankee Stadium 50,596 3:34 61 degrees, partly cloudy
3 October 3 Tigers 5, Yankees 4 1–2 Comerica Park 43,571 3:14 56 degrees, cloudy
4 October 4 Yankees 10, Tigers 1 2–2 Comerica Park 43,527 3:10 61 degrees, clear
5 October 6 Tigers 3, Yankees 2 2–3 Yankee Stadium 50,960 3:34 62 degrees, clear

: Suspended in bottom of the 2nd inning; resumed October 1

National League

2011 National League Division Series
St. Louis Cardinals defeat Philadelphia Phillies 3–2
Game Date Score Series
Location Attendance Time Weather (°F)
1 October 1 Phillies 11, Cardinals 6 1–0 Citizens Bank Park 46,480 2:55 64 degrees, cloudy
2 October 2 Cardinals 5, Phillies 4 1–1 Citizens Bank Park 46,575 3:22 50 degrees, cloudy
3 October 4 Phillies 3, Cardinals 2 2–1 Busch Stadium 46,914 3:13 80 degrees, clear
4 October 5 Cardinals 5, Phillies 3 2–2 Busch Stadium 47,071 2:34 80 degrees, clear
5 October 7 Cardinals 1, Phillies 0 2–3 Citizens Bank Park 46,530 2:29 50 degrees, few clouds
2011 National League Division Series
Milwaukee Brewers defeat Arizona Diamondbacks 3–2
Game Date Score Series
Location Attendance Time Weather (°F)
1 October 1 Brewers 4, Diamondbacks 1 1–0 Miller Park 44,122 2:48 67 degrees, roof closed
2 October 2 Brewers 9, Diamondbacks 4 2–0 Miller Park 44,066 3:29 73 degrees, roof closed
3 October 4 Diamondbacks 8, Brewers 1 2–1 Chase Field 48,312 3:01 75 degrees, roof closed
4 October 5 Diamondbacks 10, Brewers 6 2–2 Chase Field 38,830 3:25 75 degrees, roof closed
5 October 7 Brewers 3, Diamondbacks 2 (10) 3–2 Miller Park 44,028 3:41 78 degrees, roof closed

League Championship Series

American League

2011 American League Championship Series
Texas Rangers defeat Detroit Tigers 4–2
Game Date Score Series
Location Attendance Time Weather (°F)
1 October 8 Rangers 3, Tigers 2 1–0 Rangers Ballpark 50,114 3:07 (1:50 delay) 74 degrees, partly cloudy
2 October 10 Rangers 7, Tigers 3* 2–0 Rangers Ballpark 51,227 4:25 74 degrees, partly cloudy
3 October 11 Tigers 5, Rangers 2 2–1 Comerica Park 41,905 3:08 65 degrees, partly cloudy
4 October 12 Rangers 7, Tigers 3 (11) 3–1 Comerica Park 42,234 4:00 (2:13 delay) 59 degrees, rain
5 October 13 Tigers 7, Rangers 5 3–2 Comerica Park 41,908 3:21 64 degrees, partly cloudy
6 October 15 Rangers 15, Tigers 5 4–2 Rangers Ballpark 51,508 3:32 80 degrees, clear

: postponed to October 10 due to rain

National League

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers squared off in a season long division race and by the beginning of August, they were only a few games apart in the division. The Brewers would pull away for the crown, and the Cardinals continued poorly until they were 10 12 games back of the wild card on August 25. They made a historical comeback in September to win the wild card from the Atlanta Braves on the last day of the season. Both teams would advance through the NLDS in five games setting up a 1982 World Series rematch.[37] The Cardinals won the pennant in six games, clinching the series on the road.

