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(SFGate)   A's Bob Melvin wins AL Manager of the Year in closest vote ever. Oriole fans immediately call for a recount   (sfgate.com) divider line 18
    More: Spiffy, Bob Melvin, Manager of the Year, Oakland Athletics  
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216 clicks; posted to Sports » on 14 Nov 2012 at 11:31 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-14 09:40:47 AM
Showalter didn't lead his team to an improbable division title.
 
2012-11-14 11:44:25 AM

wxboy: Showalter didn't lead his team to an improbable division title.


That, in truth, was probably the tipping point. Honesty were it up to me, they'd be Co-MOTY.
 
2012-11-14 11:46:41 AM
I'm a diehard O's fan but I've been saying all along that Melvin deserved it (and I've taken a decent amount of grief from other O's fans because of that).

The O's and A's had pretty similar expectations going into the season, but the A's won the toughest division in baseball and the O's were a 5-seed. If the O's had gotten to the LCS maybe it's a different outcome, but they didn't differentiate themselves in the playoffs either.

In any other season, Buck is a shoo-in for the award.
 
2012-11-14 11:55:49 AM

balki1867: but the A's won the toughest division in baseball and the O's were a 5-seed.


I will debate this point on both ends. The O's may have been a "5 seed", but they finished tied for 3rd best record in the AL (while the "3rd seed" finished 7th).

As for the toughest division thing, that's actually hard to compare given the 4-team nature of the AL West prior to 2013. Yankees-O's-Rays was pretty much a mirror image of A's-Rangers-Angels, especially down the stretch. The main difference was Jays-Red Sox v Mariners, and had the Astros moved to the AL West in 2012 rather than 2013, the two divisions as a whole would've been even more similar.
 
2012-11-14 12:02:21 PM
As an A's fan, I'm very happy for Bob, and he's been a great manager for us. But I think you could also make a case for Showalter. I still can't believe the Orioles did as well as they did with the starting rotation they had. Both managers did a great job getting the full potential out of their rosters.
 
2012-11-14 12:44:27 PM
I guess I'm curious to know how much input Billy had in managerial decisions this year. I kow Moneyball set Billy up as the behind the scenes real manager for the A's instead of Art. Not to take away from what the A's accomplished, but with Billy around as GM, I do question how much decisions making control the on field manager for any team of his has.

All that said, congrats, Bob! Lets hope for a repeat!
 
2012-11-14 01:01:59 PM
They really could do no wrong with this one. Both guys were very deserving
 
2012-11-14 01:14:19 PM
Very region specific voting breakdown. The East is over-represented, and the West is severely underrepresented, so most A's fans assumed it would go to Showalter.


Ballots by division:

AL West: 6 Melvin, 1 Showalter
AL Central: 7 Melvin, 3 Showalter
AL East: 3 Melvin, 8 Showalter
 
2012-11-14 01:45:05 PM

The Bestest: I will debate this point on both ends. The O's may have been a "5 seed", but they finished tied for 3rd best record in the AL (while the "3rd seed" finished 7th).

As for the toughest division thing, that's actually hard to compare given the 4-team nature of the AL West prior to 2013. Yankees-O's-Rays was pretty much a mirror image of A's-Rangers-Angels, especially down the stretch. The main difference was Jays-Red Sox v Mariners, and had the Astros moved to the AL West in 2012 rather than 2013, the two divisions as a whole would've been even more similar.


(1) is a very good point that I hadn't considered but I'd debate (2). The AL West was 171-117 in games outside the division (59.4%) versus 306-276 for the AL East (52.6%). You're right that if the Astros had made the move this year, that record would be much lower, but that also means the the A's, Rangers and Angels would've played 18 games against the Astros, so there's an outside shot the Rangers and A's are flirting with 100 wins and the Angels snag that 5th playoff spot.

I think someone mentioned that you really couldn't go wrong with either pick and that's exactly how I feel. Any other year, Buck is a lock for the award. [The biggest argument to vote for Buck is that we already know what Billy Beane is capable of with a tiny budget out in Oakland, whereas the Orioles are the Orioles].
 
2012-11-14 03:38:40 PM
A's last post season appearance 2006
O's last post season appearance 1997

A's record in 2011 74-88
O's record in 2011 69-93

A's record in 2010 81-81
O's record in 2010 66-96

Yup, Showalter had the easier time of rebuilding a team. Much easier than Melvin.
 
2012-11-14 03:58:26 PM

The Bestest: balki1867: but the A's won the toughest division in baseball and the O's were a 5-seed.

I will debate this point on both ends. The O's may have been a "5 seed", but they finished tied for 3rd best record in the AL (while the "3rd seed" finished 7th).

As for the toughest division thing, that's actually hard to compare given the 4-team nature of the AL West prior to 2013. Yankees-O's-Rays was pretty much a mirror image of A's-Rangers-Angels, especially down the stretch. The main difference was Jays-Red Sox v Mariners, and had the Astros moved to the AL West in 2012 rather than 2013, the two divisions as a whole would've been even more similar.


Looking at overall records and head to head between the a.l. east and the a.l. west, it's really not close. The west was clearly the best division in the american league. Deal with it
 
2012-11-14 04:04:13 PM

degenerate-afro: A's last post season appearance 2006
O's last post season appearance 1997

A's record in 2011 74-88
O's record in 2011 69-93

A's record in 2010 81-81
O's record in 2010 66-96

Yup, Showalter had the easier time of rebuilding a team. Much easier than Melvin.


