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Baltimore Orioles Manager Buck Showalter Finished Second in Close AL Manager of the Year Race

November 14th, 2012 at 10:58 AM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles manager was in a two horse race for the American League Manager of the Year award between he and Oakland A's manager Bob Melvin. Buck Showalter came just eight points short to finish second to Melvin, and just missing out on his third AL Manager of the Year award.

'Buck Showalter' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

So the question arises, especially for us Orioles fans, did Buck get "robbed"? Last night, sitting on the edge of my couch, holding my son (wearing his O's bib) and waiting for the announcement, I would be lying if I didn't think to myself "if Buck doesn't win, its a robbery." Immediately after Melvin was announced the winner, I posted on Orioles101's Facebook page and Twitter (@Orioles_101) that Buck got robbed and I smell an article, but this morning I really did some investigative work and to be honest, Melvin should have won. That statement may not make me very popular at the moment, but let's look at the facts.

Similarities and "ties":

  • Both the Orioles and A's were predicted to finish last in their divisions by Baseball America.
  • Both the Orioles and A's were in tough divisions especially after L.A. signed Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson in the offseason.
  • Both the Orioles and A's started the season with young and really unproven starting rotations.
  • Both the Orioles and A's lacked real star power, sorry before the season started Adam Jones was not a star (he is now).

'Buck Showalter' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Buck's case:

  • The Orioles had not had a winning season since 1997 and no one thought 2012 was going to be any different, not to mention they won a WildCard spot and nearly won the division.
  • The Orioles used 52 different players on their Major League roster.
  • It was easy to see how Buck's line-up decisions made the difference in several games such as the random starts of Lew Ford, Taylor Teagarden, and Wilson Betemit, not to mention placing Markakis in the leadoff spot.
  • The city of Baltimore rallied behind its manager with the BUCKle Up campaign.
  • The Orioles went from 69-93 in 2011 to 93-69 in 2012.
  • Baltimore was 29-9 in one-run games and 16-2 in extra inning games, and you do not watch baseball if you do not think managerial decisions are vastly important in those games.

Melvin's case and why he won:

  • Oakland went 74-88 last season and traded away or lost three of their best pitchers in Andrew Bailey, Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez.
  • Oakland had five rookies in their starting rotation!
  • At the All-Star break Oakland was 43-43 and trailed by nine games in their division, as opposed to the Orioles 45-40 and trailed by seven games.
  • An astonishing stat is that the A's went 72-38 after June 1, the best record in the majors.
  • Oakland won the AL West
  • Oakland won a division that had a combine win percentage of 54.17% as opposed to the Orioles finishing second in a division that had a 51.85% combined win percentage.
  • Lastly Oakland had the second lowest payroll in all of baseball and Melvin led them to a division title.

 

2012 AL Manager of the Year Voting
ManagerTeam1st2nd3rdPoints
Bob MelvinA's16120116
Buck ShowalterOrioles12160108
Robin VenturaWhite Sox001212
Joe MaddonRays0077
Joe GirardiYankees0055
Jim LeylandTigers0022
Ron WashingtonRangers0022

The numbers show that Melvin should have won, although not by much. A team with the second lowest payroll won a division with the fourth and sixth highest payrolls in baseball with the L.A. Angels and Texas Rangers, and probably the biggest influence in the voters decision was that Oakland did win their division as opposed to the Orioles taking the second WildCard. Also I believe many fans think about the fact that the Orioles had 14 consecutive losing seasons prior to this year, but this award is purely based on this season, and not a team's history. Showalter had a fantastic season and if Oakland doesn't do what they did, Buck wins in a blowout, but even he was impressed with Melvin this season as he stated on the Orioles official website:

"I hadn't really looked at it much but I was listening to some of the stuff [on MLB Network], and Bob Melvin, he did a great job with that club. Their division was strong this year, too. That was a good division….I think I would have voted for Bob. Really, I do."

Let's not forget Showalter did win the Sporting News AL Manager of the Year which is voted on by his peers, as opposed to this one which is voted on by the writers in the Baseball Writers' Association of America, so Showalter did win the one that I personally would rather win, an award voted on by my peers.

What did you think about the AL Manager of the Year race, did Showalter get robbed? Post a comment and let your voice be heard.


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Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Baseball, Bob Melvin, MLB, Oakland A's, Showalter

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One Response to “Baltimore Orioles Manager Buck Showalter Finished Second in Close AL Manager of the Year Race”

  1.  BaltimoreDad says:

    you hit the nail on the head the writers votes tend to be bias at times the one to win is by your peers

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