2011 National League Championship Series
St. Louis Cardinals defeat Milwaukee Brewers 4–2
Game Date Score Series
Location Attendance Time Weather (°F)
1 October 9 Brewers 9, Cardinals 6 1–0 Miller Park 43,613 3:35 76 degrees, clear
2 October 10 Cardinals 12, Brewers 3 1–1 Miller Park 43,937 3:36 69 degrees, partly cloudy
3 October 12 Cardinals 4, Brewers 3 1–2 Busch Stadium 43,584 3:10 66 degrees, cloudy
4 October 13 Brewers 4, Cardinals 2 2–2 Busch Stadium 45,606 3:25 67 degrees, partly cloudy
5 October 14 Cardinals 7, Brewers 1 2–3 Busch Stadium 46,904 3:09 63 degrees, cloudy
6 October 16 Cardinals 12, Brewers 6 2–4 Miller Park 43,926 3:43 67 degrees, roof closed

World Series

Main article: 2011 World Series
2011 World Series
St. Louis Cardinals defeat Texas Rangers 4–3
Game Date Score Series
Location Attendance Time Weather (°F)
1 October 19 Cardinals 3, Rangers 2 1–0 Busch Stadium 46,406 3:06 49 degrees, clear
2 October 20 Rangers 2, Cardinals 1 1–1 Busch Stadium 47,288 3:04 50 degrees, cloudy
3 October 22 Cardinals 16, Rangers 7 2–1 Rangers Ballpark 51,462 4:04 80 degrees, partly cloudy
4 October 23 Rangers 4, Cardinals 0 2–2 Rangers Ballpark 51,539 3:07 68 degrees, clear
5 October 24 Rangers 4, Cardinals 2 2–3 Rangers Ballpark 51,459 3:31 72 degrees, clear
6 October 27[38] Cardinals 10, Rangers 9 (11) 3–3 Busch Stadium 47,325 4:33 53 degrees, partly cloudy
7 October 28 Cardinals 6, Rangers 2 4–3 Busch Stadium 47,399 3:17 50 degrees, clear

: postponed from October 26, due to rain

Managerial changes

General managers


Team Former GM New GM Former job
New York Mets Omar Minaya Sandy Alderson CEO of San Diego Padres until March 2009.[39]


Date Team Former GM New GM Former job
August 19 Chicago Cubs Jim Hendry Randy Bush Bush was the assistant GM and served as his interim replacement until the team hired Theo Epstein in October.

Field managers


Four teams announced that a new manager will be hired for the 2011 season after the former manager retired from baseball.

Team Former manager New manager Story
Atlanta Braves Bobby Cox Fredi González Cox announced in 2009 that the 2010 season would be his last as manager of the Braves. In two terms, first from 1978 through 1981 and from mid-1990, replacing Russ Nixon as manager through 2010, Cox has led the team to fourteen division titles, five pennants and the 1995 World Championship. Cox retires as the manager with the fourth highest number of wins (2,504) along with the most ejections in baseball history (158).
Chicago Cubs Lou Piniella Mike Quade After six decades in baseball as a player, coach, manager and television commentator, Piniella announced on June 19, 2010, his intentions to retire. He has managed the New York Yankees, the Cincinnati Reds (including their 1990 World Series championship), the Seattle Mariners (including a record 116 win season in 2001), the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Cubs. The official retirement came on August 22 as Piniella stepped down due to his mother's failing health, and Quade, the Cubs' third base coach, was named interim manager, and was named permanent manager October 19.
Los Angeles Dodgers Joe Torre Don Mattingly Torre announced on September 17 that he would not be returning to the Dodgers for the 2011 season. With his contract expiring and club ownership being contested in divorce court, Torre chose not to negotiate an extension.[40] At the same time, the Dodgers announced that Mattingly, the team's hitting coach, will be promoted to manager.[40] Mattingly was best known as an outstanding first baseman with the New York Yankees.
Toronto Blue Jays Cito Gaston John Farrell After being lured out of retirement by team president Paul Beeston, Gaston announced on October 29, 2009, that he would step aside after the completion of the 2010 season and remain in a consulting position. In his first term as the Jays' skipper, he led the team to their greatest success, winning back-to-back Fall Classic in 1992 and 1993. His second term started as he replaced John Gibbons in the middle of the 2008 season. Farrell comes over after serving as the pitching coach for the AL East rival Boston Red Sox.