I wouldn't have complained at all if Showalter had gotten the award, but your argument doesn't make a lot of sense.

Buck Showalter didn't "rebuild" the Orioles. While he doubtless had input on some decisions, the "rebuilding" part of affairs falls mainly with Dan Duquette and the front office. The field manager doesn't determine the composition of the team. The field manager handles day-to-day stuff with the roster (who to play, when they play) and makes the in-game decisions.

No question that Showalter gets the most out of his players. But how much of the improved performance is Showalter, and how much is an improving young core of players (Markakis, Jones, Wieters, and now apparently Machado)? You could argue that decisions in terms of what personnel were on the roster (made by the front office) get some of the credit for the 2012 improvement.

Also, if we're talking turnarounds, Bob Melvin had a team this year that was widely projected to lose 100 games after trading away two starting pitchers (Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill) and the closer (Andrew Bailey), and letting our home run leader from the previous season walk (Josh Willingham). You could make an argument that there was less proven talent on the A's than there was on the Orioles this year.

Manager of the year, in my mind, should be about who got the most performance relative to the level of talent on the roster. Baltimore has had a solid core of guys for a few years now that will form the basis of a competitive team. Give credit to Showalter for creating an environment where role-players like Nate McClouth, Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy can succeed, but also give credit to Bob Melvin for succeeding with a roster that at times had an entire starting rotation of rookies and featured at least three different platoon arrangements for most of the season.
 
2012-11-14 05:35:23 PM

Cagey B: Baltimore has had a solid core of guys for a few years now that will form the basis of a competitive team.


Yes, and most of that "solid core" was on the DL for much of the season. Brian Roberts did his normal "show up for two days get concussed again". Markakis was out. The pitching staff built from straw. The only two players who were consistent starters for the entire season were Adam Jones and Wei-Yin Chen. Certainly one outfielder and one starting "rookie" pitcher is a solid core.
 
2012-11-14 06:01:07 PM

degenerate-afro: Yes, and most of that "solid core" was on the DL for much of the season. Brian Roberts did his normal "show up for two days get concussed again". Markakis was out. The pitching staff built from straw. The only two players who were consistent starters for the entire season were Adam Jones and Wei-Yin Chen. Certainly one outfielder and one starting "rookie" pitcher is a solid core.


Jones: 162(!) games
Markakis: 104 games
Wieters: 144 games
Reynolds: 135 games
Hardy: 158 games

Throw in another fifty games from Machado as a mid-to-late season call up. Markakis missing the last couple of months sucks, but these are fairly normal totals for a full season. It isn't exactly the medical ward that you're portraying here.

I'll give you the starting rotation as a major work in progress. But that's hardly unique. Oakland had one veteran starter get suspended for the last quarter of the season, another go down to a line drine off his head for the last month (he'd spent a month or two on the DL prior to that episode), and we had Brett Anderson for all of three weeks in the regular season. Fifteen of our starts were from Travis Blackley fer chrissakes.

Oh, and we lost our starting third baseman for the season in spring training. And then lost our replacement starting third baseman again in August. And Yoenis Cespedes missed about a month.

It's almost like the A's and Orioles had very similar situations this season. And it's almost like Manager of the Year was essentially a toss-up between two very deserving candidates that BoMel was lucky enough to win.

Again, Buck Showalter would have been a deserving winner of the award, and he had a great season. But I don't think he was somehow clearly better than Bob Melvin was this season.
 
2012-11-14 06:22:22 PM

Cagey B: Jones: 162(!) games
Markakis: 104 games
Wieters: 144 games
Reynolds: 135 games
Hardy: 158 games


I believe your quote was "Give credit to Showalter for creating an environment where role-players like Nate McClouth, Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy can succeed".

So the solid core of players of the Orioles that you were referring to were the Role players that were kicked off of other teams because they weren't good enough?

I terms of streakiness, I'd probably place Chris Davis on the "solid core" list before Mark Reynolds. He was more of a liability in the field until they moved him to first base. Plus his batting style is "close your eyes, swing and hope you make contact" which is why he was booted from the Diamondbacks. I'd hope that he doesn't regress next year (and that both he and Adam Jones learn to stop swinging at balls in the dirt)
 
2012-11-14 06:27:26 PM

degenerate-afro: So the solid core of players of the Orioles that you were referring to were the Role players that were kicked off of other teams because they weren't good enough?


The core I referred to were Markakis, Jones, Wieters and Machado. Only Markakis missed significant playing time due to injury of that group. I included the rest because you claimed the following:

The only two players who were consistent starters for the entire season were Adam Jones and Wei-Yin Chen.

Which is plainly false. The Orioles were not some injury-ravaged team that only had two players consistently healthy and making starts.
 
2012-11-15 03:20:58 AM

Cagey B: Which is plainly false. The Orioles were not some injury-ravaged team that only had two players consistently healthy and making starts.


Sorry should have said two "good" players. There was plenty of swapping out people who were either liabilities in the field or in the batting box. When I think of solid core players I think solid all around. Not just good in one area, but bad in the other.
 
2012-11-16 02:24:37 AM

degenerate-afro: A's last post season appearance 2006
O's last post season appearance 1997

A's record in 2011 74-88
O's record in 2011 69-93

A's record in 2010 81-81
O's record in 2010 66-96

Yup, Showalter had the easier time of rebuilding a team. Much easier than Melvin.


Glad you agree
 
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