Lovullo wins NL honor as rookie manager
Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks won the NL Manager of the Year award last night after his first full season as a big league skipper. The 52-yearold Lovullo guided the Diamondbacks to a 93-69 record and their first playoff spot since 2011, a year after they were 69-93. Lovullo was the bench coach when he ran the Red Sox for 48 games in 2015 while manager John Farrell underwent cancer treatment. The Red Sox retained him as bench coach in 2016 then saw Lovullo leave to manage the Diamondbacks. Farrell was let go immediately after the 2017 campaign ended.
Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers was second to Lovullo in voting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Colorado’s Bud Black was third. Voting was completed before the playoffs began.
In the American League, Paul Molitor won the managers award after his Minnesota Twins became the first team to make the playoffs following a 100loss season (103 in 2016). Molitor, 61, joined Frank Robinson as the only Hall of Fame players to win a manager of the year award, which was first presented in 1983.
The Twins were 85-77 this season and earned their first playoff spot since 2010.
The Cleveland Indians’ Terry Francona was second and A.J. Hinch of the World Series champion Houston Astros finished third.
Roy Halladay was remembered in Clearwater, Fla., as an amazing husband, father, friend and teammate who was one of the best pitchers of his generation, but an even better man. A 91-minute “Celebration of Life for Roy Halladay” attracted more than 1,000 people to Spectrum Field, the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies, one of two franchises the two-time Cy Young Award winner pitched for during a stellar 16-year career.
“The man made the ballplayer,” Phillies owner John Middleton said, “not the other way around.”
Halladay, who broke into the majors with the Toronto Blue Jays, died Nov. 7 at age 40 when the private plane he was piloting crashed off Florida.
‘Jungle Jim’ dead
Manuel “Jungle Jim” Rivera, an outfielder on the 1959 “Go-Go” White Sox pennant-winning team in Chicago, died Monday at 96 in Fort Wayne, Ind. The AL leader in triples in 1953 and steals two years later, he played for the White Sox from 1952-61 . . . .
The bat New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig used to hit his last two home runs, in an exhibition game in 1939, is being auctioned off again. The bat is part of a Yankees Legends online offering by Heritage Auctions.