MAN­AGERS OF THE YEAR: Rock­ies’ Black fin­ishes third in NL; D-backs’ Lovullo, Twins’ Moli­tor hon­ored.

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Patrick Saun­ders

The Den­ver Post

Bud Black ac­com­plished a lot in his first sea­son as Rock­ies man­ager:

• He led the team to the play­offs for the first time since 2009.

• He guided them to 41 vic­to­ries away from Coors Field, mark­ing just the sec­ond time in fran­chise his­tory the Rock­ies had a win­ning record on the road.

• He nur­tured a young pitch­ing staff that puts Colorado in good shape for the fu­ture. Five pitch­ers who dur­ing the sea­son were 25 and younger — right-han­ders Jon Gray, An­to­nio Sen­za­tela, Ger­man Mar­quez and Jeff Hoff­man, plus left-han­der Kyle Free­land — com­bined to go 48-32.

But all of that wasn’t enough to get Black the award for Na­tional League man­ager of the year Tues­day.

The win­ner was Ari­zona’s Torey Lovullo. The Los An­ge­les Dodgers’ Dave Roberts came in sec­ond, and Black fin­ished third. The vote, by mem­bers of the Base­ball Writ­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica, was not close. Lovullo re­ceived 111 votes, Roberts 55 and Black 43.

Min­nesota’s Paul Moli­tor was named the Amer­i­can League man­ager of the year. He led the Twins to an 8577 record, 26 more vic­to­ries than the pre­vi­ous sea­son, the big­gest in­crease in the ma­jor leagues. Moli­tor be­came just the sec­ond per­son en­shrined in the Hall of Fame as a player to also be­come man­ager of the year, join­ing Frank Robin­son.

Moli­tor was hon­ored for his hand in turn­ing around the Twins fran­chise, just as Lovullo did at Ari­zona.

The Di­a­mond­backs cratered in 2016, fin­ish­ing 69-93. But in his first sea­son, Lovullo changed the cul­ture and re­ceived im­proved on-field ex­cel­lence from a tal­ented team, lead­ing the Di­a­mond­backs to a 93-69 record and the Na­tional League’s top wild-card spot. Ari­zona beat Colorado 11-8 in the wild-card game be­fore fall­ing to Los An­ge­les in the di­vi­sion series.

“I felt very strongly that the (Di­a­mond­backs) had a strong nu­cleus of guys that knew how to play the game,” Lovullo told the MLB Net­work. “I knew early in spring train­ing that the guys had to get off to a good start, so that’s when I put my­self out there a lit­tle bit and tried to change the cul­ture and tried to change their ex­pec­ta­tions.”

Lovullo is the third man­ager in Di­a­mond­backs his­tory to win man­ager of the year, join­ing Kirk Gib­son in 2011 and Bob Melvin in 2007.

Man­agers of the year

As se­lected by the Base­ball Writ­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica: Votes tab­u­lated on a 5-3-1 basis. NA­TIONAL LEAGUE Man­ager, team Torey Lovullo, D-backs Dave Roberts, Dodgers Bud Black, Rock­ies Craig Coun­sell, Brew­ers Dusty Baker, Na­tion­als Joe Mad­don, Cubs AMER­I­CAN LEAGUE Man­ager, team 1st 2nd 3rd Tot Paul Moli­tor, Twins 18 6 4 112 Terry Fran­cona, In­di­ans 11 98 90 A.J. Hinch, Astros 1 13 12 56 Joe Gi­rardi, Yan­kees — 26 12 1st 2nd 3rd Tot 18 5 6 111 5 8 6 55 3 6 10 43 3 4 6 33 1 6 2 25 — 1 — 3

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