Veteran skippers Francona, Showalter voted Managers of Year

Nov 15, 2022, 2:05 AM | Updated: 7:51 pm
FILE - Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona makes a pitching change during the fifth inning o...

FILE - Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona makes a pitching change during the fifth inning of the team's baseball game against the Houston Astros, Aug. 4, 2022, in Cleveland. Francona was voted the American League Manager of the Year on Tuesday night, Nov. 15, winning the award for the third time in 10 seasons after leading the Guardians to the AL Central title. Francona received 17 of 30 first-place votes and nine second-place votes for 112 points from a Baseball Writers’ Association of America panel. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

Terry Francona of the Cleveland Guardians and Buck Showalter of the New York Mets trace their beginnings as major league managers to a time when starting pitchers still threw complete games, defensive shifts were rare and stats like WAR, WHIP, OPS and FIP weren’t part of baseball’s everyday lingo.

Times have changed, but the veteran skippers keep winning games.

Francona and Showalter were voted Managers of the Year on Tuesday night, improving their already sparkling resumes.

Showalter — who narrowly won the National League award in a wide-open race — is just the third person to take the prize four times and the first to do it with four different franchises. He won in the AL with the New York Yankees in 1994, Texas Rangers in 2004 and Baltimore Orioles in 2014.

The other four-time winners are Hall of Famers Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa.

“Sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same,” Showalter said. “You still have to do the same things to be successful in our game. We’ve just got a lot of different ways to verify some of the guts that you have. There’s a lot more stuff analytically that you can use to verify what your eyes and your experience may tell you. There’s a lot of different ways to skin a cat.”

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.

Brian Snitker, who won in 2018, finished third with 55 points after his Atlanta Braves erased a big deficit and chased down the Mets to win the NL East. He received seven first-place votes in balloting by a Baseball Writers’ Association of America panel.

Showalter guided New York to the second-best regular season in franchise history, finishing 101-61 for a 24-win improvement over 2021. He’s the first Mets manager to win the award, which has been presented since 1983.

The 66-year-old skipper brought stability and gravitas to a franchise that had been saddled with on- and off-the-field issues over the past several seasons.

Showalter credited general manager Billy Eppler and the rest of the organization with hiring the right people.

“That’s why you’re so picky about who you surround yourself with,” Showalter said. “Realizing you don’t have all the answers, but as a group you can be really strong if you have an open mind and open ears. Sometimes your actions speak so loudly you can’t hear a word somebody says.

“You can sit around and pop your gums a lot, or you can listen and understand the end game you’re all trying to get to.”

After leading their division nearly all season, the Mets settled for the top NL wild card and lost to San Diego at home in the opening round of the playoffs.

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 year, 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.

Cy Young Award winners will be announced on Wednesday, and the league MVPs on Thursday.

___

AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Vancouver Canucks' Elias Pettersson, back, of Sweden, Curtis Lazar (20), Quinn Hughes, back right, ...
Associated Press

Pettersson scores early in OT, Canucks beat Canadiens 7-6

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Elias Pettersson scored 13 seconds into overtime and the Vancouver Canucks rallied to beat the Montreal Canadiens 7-6 on Monday night. Ilya Mikheyev scored two goals, Andrei Kuzmenko had a goal and an assist, and Conor Garland, Bo Horvat and Jack Studnicka also scored for the Canucks. Pettersson also had […]
1 day ago
Indiana Pacers forward Jalen Smith (25) dunks against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30...
Associated Press

Rookie Nembhard has 31, leads Pacers past Warriors, 112-104

SAN FRANCSICO (AP) — Rookie Andrew Nembhard outshined the Splash Brothers on their home court. Nembhard scored a season-high 31 points and added 13 assists and eight rebounds to lead the undermanned Indiana Pacers to a 112-104 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night. A second-round draft pick, Nembhard made a key 3-pointer […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

North Dakota State wins 67-62 over Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Boden Skunberg scored 20 points as North Dakota State beat Portland 67-62 on Monday. Skunberg also contributed 10 rebounds for the Bison (2-8). Tajavis Miller shot 7 for 13, including 3 for 7 from beyond the arc to add 17 points. Damari Wheeler-Thomas went 5 of 9 from the field to […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Odunewu’s 23 lead New Mexico State past Simon Fraser 77-35

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Shakiru Odunewu had 23 points in New Mexico State’s 77-35 win against Simon Fraser on Monday. Odunewu also contributed 10 rebounds and three blocks for the Aggies (4-2). Kyle Feit added 16 points while shooting 6 for 15, including 4 for 12 from beyond the arc, and he also had […]
1 day ago
San Diego State guard Matt Bradley, below, drives with the ball as Troy guard Nelson Phillips defen...
Associated Press

Bradley leads No. 22 San Diego St over Troy 60-55

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Matt Bradley scored 19 points and No. 22 San Diego State beat Troy 60-55 on Monday night. Darrion Trammell made a layup in traffic, converted two free throws and forced a key steal in the final three minutes to seal the win for the Aztecs (7-2). “Another hard-fought game,” San Diego […]
1 day ago
Calgary Flames forward Nazem Kadri, left, celebrates his goal with teammate Rasmus Andersson during...
Associated Press

Kadri’s winner halts Coyotes’ comeback, Flames win 3-2

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Nazem Kadri scored the tiebreaking goal with 4:18 left in the third period and had two assists to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night. Dillon Dube and Elias Lindholm also scored for Calgary, which has won five of its last six games […]
1 day ago
Veteran skippers Francona, Showalter voted Managers of Year