Angels’ manager, Mike Scioscia, came up just short in his pursuit of the 2014 American League Manager of the Year Award. Baltimore Orioles manager, Buck Showalter, was announced as this year’s recipient live on MLB Network Tuesday night. Scioscia placed second in the voting after leading the Halos to the best record in baseball this past season. Kansas City Royals manager, Ned Yost, brought his team to within one game of their first World Series Championship in 29 years, but finished third in the voting.
The Angels won 98 games in 2014, winning the American League West for the first time since 2009, but it is hard to argue with the BBWAA’s decision to crown Showalter. Showalter was flawless in 2014, always seeming to make the right decisions for the O’s. Showalter led the rag-tag crew to an improbable AL East division crown, and a trip to the ALCS. Showalter joins Hall-of-Fame manager, Tony La Russa, as the only two men to win three Manager of the Year Awards.
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Scioscia was trying for his third career Manager of the Year Award, having already won the award in 2002 and 2009. Scioscia is widely acknowledged as one of the top managers in baseball, having won one World Series, and making the postseason in 7 of his 15 seasons.
This season showed Scioscia’s flexibility as a skipper. When the Halos took home the World Series Title in the fall of 2002 they won with speed, defense, and grittiness. Over the years the Angels have transformed into an offensive powerhouse filled with big names, and even bigger salaries. Scioscia has adapted well, and the 98 wins the Halos registered this past season was their third highest total under Scioscia.
Washington Nationals first-year manager, Matt Williams, took home the National League Manager of the Year Award. The Nationals posted the best record in the NL en-route to winning the NL East division title. Pittsburgh Pirates boss, and 2013 NL Manager of the Year, Clint Hurdle, was the runner-up. The Pirates exited early from the postseason after getting bounced in the wildcard game. San Francisco Giants manager, Bruce Bochy, may have led his squad to the top of the heap in October, but it was not enough to take home the hardware tonight. Bochy finished in third place; luckily he has the World Series trophy to keep him warm at night.
Angels’ fans have suggested that 2015 will be a make-or-break season for the Angels skipper, but ownership should think long and hard before making a change just for the sake of change. The Halos would be hard pressed to find a better man than Scioscia to lead this talented group to the Promised Land.