Oakland Athletics’ skipper Bob Melvin was named the AL Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers of America on Tuesday afternoon.
Melvin won by just eight points over Baltimore Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter. He accumulated 16 first place votes and 12 second place votes, while Showalter had 12 first place votes and 16 second place votes.
Melvin is the 13th manager to win the award more than once, and the fifth to win it in both leagues. He was the NL Manager of the Year in 2007 when he was at the helm of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
No one can say that Melvin didn’t deserve to win this award. His steady and veteran leadership on and off the field helped guide the A’s in an unbelievable and unimaginable 2012 season. They trailed Texas in the division by 13 games in late June, but mounted a furious rally in the second half of the season, which culminated with them sweeping the Rangers in the final series of the season to win the AL West.
Many analysts and experts around the country had the A’s losing 100 games in 2012 after they traded away three all-star pitchers (Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, and Andrew Bailey) during the off-season. Instead, they were just six wins away from a 100-win season.
Melvin had to lean on a starting rotation that boasted five rookies, and a lineup that consisted of misfits and minor league call-ups. But somehow, someway, he made it work.
What was one reason why Melvin deserved to be the AL Manger of the Year? CSN’s Casey Pratt has a good explanation:
The A’s offense thrived though the use of platoons at first base, second base, shortstop, DH, and catcher. They were able to do so because of Melvin’s communication skills. Every player knew when he was going to be in the lineup, out of the lineup, and the reason why. After every game Melvin had his coaching staff let each player know what their role for the next day would be. He used every last player on the roster to win. He simply managed the A’s to success.
Melvin was communicative, had his lineups posted early every day, openly answered any and all questions asked by the media, and even donated his office microwave to the beat writers so we could heat up our food in the press box.
He went above and beyond in every way imaginable.
Now I guess the only question left to ask is: why isn’t there a microwave for the A’s beat writers?