Tuesday was the second night of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America Award presentations, as the announcements were made for both leagues’ Manager of the Year.
For the American League, Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor received the honor after leading the Twins to a 85-77 record. This is important because in 2016, the Twins had the Major League’s worst record at 59-103.
This is Molitor’s first Manager of the Year Award. His managing career began for the Twins as he was hired prior to the 2015 season.
Molitor, 61, played 21 Major League seasons from 1978-98, having spent the final three with the Twins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004, and is a member of MLB’s 3,000 hit-club, ranking ninth on the all-time list with 3,319 knocks.
Taking home the honor in the National League was Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks. In his first year at the helm, Lovullo led the D’Backs to a 93-69 record, good for third best in the league, as well as a complete reverse of their 69-93 mark the previous season.
Lovullo, 52, has been a coach in the majors since 2011. He spent two years as first base coach for the Toronto Blue Jays, and aided manager John Farrell and the Boston Red Sox as their bench coach for four years prior to taking Arizona’s managerial job in October of 2016.
In parts of eight Major League seasons for seven teams from 1988-99, Lovullo was a .224 hitter with 15 homers and 60 RBIs.
The 2015 season saw Lovullo act as interim manager for the Red Sox while Farrell was undergoing cancer treatments. Lovullo led Boston to a 28-20 record over the final 48 games. Despite this, the Red Sox still finished last in the AL East, going 78-84.
Well deserved honors for both managers, who significantly improved their team from last season.
Molitor beat out Cleveland’s Terry Francona and Houston’s A.J. Hinch for the AL honor, while Lovullo topped Colorado’s Bud Black and Los Angeles’s Dave Roberts in the NL.