A’s skipper Bob Melvin finished third in the American League Manager of the Year voting announced Tuesday, behind winner Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox’s John Farrell.
Melvin, the 2012 winner when he guided Oakland to a surprising division title, faced long odds to repeat this season even with the A’s winning the American League West again. Francona led a turnaround in Cleveland that saw the Tribe improve from a last-place club in ’12 to a 92-win squad that qualified for a wild card berth in 2013.
Farrell topped that, taking the Red Sox from worst to first in the AL East and winning the World Series. Francona’s victory came off as a surprise from that standpoint, but it’s important to note that voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America was conducted before the postseason started.
Francona received 16 of 30 first-place votes and 112 points total. Farrell received 12 first-place votes and 96 points. Melvin, who won the NL award in 2007 with Arizona, was trying to become the A.L.’s first repeat winner. He received two first-place votes and 36 points.
Debating the merits of each candidate before the announcement, MLB Network analyst Ron Darling labeled Melvin “The Great Communicator” for keeping all of his platoon players happy and effective during a 96-66 season.
Melvin spread the credit around for Oakland’s division-winning season, singling out members of the front office and scouting staff.
“To be able to follow up and win our division means our organization had another good year,” Melvin said on the awards show.
The A’s have Melvin signed through the 2016 season.