Showalter named finalist for AL Manager of the Year

Buck Showalter has been named as one of three finalists for the American League Manager of the Year Award, voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The winner will be announced next Tuesday during a live broadcast at 6 p.m. on MLB Network.

The other finalists for the BBWAA award are Oakland’s Bob Melvin and Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox.

Showalter is a two-time winner of the award, winning with the 1994 New York Yankees and the 2004 Texas Rangers.

Showalter led the Orioles to a 24-win improvement, as the team went from 69-93 to 93-69 and posted its most wins and first playoff berth since 1997. From Aug 1 to the end of the regular season, the Orioles went 38-20 and their .655 win percentage was the best in baseball. They did this without a player that recorded more than 85 RBIs, without a .300 hitter and with just one 10-game winner.

This was Showalter’s second full season as O’s skipper and marked the fourth time in his career he engineered a big turnaround from his first full to his second. His 1993 Yankees team improved by 12 wins, his 1999 Arizona team improved by 35 wins and the 2004 Texas Rangers gained 18 victories.

On May 1 at New York, Showalter picked up his 1,000th career win, becoming the 58th manager in major league history with that many. The Orioles are 196-185 under Showalter since he took over in August 2010.

On Oct. 24, Showalter was named AL Manager of the Year by The Sporting News.

In an interview yesterday on MASN, during “The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report,” Showalter talked about the 2012 season and trying to win again next year.

“We really want to build on that and take this forward,” he said. “A lot of people made a lot of a commitment to raising the bar throughout the organization but it starts and ends with the players and what they decide to hold each other to.

“It’s fun to watch when you get that many people in one mindset and one heartbeat and really sacrificing individual things for the betterment of our organization and our fanbase. Now it’s up to us to take it and run with it. We want it to mean something to be an Oriole and hold yourself to a high standard.”

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