At the end of the 2010 season, three teams fired their managers and made replacements:

Team Former manager New manager Story
Milwaukee Brewers Ken Macha Ron Roenicke Los Angeles Angels serving 11 seasons as Mike Scioscia's third base coach.
New York Mets Jerry Manuel Terry Collins Manuel, along with general manager Omar Minaya, were fired following the end of the 2010 season on October 4, 2010. Since making the 2006 National League Championship Series, the team has fallen short of expectations, which include back to back season ending collapses in 2007 and 2008, followed by back-to-back injury plagued seasons in 2009 and 2010.[41] Collins, a feisty and intense manager, was named the team's new manager November 2010 and returned to being a field manager in the majors after 12 years. He previously managed the Houston Astros and the Anaheim Angels from 1994 to 1999.[42]
Pittsburgh Pirates John Russell Clint Hurdle Russell was fired after three losing seasons, compiling a total record of 186–299 in those three seasons. The Pirates have not had a winning season since 1992, which was also the last time they made the playoffs. They have also endured six different managers during that span.[43] Hurdle last managed the Colorado Rockies in 2009 before being replaced.

The following managers who were interim managers for 2010 will lead their respective teams in 2011:

Team Manager that started 2010 season Replacement Story
Arizona Diamondbacks A. J. Hinch Kirk Gibson Gibson, who started the season as bench coach, filled in for the final 83 games. New GM Kevin Towers made the decision to keep Gibson as the manager for 2011.[44] Hinch was "demoted" from his position as Director of Player Development in 2009 when he took over for Bob Melvin.
Kansas City Royals Trey Hillman Ned Yost After coming to Kansas City to be a consultant, the Royals named Yost on May 13 to replace Hillman. Prior to that, Yost served as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers for much of the 2008 season, only to be sacked in mid-September when the team was struggling to make the post-season. Hillman had previous success in Japan, leading the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters to the Japan World Series championship in 2006.
Baltimore Orioles Dave Trembley;
Juan Samuel (interim)
Buck Showalter The no-nonsense Showalter, who had previously managed the New York Yankees, the Texas Rangers and the Arizona Diamondbacks on the brink of success before being replaced, served as a commentator for ESPN's Baseball Tonight before agreeing to return to the dugout with the Orioles on August 3, and turned the fortunes of the Maryland ball club. Trembley was in the manager's seat until June 4, when third-base coach Samuel replaced him on an interim basis before Showalter's arrival.
Florida Marlins Fredi González Edwin Rodríguez On May 23, González, who had coached under Bobby Cox in Atlanta, was fired from his position. Rodríguez had spent the past 1½ years managing the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Marlins' Triple-A affiliate. Cox made discouraging comments about the handling of the dismissal shortly afterward, and as a result, was not honored by Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria when the Braves visit to Miami in September as part of Cox's retirement tour.
Chicago Cubs Lou Piniella Mike Quade (See Above)

One team has hired a new manager:

Team Manager that started 2010 season Interim Manager Replacement Story
Seattle Mariners Don Wakamatsu Daren Brown Eric Wedge Wakamatsu, the first MLB manager of Asian-American descent, was fired on August 9 and replaced by Brown, at the time in his fourth season managing the Mariners' AAA affiliate, the Tacoma Rainiers. The team was expected to contend for the American League West title with the addition of Chone Figgins and Cliff Lee, but stumbled out of the starting gate. Wedge, who last managed with the Cleveland Indians in 2009, was reportedly hired by the Mariners according to a report by SI.com on October 15, 2010,[45] and made official three days later.

In-season changes

Date Team Former manager Reason Replacement Previous Job and Story
June 9 Oakland Athletics Bob Geren Fired Bob Melvin Melvin had been the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Geren was fired after June 8 game.[46]
June 19 Florida Marlins Edwin Rodríguez Resigned Jack McKeon After a losing streak and slump in June, Rodriguez announced his resignation on June 19.[47] McKeon at age 80 became the oldest manager since Connie Mack to manage in the majors; he had won the 2003 World Series with the Marlins. McKeon announced his second retirement allowing Ozzie Guillén to become Marlins' skipper.
June 26
(June 23)
Washington Nationals Jim Riggleman Resigned Davey Johnson
(John McLaren)
McLaren, who was previously the Nationals bench coach, was named interim manager, but he is not expected to fill the role for the remainder of the season.[48] Davey Johnson was named the full-time manager three days after Riggleman resigned and two days after McLaren was named interim manager.[49]
September 26 Chicago White Sox Ozzie Guillén Released Don Cooper Guillen was released from his contract after the White Sox game on September 26 against the Toronto Blue Jays. Guillen became the Marlins new manager with the retirement of Jack McKeon at the end of the season.[50] Cooper, the current pitching coach for the White Sox, managed the final two games of the season.[51]

