A's Melvin, Nats' Johnson named managers of the year
By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bob Melvin of the Oakland Athletics and Davey Johnson of the Washington Nationals were named managers of the year on Tuesday in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Melvin, who led Oakland to an unlikely American League West title, and Johnson, who steered Washington to the National League East crown, joined just four other men to win the manager awards with teams in both leagues.
Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland and Lou Piniella are the other managers to claim as manager of the year awards in both leagues.
Melvin, who won the National League award in 2007 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, guided the A's past two-time American League champions Texas Rangers and a beefed-up Los Angeles Angels team that had added free agent slugger Albert Pujols to win the AL West.
The A's skipper won a close race in the voting with Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter, taking 16 first-place votes to 12 for Showalter to edge him by 116-108 points.
Showalter improved Baltimore's 2011 mark by 24 games and led the Orioles to the postseason for the first time in 15 years.
"I was shocked, absolutely shocked," Melvin told MLB TV after the announcement was made. "Buck had such a great year. Just to be talked about in the same light as Buck Showalter and Robin Ventura (the third-place finisher for the Chicago White Sox) was an honor to me," he said.
Oakland, relying on a young starting rotation that featured as many as five rookie pitchers, overcame a nine-game losing streak they snapped on June 2 by launching a strong second-half charge to join the playoff race. Continued...