On the heels of a season that saw the Baltimore Orioles cruise to their first American League East title since 1997, Buck Showalter has been named the AL Manager of the Year:  

Major League Baseball confirmed the news:

Scott Miller of Bleacher Report passed along the voting results:

The 58-year-old skipper led his team to the second-best record in baseball at 96-66 and past the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series before ultimately falling to the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS.

This marks the third time that Showalter has been named AL Manager of the Year, and the O’s are the third different team he has achieved that honor with as he previously won the award as manager of the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.

As impressive as his previous award-winning seasons were, this one may very well top the list. Not only did the Orioles win their division by a comfortable 12 games, but they also did so in the face of adversity, as pointed out by Arizona Diamondbacks broadcaster Steve Berthiaume:

That adversity included a pair of high-profile injuries with both catcher Matt Wieters and third baseman Manny Machado missing the vast majority of the season.

Baltimore didn’t miss a beat, though, and much of that was due to Showalter’s ability to pull the right strings and rally his team together. Unfortunately for them, the magic ultimately wore off just shy of the World Series.

There was an outpouring of support for Showalter and the Orioles after they were swept by Kansas City with ESPN’s Mike Greenberg hoping for bigger and better things in the future:

Successful teams often must first know what it feels like to fall agonizingly short of a goal before ultimately accomplishing it. Even though the O’s didn’t make it to the Fall Classic, this past season laid the groundwork for future greatness.

Showalter is likely well aware of that, but it didn’t make losing in the ALCS any easier, according to Orioles on MASN:

Even amid the disappointment of elimination, though, Showalter was able to put a positive spin on it and look toward the future with optimism, per Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun:

Through it, we got some good things done. We reminded the country what a great baseball city, and city in general, Baltimore is. I feel good about that. … I guarantee you, we’ll do everything possible to try to give them and the organization and our fans this opportunity again. I can promise you that.

As great of a season as the O’s had, Showalter faced some stiff competition in winning the AL Manager of the Year award. That included Royals manager Ned Yost, who led KC to the postseason for the first time since 1985.

Also, Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia guided his team to a league-best 98 wins and won the Sporting News AL Manager of the Year Award over Showalter, according to Encina:

None of that was enough to knock off Showalter, which truly speaks to his sterling reputation across the sport of baseball.

The Manager of the Year Award is based strictly on regular-season performance, so even though the Orioles didn’t make it as far as they wanted to in the playoffs, there is no denying the fact that Showalter is a deserving recipient of this honor.

While he now has taken this particular piece of hardware on three separate occasions, one can only assume that he would trade them all away for a World Series title in a heartbeat.

That type of personal sacrifice is the hallmark of a great manager, and it is something Showalter possesses in spades.   


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