The winners of the Baseball Writers Association of America Manager of the Year Awards were announced today and the Braves’ Brian Snitker and the Athletics’ Bob Melvin took home the awards for the National League and the American League respectively.
Snitker received 17 of the 30 first-place votes as he led the Braves’ to their first division title since 2013. The Brewers’ Craig Counsell received 11 first-place votes and finished second. Bud Black of the Rockies got one first-place vote and finished third. Fourth place went to Cardinals skipper Mike Shildt while the Cubs’ Joe Maddon got one first-place vote and finished fifth. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts got one third-place vote to round out the voting.
The win has to be especially satisfying for Snitker, a baseball lifer who had toiled the minor leagues as a player, coach or manager for the Braves since 1977 before getting a chance as an interim manager for the Braves midway through the 2016 season. He was hired on full-time in 2017 but was going to be fired by general manager John Coppolella right after last season. (Snitker was also going to quit if he wasn’t fired.) However, Coppolella was fired and eventually permanently banned from baseball for his role in a Latin American signing scandal and new GM Alex Anthopoulos decided to keep Snitker around for another year. It turned out to be a terrific decision for the Braves as Snitker led the team to a 90-72 record and their first division title since 2013.
For Melvin, it was the third time he has won the award. He won the AL award with Oakland in 2012 and the NL award with the Diamondbacks in 2007. He’s one of just eight managers to have won the award three times, including current Cubs manager Joe Maddon and previous Cubs skippers Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella.
The A’s were one of the surprise teams in 2018 as Melvin took a team that had won just 75 games in 2017 and led them to a 97-65 record and a spot in the American League Wild Card game.
Melvin received 18 of the 30 first-place votes. Seven first-place votes went to second-place finisher Alex Cora, who led the Red Sox to a record team-record 108 wins and a World Series Championship in his first season as a manger. Rays skipper Kevin Cash, who took another low-payroll team to a 90-72 record and a third-place finish in the AL East, got five first-place votes and finished third. Astros manager A.J. Hinch finished fourth and Yankees rookie manager Aaron Boone got two third-place votes and finished fifth.
The complete voting for the National League:
You can see all the ballots of the NL Manager of the Year voting here. WSCR’s Bruce Levine gave Maddon his one first-place vote.
The complete voting for the American League:
All the ballots for the AL voting can be found here.
Tomorrow, the winners of the Cy Young Award will be announced.