Despite pulling a moribund franchise from the depths of a 15-year losing streak and coming within one game of the American League Championship series, despite reversing a 69-93 record to 93-69, despite putting together the best record in one-run and extra inning games in recent memory, apparently O’s skipper Buck Showalter did NOT do enough to win the American League Manager of the Year award, according to the Baseball Writers of America.
Now, I’m not saying that Oakland manager Bob Melvin wasn’t a deserving candidate; he absolutely was. Melvin took a team that was supposed to finish at the bottom of the American League West and led them to a division title, a season culminating in a sweep of the two-time defending American League champion Texas Rangers in the final series to give the A’s their first AL West crown since 2006.
It’s just that Buck did MORE.
If the Yankees had tanked down the stretch like the Rangers did, instead of very impressively holding off the surging Orioles over the final month, maybe the AL East crown would have been enough to push Buck over the top. Still, the O’s made it just as far (Game 5 of the ALDS) in the playoffs as the A’s did, and just like the A’s, they had to beat Texas to get there (in the O’s case, the one-game Wild Card playoff, which was played in Texas, as opposed to the final OAK-TEX series, played in Oakland).
It was the A’s fifth postseason berth since 2000, and fifth since the Birds last finished .500 or better. Oakland has made a science out of getting a lot out of a little – hell, they just had a movie made about them doing just that (Moneyball, as opposed to the much more awesome but also much more fake BUCKYBALL).
A’s GM Billy Beane is the real hero in Oakland. Buck has pretty much single-handedly changed the culture in Baltimore since arriving in midseason 2010. While Dan Duquette did his part to finally give Buck some pieces to work with (an aside – Buck getting snubbed makes me even more angry that Duquette didn’t garner even a single vote for MLB Executive of the Year), where would the O’s be if they had instead hired Eric Wedge or Bobby Valentine (ughhhh) instead of Showalter?
Again – no disrespect to Mr. Melvin.
This was Buck’s award though.
I guess if the O’s want any respect from these national media a-holes, there’s only one thing left to do, Buck. (caution: language)