Baltimore Orioles: Buck Showalter 2nd for manager of the year
First off, let’s not forget that in general when we’re talking about the AL/NL Manager of the Year, we’re talking about the BBWAA version of it which is announced in November. However the Sporting News awards a manager from each league with that title each year as well, and Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles finished second in the voting (which was announced yesterday). Mike Sioscia (who won the award) got six votes, Showalter five, and Seattle’s Lloyd McClendon three. In the NL, Washington’s Matt Williams won with four votes, St. Louis’ Mike Matheny received two, and Miami’s Mike Redmond one.
Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Normally I try my best to call things down the middle with regard to the O’s, because in general I believe that good journalists have to do that. However in stepping away from that persona for just a moment, I don’t have a clue how it’s possible that Showalter didn’t win. Quite frankly I would submit that it cheapens the award to have the guy who led his team to overcoming so many obstacles over the course of the regular season finish second.
This award is voted on by the managers themselves, as opposed to the BBWAA award which is voted on by the writers. However that makes this all the more shocking because I can’t quite understand how a fellow manager, someone who knows the grind of the season and the obstacles out there, could look at Showalter’s body of work and NOT give him their vote. We’re talking about a skipper who lost 1/3rd of his Opening Day lineup, had his team sustain numerous injuries, all among other things. If on Opening Day you told me that the Orioles would win the AL East after having lost Matt Wieters, Manny Machado, and Chris Davis, I probably would have said that Showalter might be the greatest manager in history.
In mentioning the AL East, that in and of itself might be why Showalter lost. There’s no question that the division was weak in 2014. So perhaps the mentality was that someone had to finish first. But also keep in mind that the Orioles finished light years ahead of everyone else, and won the division running away. Furthermore, the O’s dominated the AL West, which I feel was the best division in baseball this past season.
On the other hand, I think that they got the NL Manager of the Year award correct, as it was well-deserved by Matt Williams. But given Showalter’s credentials, it almost appears like the fix was in to vote for anyone NOT named Buck Showalter. I know that’s not the case, and in no way should these comments take anything away from Mike Sioscia or the job he did this year. He’s of the best skippers in baseball, and I have a lot of respect for him and the job he’s done. However in my opinion Buck Showalter did just a slightly better job this year given the obstacles that he and his Orioles had to overcome.