USA Today Sports

Bob Melvin, not Alex Cora, named AL Manager of the Year

John Tomase
November 13, 2018 - 6:54 pm

Alex Cora arrived in Boston with the goal of winning a World Series. He delivered.

It still wasn’t enough to win him the Manager of the Year Award.

That honor instead went to Oakland’s Bob Melvin, was selected American League Manager of the Year by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America on Tuesday, beating out Cora and fellow finalist Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Melvin received 18 first-place votes and 121 points. Cora finished second with seven first-place votes and 79 points, and Cash was third with five first-place votes and 57 points.

While Red Sox fans may cry foul over the selection, voting was conducted prior to the postseason, when Cora pushed virtually every right button while losing just three games before beating the Dodgers in the World Series.

It’s also not as if Melvin is a horrible choice. He led the unheralded A’s to 97 wins and a wild card berth. Oakland's starting rotation was so devastated by injuries, Melvin had little choice but to turn over his starters twice during the course of the season.

By the end of the year, he was following a tactic employed to impressive success by Cash in Tampa and employing “an opener” instead of a starter, turning over game after game to his outstanding bullpen. This is his third Manager of the Year Award.

The Red Sox, with the highest payroll in baseball, owned significant advantages over the A’s and Rays. The A’s won with players like Jed Lowrie and Matt Chapman and Khris Davis playing major roles, whereas the Red Sox were able to pencil presumed MVP Mookie Betts and Triple Crown threat J.D. Martinez into their lineup every night.