League leaders

American League

Batting leaders
Stat Player Total
AVG Miguel Cabrera (DET) .344
HR José Bautista (TOR) 43
RBI Curtis Granderson (NYY) 119
R Curtis Granderson (NYY) 136
H Adrian Gonzalez (BOS)
Michael Young (TEX)
SB Coco Crisp (OAK)
Brett Gardner (NYY)

Pitching leaders
Stat Player Total
W Justin Verlander (DET) 24
L Jeremy Guthrie (BAL) 17
ERA Justin Verlander (DET) 2.40
K Justin Verlander (DET) 250
IP Justin Verlander (DET) 251.0
SV José Valverde (DET) 49

National League

Batting leaders
Stat Player Total
AVG Jose Reyes (NYM) .337
HR Matt Kemp (LAD) 39
RBI Matt Kemp (LAD) 126
R Matt Kemp (LAD) 115
H Starlin Castro (CHC) 207
SB Michael Bourn (ATL)/(HOU) 61

Pitching leaders
Stat Player Total
W Ian Kennedy (ARI)
Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
L Derek Lowe (ATL) 17
ERA Clayton Kershaw (LAD) 2.28
K Clayton Kershaw (LAD) 248
IP Chris Carpenter (STL) 237.1
SV John Axford (MIL)
Craig Kimbrel (ATL)





Other accomplishments


Awards and honors

Regular Season

Baseball Writers' Association of America Awards
BBWAA Award National League American League
Rookie of the Year Craig Kimbrel (ATL) Jeremy Hellickson (TB)
Cy Young Award Clayton Kershaw (LAD) Justin Verlander (DET)
Manager of the Year Kirk Gibson (ARI) Joe Maddon (TB)
Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun (MIL) Justin Verlander (DET)
Gold Glove Awards
Position National League American League
Pitcher Clayton Kershaw (LAD) Mark Buehrle (CHW)
Catcher Yadier Molina (STL) Matt Wieters (BAL)
1st Base Joey Votto (CIN) Adrian Gonzalez (BOS)
2nd Base Brandon Phillips (CIN) Dustin Pedroia (BOS)
3rd Base Plácido Polanco (PHI) Adrián Beltré (TEX)
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (COL) Erick Aybar (LAA)
Left field Gerardo Parra (ARI) Alex Gordon (KC)
Center field Matt Kemp (LAD) Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)
Right field Andre Ethier (LAD) Nick Markakis (BAL)
Silver Slugger Awards
Pitcher/Designated Hitter Daniel Hudson (ARI) David Ortiz (BOS)
Catcher Brian McCann (ATL) Alex Avila (DET)
1st Base Prince Fielder (MIL) Adrian Gonzalez (BOS)
2nd Base Brandon Phillips (CIN) Robinson Canó (NYY)
3rd Base Aramis Ramírez (CHC) Adrián Beltré (TEX)
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (COL) Asdrúbal Cabrera (CLE)
Outfield Ryan Braun (MIL) Curtis Granderson (NYY)
Matt Kemp (LAD) Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)
Justin Upton (ARI) José Bautista (TOR)

Player of the Month

Month American League National League
April José Bautista Ryan Braun
May José Bautista Jay Bruce
June Adrian Gonzalez Prince Fielder
July Dustin Pedroia Emilio Bonifacio
August Curtis Granderson Dan Uggla
September Adrián Beltré Ryan Braun

Pitcher of the Month

Month American League National League
April Jered Weaver Josh Johnson
May Jeremy Hellickson Jair Jurrjens
June Justin Verlander Cliff Lee
July CC Sabathia Clayton Kershaw
August Ricky Romero Cliff Lee
September Doug Fister Javier Vázquez

Rookie of the Month

Month American League National League
April Michael Pineda Darwin Barney
May Jeremy Hellickson Justin Turner
June Ben Revere
Jemile Weeks
Craig Kimbrel
July Eric Hosmer Freddie Freeman
August Mike Carp Craig Kimbrel
September Eric Hosmer Dee Gordon

Other awards

Fielding Bible Awards
Position Player
Pitcher Mark Buehrle (CWS)
Catcher Matt Wieters (BAL)
1st Base Albert Pujols (STL)
2nd Base Dustin Pedroia (BOS)
3rd Base Adrián Beltré (TEX)
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (COL)
Left Field Brett Gardner (NYY)
Center Field Austin Jackson (DET)
Right Field Justin Upton (ARI)



