A's Melvin, Nats' Johnson named managers of the year
NEW YORK - Bob Melvin of the Oakland Athletics and Davey Johnson of the Washington Nationals were named managers of the year on Tuesday in voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Melvin, who led Oakland to an unlikely American League West title, and Johnson, who steered Washington to the National League East crown, joined just four other men to win the manager awards with teams in both leagues.
Melvin, who won the National League award in 2007 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, guided the A's past two-time American League champions Texas Rangers and a beefed-up Los Angeles Angels team that had added free agent slugger Albert Pujols to win the AL West.
The A's skipper won a close race in the voting with Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter, taking 16 first-place votes to 12 for Showalter to edge him by 116-108 points.
Oakland, relying on a young starting rotation that featured four rookie pitchers, launched a strong second-half charge to join the playoff race.
They finished the regular season with a six-game winning streak, including a sweep of the Rangers in their season-ending series to claim the division title on the last day of the season with a 94-68 record.
Johnson guided the Washington Nationals to their first winning record since the former Montreal Expos moved to the U.S. capital in 2005 and their first playoff appearance after they registered a 98-64 mark that was best in Major League Baseball.
Johnson, 69, received 23 first-place votes among 32 ballots submitted by two writers representing each league city to score 131 points.
Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker received five first-place votes and was the runner-up with 77 points, with the other four first-place votes going to the San Francisco Giants' Bruce Bochy, who was third with 61 points.
Johnson, who turns 70 in January as the oldest active manager in the majors and won the American League award 15 years ago with the Baltimore Orioles, was not shy about his 2013 goals.
"It's World Series or bust," Johnson, who recently agreed to return to manage the Nationals in 2013, told MLB TV. "It could be my last year anyway."
Johnson and Melvin joined Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland and Lou Piniella as manager of the year recipients for both leagues.
The 2012 campaign brought the first winning record for the Nats in their eighth season since the old Expos settled in D.C., and the first postseason appearance of any Washington-based team since the original Senators lost to the New York Giants in the 1933 World Series.
(Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Julian Linden)