Molitor and Lovullo honored
Paul Molitor was named the American League Manager of the Year on Tuesday after his Minnesota Twins became the first team to make the playoffs following a 100-loss season.
Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks won the NL award. In his first full season as a big league skipper, Arizona reached the playoffs a year after going 69-93.
The Twins went 85-77 this season and earned their first playoff spot since 2010 before losing to the Yankees in the AL wild-card game. Last year, the Twins led the majors with 103 losses.
Molitor drew 18 of 30 first-place votes in voting by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Cleveland’s Terry Francona was second and A.J. Hinch of the World Series champion Astros finished third.
Lovullo got 18 firstplace votes, too, in earning the NL honor. Dave Roberts of the Dodgers was second and Colorado’s Bud Black was third.
Halladay memorial: Two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay was remembered at a memorial service 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” in Clearwater, Fla., attracted more than 1,000 people to Spectrum Field, the spring training home of the Phillies, one of two franchises for which Halladay played during his 16-year career.
“The man made the ballplayer,” Phillies owner John Middleton said, “not the other way around,”
Halladay died Nov. 7 at age 40 when the private plane he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.
The public memorial began with a video tribute and ended with Halladay’s wife, Brandy, and sons, Braden and Ryan, standing on the mound and releasing butterflies from a container in a final goodbye.