Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, who has emerged as one of the club’s main leaders, was a little disappointed when he found out that Buck Showalter didn’t win the 2012 AL Manager of the Year Award, as voted on by members of the BBWAA.
It’s not that Wieters doesn’t recognize the year turned in by the winner, Oakland’s Bob Melvin, who received 16 first place votes and 12 second-place ones to Showalter’s 12 first-place votes and 16 second-place ones.
It’s just that Showalter is Wieters’ guy.
“I’m surprised that he didn’t get it. But for him to take us from where we were a couple years ago and where we are now and, on top of that, do it in the AL East, is a pretty huge accomplishment. Bob Melvin had a great year in the AL West, a great year with Oakland. But, for me, Buck is the manager of the year.”
I asked Wieters what made Showalter so good this season – and really since he has led the Orioles after taking over in August 2010:
“It’s always been his preparation. It doesn’t matter how late the game might have gone the night before or how much time he’s had to get the information. Buck and his coaching staff give us as much information as any player needs to put together a game plan and be ready to go for a series.
And how big of an impact did Showalter have on the Orioles’ 24-win turnaround from 2011?
“For me, our team wouldn’t have been anywhere close to where we were at the end of the year if Buck wasn’t the man in charge of it all,” Wieters said. “For us, award or no award, he was the man for the job and the best manager for us, for where we were (in 2012) and where we are going to be in the future.”