(Reuters) - The neighboring teams were not able to book a Beltway World Series, but their skippers swept the Manager of the Year awards as Matt Williams of the Nationals and Buck Showalter of the Orioles won the honors on Tuesday.
Showalter, who steered Baltimore to their first division title in 17 years, won the American League award for a third time, joining Hall of Famer Tony La Russa as the only managers to claim the honor with three different teams.
Williams led Washington to 96-66 record that was best in the National League and gave them the NL East title by a commanding 17 games — the widest margin in the majors.
The teams, a one-hour drive apart on the U.S. east coast, each fell to the eventual World Series teams in the playoffs.
Washington manager Williams received 18 first-place votes, with runner-up Clint Hurdle of the Pittsburgh Pirates garnering eight in voting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
“It’s our staff, our players and our organization,” Williams told reporters on a conference call. “This is an organizational award as far as I’m concerned.”
Williams said he learned on the job.
“You don’t really know until you roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty. That’s how I grew as a manager,” he said.
Williams became the fourth rookie manager to win, following Joe Girardi (Florida 2006), Dusty Baker (San Francisco 1993) and Hal Lanier (Houston 1986).
San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose wild card team won the World Series, was third after receiving three first-place votes.
Voting took place before the postseason.
Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond got the other first-place vote.
Showalter, who previously won in 1994 with the Yankees and in 2004 with the Rangers, collected 25 first-place votes with four going to runner-up Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels.
“They allow you to manage them,” Showalter said about the players on a team that went 96-66. “I told them thanks for the way they played. I had a great seat.”
Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost, who led the Royals to their first postseason in 29 years and a trip to the World Series, finished third.
Lloyd McClendon of the Mariners received the other first-place vote and finished fourth.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue