BBWAA member Asuka Brown on leaving John Farrell, Terry Francona off AL Manager of the Year ballot: 'My heart says my votes are correct'

November 13, 2013 - 6:42 am
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Asuka Brown of the Japanese wire service Jiji Press, one of two members of the Baseball Writers Association of America who did not include Red Sox manager John Farrell on her ballot for American League Manager of the Year, joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to explain her thought process. Brown tabbed Athletics manager Bob Melvin first, followed by Rays skipper Joe Maddon and Orioles manager Buck Showalter. Brown's vote for Showalter, last year's runner-up, was his only top-three vote this year. Melvin, last year's winner, finished third this year, behind winner Terry Francona and Farrell. The Seattle-based Brown, who said she has been covering Major League Baseball since 2002 and joined the BBWAA in 2011, indicated Farrell had a stronger lineup and a higher payroll. "I think Boston had so many premium players like [David] Ortiz, [Dustin] Pedroia. They have enough leadership to manage itself pretty well," she said. "There's no doubt Farrell is an outstanding manager in a competitive division. However, my first vote went to Bob Melvin. I highly respect those teams that [succeeded] on very limited budgets. So, my first two votes went to those managers -- Melvin and Maddon." Added Brown: "Also the payroll was the reason I didn't choose Boston. I always highly respect those teams with limited budgets. Boston and maybe the New York Yankees, they have I think big payrolls. Probably managers have, if they correctly manage, they have resources, always. That's why." As for the absence of Francona, who won the award, Brown said his team's record against weaker teams played too big a role in Cleveland's success. "My first two votes went to those managers from limited-budget teams. Then I thought that third vote should come from the division which is the toughest division in Major League Baseball," she said. "The reason why I didn't vote for Francona was that a number of their wins came from easier teams to beat, or struggling teams. So, that's why my third vote went to Showalter, who maintained the same level as last season." Brown said she does not regret her choices despite the criticism she has been receiving. "That's what I thought," she said. "They should be honored. My heart says my votes are correct." The other writer to leave Farrell off her ballot was Christina Kahrl of ESPN.com, who chose Francona first, Melvin second and Maddon third. She explained her vote in an article for the website, using the Red Sox' big budget as the main reason for the exclusion of Farrell. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com.
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