Oakland's Melvin, Atlanta's Snitker named top MLB managers

AFP
Oakland A's manager Bob Melvin won Major League Baseball's 2018 American League Manager of the Year Award on Tuesday (AFP Photo/Thearon W. Henderson)

Oakland A's manager Bob Melvin won Major League Baseball's 2018 American League Manager of the Year Award on Tuesday

Oakland A's manager Bob Melvin won Major League Baseball's 2018 American League Manager of the Year Award on Tuesday (AFP Photo/Thearon W. Henderson)

New York (AFP) - Oakland's Bob Melvin and Atlanta's Brian Snitker were named Major League Baseball's Managers of the Year on Tuesday, with Melvin collecting the award for the third time in his career.

Melvin took the Oakland A's, with the lowest opening-day payroll in the major leagues, into the playoffs with 97 wins to take the American League award while Snitker guided the Braves into the post-season for the first time since 2013 to capture the National League award.

Melvin, who also won the award with Arizona in 2007 and Oakland in 2012, became only the eighth manager to claim the award three or more times, moving within one of the all-time record held by four-time winners Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa.

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In voting by a media panel, Melvin beat World Series champion manager Alex Cora of the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay's Kevin Cash defeated Colorado's Bud Black and Milwaukee's Craig Counsell.

The A's improved by 22 wins over last year to reach the playoffs, losing to the New York Yankees in the wildcard game, and were the first team to reach the post-season after starting with the lowest team payroll.

Injuries sidelined the entire opening pitching rotation for Oakland, but Melvin, 57, kept the A's contenders through every setback to put them in the playoffs for the fourth time in seven years but the first time since 2014.

Cora guided the Red Sox to 108 wins, one shy of the all-time record for a rookie manager, and masterminded Boston's run to the title.

Snitker, 63, took a team with few expectations, one that hasn't won a playoff series since 2001 and hadn't produced a winning record since 2013, and captured the NL East division crown with a 90-72 showing before losing to the eventual NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

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