Robin Ventura finished third in voting by baseball writers for American League Manager of the Year, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced Tuesday.
Oakland’s Bob Melvin won the award after leading the A’s to a 94-68 record and the AL West title with the AL’s lowest payroll, $55 million.
Baltimore’s Buck Showalter was a close second for the award after leading the Orioles to 93 wins and a playoff appearance a year after they lost 93 games.
Ventura managed the White Sox to an 85-77 record and a second-place finish in the AL Central after leading the division for 117 days in his first season.
The former Sox star third baseman, with no managing or coaching experience, was a surprise choice to replace Ozzie Guillen last November, and would have been considered a long shot to be a finalist for the award. Players responded to his calm demeanor, and stars such as Comeback Player of the Year Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Jake Peavy all bounced back from subpar seasons in 2011 with better production in 2012.
Melvin and Showalter were first or second on all 28 ballots cast by two writers in each league city. Melvin received 16 first-place votes, while Showalter received 12. Ventura received 12 third-place votes.
“I want to congratulate Bob Melvin on winning the award,” Ventura said in a statement. “Bob and Buck did great jobs this season and both really were deserving. For me to be considered for this award, especially in my first season, is a great honor but really it’s more of a reflection on the players and coaches. They put in the hard work from day one of spring training until the last out of the season and made my job easier.”
Davey Johnson of the Washington Nationals won the NL Manager of the Year award.