Paul Molitor has won the American League Manager of the Year award after his Minnesota Twins became the first team to make the playoffs following a 100-loss season. Arizona jumped 24 wins, finishing 93-69 in 2017 after posting the exact opposite record, 69-93, the year before.
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.
How's that for a rookie campaign?
Lovullo, 52, is the third Diamondbacks manager to win the award. He joins Kirk Gibson in 2011 and Bob Melvin in 2007. Dave Roberts, a runner-up this year, was Manager of the Year as a first-time manager for the Dodgers in 2016, as was Jeff Banister for the Rangers in '15 and Matt Williams for the Nationals in '14. Frank Robinson, who was named AL manager of the year in 1989, is the only other Hall of Fame player to win the award. The Twins lost in the one-game Wild Card playoff by the Yankees. "An award like this reflects the work of the organization and everyone who contributed to the Twins having a turnaround season". Last year, the Twins led the majors with 103 losses.
Molitor received 18 first-place votes, six second-place votes, and four third-place votes.
Molitor's victory was closer than that of the National League, as he received 18 first-place votes in comparison to the 11 that Cleveland Indianas skipper Terry Francona received. Third-place finisher A.J. Hinch of the Astros had one first-place vote, 13 second-place votes, and 12 third-place votes.
It's worth noting that the Baseball Writers Association of America completes its balloting before the start of the postseason, so Hinch winning the World Series had no impact on the results.
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