MLB Managers of the Year announced
In the second chapter of MLB Postseason Awards, the 2012 Managers of the Year have been announced. All candidates were deserving for sure with 5 of the 6 managers making the postseason and the last not being eliminated until the final weekend.
American League: Bob Melvin (OAK)
In taking the Oakland A’s to a 20 game improvement in 2012, Bob Melvin nipped Buck Showalter (BAL) to capture the American League Manager of the Year. Everyone expected the Angels and Rangers to compete for the AL West Title. The A’s had acquired Rookie of the Year finalist Yoenis Cespedes, but also took hits in Free Agency (NL Cy Young finalist Gio Gonzalez for instance) and had no proven arms, or closer, or real bats. None of that mattered, as the A’s shocked everyone to win the AL East, including a sweep of the Texas Rangers in the last weekend series to take the division and relegate the Rangers into the Wild Card shootout. They were also the only team to take the Tigers to the full allotment of games in the AL, squeezing the most out of your troops is a key element to Manager of the Year, and Bob did that and more! Robin Ventura (CWS) finished a distant third.
National League: Davey Johnson (WAS)
The elder statesman Davey Johnson turned the Washington Nationals from also-ran to best record in baseball (+18 Games) in easily outdistancing the field and winning the National League Manager of the Year. The mastermind of the 1986 Mets (<= click on this link for a blast from the past) finds himself again putting together a gritty team that refused to lose. A team that finished below .500 all years of its existence found itself in, again, another tough division in the NL East, and easily outpacing proven post-season participants like the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves. He managed the media furor surrounding the innings limit on Stephen Strasburg and kept his team focused on winning, and winning they did. Nearing 70 years old, he showed that baseball fundamentals are still the same, whether it’s Gooden, HoJo, and Hernandez, or Gonzalez, Zimmerman, and LaRoche. Johnson edged out World Series winning manager Bruce Bochy (SF) and perennial contender Dusty Baker (CIN) for his second Manager of the Year Award, one in each league.
Tomorrow (Wednesday): Cy Young Award
– Dave (@lhd_on_sports)