CHICAGO – Robin Ventura has been named a finalist for American League Manager of the Year in voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. In his first season, the Central Coast native guided the Chicago White Sox to a record of 85-77, which earned the team a surprising second place finish in the American League Central Division. The White Sox led the division for much of the year before fading the last couple of weeks of season, which allowed the eventual American League champion Detroit Tigers to claim the title.
The other two finalists for the award are Oakland's Bob Melvin and Baltimore's Buck Showalter, both of which have previously been named manager of the year. Melvin won in 2007 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, while Showalter won in 1994 with the New York Yankees and in 2004 with the Texas Rangers.
Ventura was hired by Chicago on October 6, 2011 in a move that raised eyebrows around Major League Baseball. While the Righetti alum had long been one of the most respected players in baseball during a solid 16-year playing career, the move was seen my many as unconventional and risky since Ventura had never managed at any level prior to his hiring. In fact, Ventura's coaching experience was primarily as an unpaid assistant for the Arroyo Grande High School varsity team. However, in his rookie season with the White Sox, he guided a team many experts predicted would finish near the bottom of the division to the brink of a division championship.
The Manager of the Year award, along with the various other postseason awards, will be announced for the first time ever on live television on the MLB Network next week. The two manager of the year awards will be handed out on Tuesday, November 13.
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