In the non-surprising news of the day, Athletics manager Bob Melvin did not win his second straight AL Manager of the Year Award. The honor went to Cleveland Indians skipper Terry Francona, who brought them back into contention into the final weeks of the season after years of futility. Oftentimes the award goes to the manager who fits exactly that mold, as Melvin did in 2012. Melvin finished third of the three finalists, behind Francona, and Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Frankly, I was surprised to see Melvin included as a finalist in the first place this time around. The A’s were expected to be good again, and they were. His reputation around the league, and the fact that he won the award in 2012 likely aided him in being included in the first place. Melvin had another quality campaign at the helm in Oakland, but there is no way his job managing was the best in the league.
If I had a vote for the award, I would put New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi solidly atop the list. The Yankees were a shell of themselves this year, with players like Lyle Overbay, Travis Hafner, and David Adams getting lots of playing time. This patchwork roster should have put the Yankees in the cellar of the AL East, but they stayed in contention into the month of September. Not to mention the cloud hovering over Alex Rodriguez that consumed the entire team at times, it’s a miracle they finished above .500. Girardi’s work in 2013 had to have been some of the most impressive managing I’ve seen in quite some time.
Melvin should hold his head high for a job well done over the course of the year. There’s no shame in finishing behind Terry Francona, and the man who won the World Series.