Baltimore Orioles: Brian Snitker, Bud Melvin win Manager of the Year awards
By Tim Smart
The Baltimore Orioles might be sitting around waiting for the offseason to happen without them but the BBWAA awards are still happening, and the Manager of the Year award winners were announced on Tuesday
On Tuesday night, Oakland Athletics’ manager Bob Melvin and Atlanta Braves’ manager Brian Snitker took home the AL and NL Manager of the Year awards. Needless to say that the Baltimore Orioles were sitting this one out. They’re currently the only team in MLB without a Manager, and a General Manager for that matter.
However it hasn’t been long since an Oriole manager has won the award; Buck Showalter took it home for the O’s in 2014 with a 96-win season. Three managers in Orioles history have won the award. In addition to Showalter in ’14, Davey Johnson won the award in ’97 and Frank Robinson took the honors in ’89.
The Orioles won’t hire a new manager until they put a new front office in place. We’re not-so patiently waiting at this point for that to happen, and Baltimore Sun reporter Jon Meoli suggested it could be as soon as this week.
While the majority of baseball media downplays the Manager of the Year awards, they’re still a recognition of achievement and baseball’s best managers deserve to be appreciated.
The American League race is sure to create some frustration as Bob Melvin took home the award over Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Rays manager Kevin Cash.
Many people have been in support of Cora as he helped lead the Red Sox to a 108-54 record, a 15-win improvement on an already excellent 2017 season. And others have suggested Cash led the pack in the AL, taking a Rays team projected by many to finish last in the AL East to a 90-72 record.
However Bob Melvin helped lead the A’s to a 97-65 record, a 22-win improvement on 2017, in a year where the A’s were projected to finish in the bottom half of the American League. Melvin took a team with the lowest payroll in MLB to the playoffs, which is no small feat in itself.
The A’s finished the 2018 season with an entirely different rotation than the one they started with. At the end, the A’s were led by Trevor Cahill, Edwin Jackson, and Brett Anderson; Melvin’s leadership and bullpen management helped him put the A’s in a position to win games in October.
The 2018 award marks the third Manager of the Year win by Melvin, who previously won it in 2012 in Oakland and 2007 in Arizona.
In the National League, Braves manager Brian Snitker took home the award in a closely contested race between him and Brewers manager Craig Counsell. Counsell was more than deserving as he helped lead the Brewers to an NL Central division title and to the brink of the World Series, however Snitker’s Braves were just as good.
Snitker helped lead the Braves out of their rebuild a year early, as many in the industry predicted Atlanta to finish near the bottom of the NL East. Instead, the Braves won 90 games and the NL East behind a core of Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, and NL Rookie of the Year award winner Ronald Acuna Jr. The Braves are poised for a string of success and it seems likely that Snitker will continue to help them win games over the next several years.
If Meoli is right and the Orioles announce a new executive this week, we’re all going to be ecstatic about the news. Almost regardless of who it is, we want the Orioles to do something. It’s almost Thanksgiving and the Orioles are still sitting idle. Here’s to hoping we have something to talk about over the weekend.