Two more teams have joined the growing cable-exclusive telecast teams in 2011. Fox Sports Midwest will produce and televise all St. Louis Cardinals games on the cable station, along with selected areas of the Cardinals' DMA outside St. Louis including Fox Sports Tennessee in Tennessee, Fox Sports Indiana in parts of Indiana, and SportsSouth in Arkansas and parts of Oklahoma.[61] The 2010 season was their last season of splitting games with KSDK.[62]

The Minnesota Twins will also join the group, with Fox Sports North becoming their exclusive local home starting this year.[63] The 2010 season was their last season of splitting games with WFTC.

Also starting this season, Atlanta Braves games that air on WPCH-TV will be produced by (and simulcast on) Fox Sports South or SportSouth, marking the first season since 1972 which local Braves telecasts won't be produced by Turner Sports.[64]

The national telecast breakdown is as follows, along with the maximum number of appearances per team:

In Canada, Toronto Blue Jays games will be televised on Rogers Sportsnet. RSN also holds the Canadian rights to air the Fox and ESPN/ESPN2 games if they do not conflict with Blue Jays games, and additional regular season games on a regional basis on Rogers Sportsnet One as well as the All-Star Game and the entire postseason. TSN2 holds rights to the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecasts.

In Australia, it is free to air channel One HD and shows up to five games live per week, and European channel ESPN America broadcasts games as well.

For international viewers, MLB International will broadcast the All-Star Game, the NLCS and the World Series.


ESPN Radio will once again serve as MLB's national radio network, broadcasting Sunday Night Baseball as well as selected Saturday and holiday games during the regular season, the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, and all postseason series. ESPN Deportes Radio holds the Spanish language rights to the Fall Classic.

Uniform changes

Wholesale changes



Alternate jerseys

Special jerseys


Angels' 50th anniversary

The Los Angeles Angels celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 2011. Founded by Gene Autry in 1961, the team played at Los Angeles' Wrigley Field in their first season, then shared Dodger Stadium (called "Chavez Ravine" by Angels management) with the Dodgers before moving to Anaheim in 1966 and their own stadium, Anaheim Stadium (later to become Edison International Field of Anaheim and finally Angel Stadium of Anaheim). That year, the team name was altered to the California Angels. After being purchased by The Walt Disney Company in 1997, the team name was changed to the Anaheim Angels and after Arte Moreno purchased the team, the name was changed to its current moniker to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2005. For the season, in addition to the patch, the Angels changed the color of the halo from silver to gold on their uniforms, just as it looked from 1971 through 1996.[77] In addition, on selected Friday night games, the team donned replicas of five of the six styles of uniforms they have worn, the most notable omission being that of the "Periwinkle Blue" era from 1997 to 2001, when Disney owned the team.


This was the Florida Marlins' final season at Sun Life Stadium, after 19 years,[78] they will move to their new ballpark in downtown Miami, where they'll become the Miami Marlins.

Venue changes

Due to the U2 360° Tour concert scheduled June 29 at Sun Life Stadium and the needed time to set up the stage, the Marlins were forced to move their scheduled home games for June 24–26 against the Seattle Mariners to the Mariners' park at Safeco Field. As the Marlins were the home team, NL rules (no designated hitter) were applied. Mariners and Marlins would not meet again in Miami until 2014.

Team purchases

The Houston Astros were sold by Drayton McLane for US $680 million to a group led by Jim Crane, the founder of a transit logistics company.

Retired numbers

The Detroit Tigers retired Sparky Anderson's #11 on June 26.[79]

Bert Blyleven, elected to the Class of 2011 of the Baseball Hall of Fame, was honored with the retirement of his uniform #28 by the Twins on July 16.[80]

Roberto Alomar, also a 2011 Hall of Fame class member, became the first member of the Toronto Blue Jays to have his number (#12) retired on July 31.[81]

The Atlanta Braves retired Bobby Cox's #6 prior to their game against the Chicago Cubs on August 12.[82]

Trevor Hoffman, who had been the all-time saves leader until Mariano Rivera surpassed him on September 19, had his #51 retired by the San Diego Padres on August 21.[83]


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