So, let’s discuss this furor over Buck Showalter not winning the Sporting News American League Manager of the Year Award.
Mike Scioscia of the LA Angels of Anaheim finished one vote ahead of Showalter in the voting, which is done by the league’s managers. Since writers exist to straighten things out for the record, please be clear on that: It wasn’t the writers who voted on this, but the AL managers.
So then you may ask, why, then, did their fellow managers give Scioscia six votes, to Showalter’s five? The Angels walked away with the AL’s Western Division title and the league’s best record, 98-64, despite some setbacks, which included a subpar, injury-riddled season from Josh Hamilton, and the loss of starting ace Garrett Richards in August. Scioscia has managed the Angels for 15 years, and also won the award in 2002 and 2009.
Showalter last won the award in 2012 for guiding the Orioles to the playoffs. He won it in 1994 for leading the Yankees to a 70-43 record in a strike-shortened season, and he shared it in 2004, as the Texas Rangers’ manager, with Minnesota’s Ron Gardenhire. Today, he finished second in the balloting by one vote.
The argument for Buck was no worse than tied with the argument for Scioscia
He took a team not picked to achieve much, and guided it to a runaway AL East Division title, despite being withoutMatt Wieters
for what amounted to most of the year. The argument for him was no worse than tied with the argument for Scioscia.
For those of you who are calling this highway robbery, a miscarriage of justice, or any unprintable words, this blog is as surprised as anyone. But we’re not here to discredit the other managers, even though, as judges of talent, they have all had better days. Having the best record in the league was what won their hearts and minds.
Lloyd McCLendon of the Mariners finished third, with three votes. In the National League, Washington’s Matt Williams won with four votes, followed by Mike Matheny of the Cardinals with two, and Mike Redmond of the Marlins with one.
So to sum up, that’s six for Scioscia (slap me if I say that name again), five for Showalter, three for McLendon, and seven for the three NL candidates. That’s only 21 of a panel of 22 managers. It was not reported who abstained, but Bo Porter was fired by the Astros before the voting took place, Ron Washington resigned as the Rangers’ skipper late in the season, so there are two possibilities.
The long-recognized more meaningful hardware comes on Nov. 11, when the Baseball Writers’ Association of America chooses its Manager of the Year for both leagues, at 6 p.m. on the MLB Network.