The accolades for Buck Showalter stopped here.
Showalter finished second behind Oakland’s Bob Melvin in the American League’s Manager of the Year voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Melvin received 16 first-place votes and 12 second-place votes. Showalter collected 12 first-place votes and 16 second-place votes.
Chicago’s Robin Ventura was third with 12 third-place votes. Tampa Bay’s Joe Maddon was fourth and New York’s Joe Girardi was fifth. Detroit’s Jim Leyland and Texas’ Ron Washington were tied for sixth.
Former Orioles skipper Davey Johnson was named the National League’s Manager of the Year, but Showalter couldn’t complete the beltway sweep.
Melvin told MLB Network that he was “shocked” by the results, which you can view here.
Showalter has won the award twice previously - with the Rangers in 2004 and the Yankees in 1994. Johnson (1997) and Frank Robinson (1989) are the only managers to win it with the Orioles.
You won’t find Earl Weaver’s name on the list because the BBWAA didn’t hand out the award before 1983.
In 1991, Bobby Cox became the first manager to win it in both leagues, representing the Braves and Blue Jays (1985). Tony La Russa, Lou Piniella and Jim Leyland also have done it, and Johnson joined the group tonight.
Showalter beat out Melvin and Ventura for The Sporting News’ AL Manager of the Year award. He was honored for helping to reverse the Orioles’ 69-93 record in 2011 and leading the organization to its first winning season and playoff birth in 15 years.
I noted some of the challenges in this morning’s blog entry. Plus, Showalter deserves a chunk of the credit for the Orioles’ 29-9 (.763) record in one-run games - the best winning percentage in major league history - their 54-23 record in games decided by one or two runs, and their 16 consecutive extra-inning wins.
The Orioles won games in 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17 and 18 innings. According to Elias, it’s the first time in major league history that a team has won games in eight different extra innings.
“He is always prepared and he treats us like men,” said Chris Davis. “You can talk to him about what’s on your mind and he will give you a straight answer or sound advice. Plus, he believes in his players just as much as he believes in himself, which I personally think is huge for a team to be successful.”
Winning the BBWAA award proved too big of a challenge for Showalter tonight.
The eight-point differential marked the fourth-tightest race in AL voting. There was a tie in the 1996 vote between the Rangers’ Johnny Oates and the Yankees’ Joe Torre. In 1984, the Tigers’ Sparky Anderson edged the Royals’ Dick Howser, 96-95. In 1986, the Red Sox’s John McNamara outpolled the Rangers’ Bobby Valentine, 95-90.