(AP) Cleveland’s Terry Francona and New York’s Buck Showalter were voted Managers of the Year on Tuesday night, improving the already sparkling resumes of both veteran baseball leaders.
Showalter — who won the NL prize in a very tight race — is just the third person to win a fourth Manager of the Year award and the first to win with four different franchises. He won with the Yankees in 1994, Rangers in 2004, Orioles in 2014 and now the Mets.
The other four-time winners are Hall of Famers Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa.
“The game has changed,” Showalter said of his four awards in four decades. “But in a lot of ways it’s stayed the same.”
Showalter received eight of 30 first-place votes, 10 second-place votes and 77 total points, edging Los Angeles Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts, who finished second. Roberts also earned eight-first-place votes but had just four second-place votes for 57 points.
Atlanta’s Brian Snitker, who won the award in 2018, finished third with 55 points. He received seven first-place votes. The voting was done by a Baseball Writers’ Association of America panel.
Showalter led the Mets to the second-best regular season in franchise history, finishing with 101 wins, which was a 24-win improvement over 2021. They finished second in the NL East to the Braves, who rallied to win the division.
The 66-year-old Showalter brought a sense of stability and gravitas to a franchise that had been saddled with on- and off-the-field issues over the past several seasons.
Francona won the AL award for the third time in 10 seasons. He received 17 of 30 first-place votes and nine second-place votes for 112 points from the BBWAA panel.
Baltimore’s Brandon Hyde finished second — earning nine first-place votes and 79 points — after leading the Orioles to a 31-win turnaround. Seattle’s Scott Servais was third with one first-place vote, eight second-place votes and 14 third-place votes. He led the Mariners back to the postseason this season, breaking a playoff drought that lasted two decades.
A two-time World Series winner with Boston, Francona’s 10th season in Cleveland may have been his best managing job. He’s the ninth person to win the award three times.
“It should be considered an organizational award, because that’s how I feel,” Francona said. “You start hearing people talk about you personally, it makes you a little uneasy, but for the things that it allows me to brag about our organization, that makes me really happy.”
Baseball’s youngest team, the Guardians unexpectedly won the AL Central, overtaking the Chicago White Sox in September and running away with the division. Cleveland then swept Tampa Bay in the wild-card round before losing in five games to the Yankees in the AL Division Series.
Voting was conducted before the postseason.
Francona made it through the season after major health issues forced him to leave the team in 2020 and 2021. The 63-year-old said he was re-energized by his young team, which had 17 players make their big league debuts this season.
He intends to return in 2023, but Francona and the Guardians have an open agreement that would allow him to step aside if he needed.
FILE – New York Mets manager Buck Showalter waits for the team’s baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Aug. 19, 2022, in Philadelphia. Showalter was named National League Manager of the Year on Tuesday, Nov. 15, in voting by a Baseball Writers’ Association of America panel. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola, File)