Molitor, Lovullo bring home top manager awards
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.
“I still believed,” Molitor said Tuesday, recalling how he helped his team overcome “that speed bump.”
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.
“We are going to be one year better,” he said, adding his club would be even “more united” in 2018.
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 former Stanford star 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.
Roberts, Black, Milwaukee’s Craig Counsell and Dusty Baker, since let go by Washington, also had firstplace votes.
A’S CATCHER ENTERS PLEA >> A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell pleaded not guilty in Arizona to charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct after being accused of pulling a gun on a food delivery woman last month.
Maxwell entered his plea in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, where he’s scheduled for an initial pretrial conference on Dec. 28. If a plea agreement isn’t reached then or before his comprehensive pretrial on Jan. 29, a trial date will then be set.
Maxwell was arrested almost three weeks ago when a Postmate’s delivery driver told police he pointed a gun at her when she made her delivery. Maxwell has denied pointing his gun at her. According to court records, arresting officers said Maxwell exhibited signs of intoxication and made anti-police statements to them while being taken into custody.
HALL OF FAMER DOERR DIES AT 99 >> Bobby Doerr, the Hall of Fame second baseman dubbed the “Silent Captain” of the Boston Red Sox by longtime teammate and friend Ted Williams, has died. He was 99. Doerr died on Monday in Junction City, Oregon, the Red Sox said in a statement. The Red Sox said Doerr had been the oldest living major league player.