MLB Network will cover the BBWAA Manager of the Year announcements this evening in an hour-long program beginning at 6 PM. Baltimore Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter is probably the odds-on favorite to win the American League award. Many people are also justifiably throwing Bob Melvin’s name out there in a similar fashion; Chicago’s Robin Ventura is also a finalist. Melvin is about as deserving as Showalter, and many Oakland loyalists are starting to say that if Showalter wins it’ll be due to the east coast bias. Non-east coasters love to point that out, however in this case we should probably keep in mind that Showalter is an incredibly humble man who does things with very little fanfare.
That in itself is an interesting point. There are people in this world like Showalter who very quietly get the job done without saying much, and then there are those who are fairly up front about the fact that they’re getting the job done. I see the “up front” people as somewhat insecure in a way in that they seem to almost be afraid that they’re going to get left behind in this world. However the fact is that their names are generally in the forefront, leaving a very worthy candidate such as Showalter potentially in the background.
I’ve seen many Oakland A’s fans say that Melvin’s team finished in first place and the O’s finished in the wild card, therefore Melvin should win the award. Let me state for the record, that Bob Melvin is a very worthy candidate. That team and the Orioles are similar because neither were expected to be good, and both qualified for the postseason. However if the standings themselves dictated the award, I suppose Joe Girardi would get the award. (And some people argued for Girardi – which I’m sure warmed his heart – due to the injuries that his team sustained.) However the fact is that Melvin had a slightly better team on paper in 2012. He had a team of unproven raw talent, while Showalter had a team full of guys many people had never heard of. Winning 16 straight one-run games can be chalked up to a lot of things, one of which is coaching. The same can be said for the number of pitchers that came through the Orioles in 2012, and Showalter managed all of them in a masterful way.
As I said, the announcement will be made tonight at 6 PM eastern time on MLB Network. (I wonder if people out west are complaining about that east coast bias since for them the announcement will be at 3 PM?) Here’s another point that might be on Buck’s side; the BBWAA votes on this award. Showalter spent a few years at ESPN before coming to the Orioles. All things being equal, is it possible that the media might choose someone that spent time in their ranks? I suppose that would kind of invoke that east coast bias in a way, however the fact is that Showalter’s not going to even say he deserves the award given his humility. So people such as myself have to make his case for him. I’ll have full coverage tomorrow morning here on Birds Watcher.