Showalter wins AL Manager of the Year
BALTIMORE— Orioles manager Buck Showalter was named the American League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA on Tuesday night, putting Baltimore’s skipper in a special category following a spectacular 2014 season.
Showalter, who beat out finalists Mike Scioscia and Ned Yost, is the sixth manager to win the award three or more times and just the second —also Tony La Russa— to do it with three different organizations. He won with the Yankees in 1994 and the Rangers in 2004 and quipped he would definitely not be around in 2024 to see if the trend continues.
“I’m pretty speechless,” said Showalter on MLB Network, where the award was unveiled live. “It’s such a great reflection on our organization, our ownership that has been so rock solid.”
Despite missing three All-Stars in Matt Wieters, Manny Machado and Chris Davis, Showalter’s club exceeded expectations in going 96-66 and winning its first AL East title since 1997. He deflected praise to the players, saying they held themselves to a higher standard of preparation and play, mentioning several times that he was just lucky to get a good seat.
“It’s fun to watch,” Showalter said. “I am so thankful to get the opportunity every day. It’s something I never have taken for granted.”
Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones, who took to his Twitter account to post: “Bmore couldn’t be prouder of u Showalter,” also pointed out that this year’s award was a Beltway sweep with Nationals Manager Matt Williams winning in the NL.
Williams called Showalter the most prepared manager he’s ever been around in his acceptance interview and the O’s skipper, who had Williams as a player, said he was glad Washington gave him the chance.
Showalter, who took over in Baltimore in August of 2010, has posted winning seasons in each of the past three years and finished runner up to Bob Melvin for the Manager of the Year award in 2012.
Showalter’s managerial skills were best illustrated in his bullpen, which helped carry the O’s through offensive lulls, much like 2012. Together with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette —who was honored Monday night as the Sporting News Executive of the Year— Showalter manipulated the roster, sending starting pitchers down prior to the All-Star break just to add an extra position player for a game or two.
Showalter has 1,259 career victories in 16 seasons as a major league manager, the third-most wins among active managers. He is 377-328 in Baltimore and the third O’s manager to be named Manager of the Year, joining Davey Johnson (1997) and Frank Robinson (1989).