Twins' Rocco Baldelli named American League manager of the year

Phil Miller, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Baseball

Rocco Baldelli, who led the Twins to their second 100-win season in franchise history, was voted 2019 Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America, the organization announced Tuesday.

Baldelli, at 38 the major leagues' youngest manager, is the third Twins' manager in ten seasons to win the award, following Ron Gardenhire in 2010 and Paul Molitor in 2017. Tom Kelly also won the award, which started in 1983, in 1991.

He's the youngest manager in league history to win the award.

"Nobody takes on ... a job like this for personal accolades," Baldelli said on MLB Network's telecast of the announcement. "You take these kinds of roles because you want to do everything you can for you players, your staff and your organization."

Baldelli, who directed the Twins to a 101-61 record and American League Central championship in his first season as a manager, outpolled fellow finalists Aaron Boone of the Yankees and Kevin Cash of the Rays. Balloting for the award, which was inaugurated in 1983, was conducted among 30 BBWAA members, two in each AL city.

"I always tried to do whatever I was doing to the best of my ability, but I never looked ahead to managing actually until it played out," Baldelli said. "I had the opportunity to work with great people and learn from great people ... I've been lucky, I've been exposed to a lot."

Baldelli and Boone both had 13 first place votes, Cash had three and Houston's A.J. Hinch had one.

Voting went like this: Baldelli 13 first place votes, 13 second place votes, two third place votes for 106 points; Boone 13-9-4 for 96; Cash 3-3-9 for 33; Oakland's Bob Melvin 0-3-10 for 19; Hinch 1-1-4 for 12; Cleveland' Terry Francona 0-1-1 for 3.


The Twin Cities media voters were the Star Tribune's Patrick Reusse, who voted Baldelli-Boone-Francona; and the Associated Press' Dave Campbell, who voted Baldelli-Francona-Boone.

Twins President Dave St. Peter tweeted that Baldelli "does a masterful job of creating a winning, team-oriented environment. Not afraid to disrupt the norm with hopes of putting players in best place to succeed."

Asked in September about his managing philosophy, Baldelli said: "We spend a ton of energy on (preparing a lineup each day), but that is nothing compared to the conversations that you have every day, the interactions that you have with everyone and keeping people, keeping an entire team in a good frame of mind every day for an entire season. Keeping everyone ready to play and with a smile on their face and ready to compete is really the goal here. That's the goal every day."

Mike Shildt of the Cardinals was named National League Manager of the Year.

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