Molitor, Lovullo named top managers
Paul Molitor and Torey Lovullo both presided over turnaround seasons, guided their teams into the playoffs and won Manager of the Year awards by wide margins.
The paths they took, those were totally different.
Molitor needed a clubhouse talk to calm down the Minnesota Twins, his players angered by moves the front office at the July 31 trade deadline.
No such distractions in the desert.
In his first full season as a skipper, Lovullo built a culture of communication with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He often referred to the “love” teammates had for each other — and Lovullo certainly loved the midseason deal that brought big-hitting J.D. Martinez to the D-backs.
Molitor won the American League Manager of the Year award after the Twins became the first team to make the playoffs following a 100-loss season.
Molitor drew 18 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Cleveland’s Terry Francona was second and A.J. Hinch of the World Series champion Houston Astros finished third. Voting was completed before the start of the playoffs.
Lovullo got 18 first-place votes, too, in earning the National League prize. Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers was second and Colorado’s Bud Black was third.