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