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The New York Mets’ Buck Showalter was named National League Manager of the Year on Tuesday night, becoming just the third person to take the prize four times and the first to do it with four different franchises.
Showalter is the first Mets manager to win the award, which has been presented since 1983. He received eight of 30 first-place votes, 10 second-place votes and 77 total points, edging Los Angeles Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts, who finished second. Roberts also earned eight first-place votes but had just four second-place votes for 57 points. Atlanta’s Brian Snitker, who won the award in 2018, finished third with 55 points. He received seven first-place votes.
Voting was done by a Baseball Writers’ Association of America panel and conducted before the postseason.
Showalter, 66, has now won Manager of the Year in four different decades, his previous awards coming in the AL with the New York Yankees (1994), Texas Rangers (2004) and Baltimore Orioles (2014). The other four-time winners are Hall of Famers Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa.
“Sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same,” Showalter said. “You still have to do the same things to be successful in our game. We’ve just got a lot of different ways to verify some of the guts that you have. There’s a lot more stuff analytically that you can use to verify what your eyes and your experience may tell you. There’s a lot of different ways to skin a cat.”
Under Showalter, the Mets made the postseason for the first time since 2016. They earned the top NL wild card but lost to the San Diego Padres at home in the opening round of the playoffs.
After three seasons away from the dugout, Showalter led New York to 101 wins, the most of any team he has managed over 21 seasons. The 101 wins were also the Mets’ highest total since the club won 108 games in 1986. New York finished in a first-place tie with the Braves in the NL East, though the Braves won the division crown on the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Showalter brought stability and gravitas to a franchise that had been saddled with on- and off-the-field issues over the past several seasons. He credited general manager Billy Eppler and the rest of the organization with hiring the right people.
“That’s why you’re so picky about who you surround yourself with,” Showalter said. “Realizing you don’t have all the answers, but as a group you can be really strong if you have an open mind and open ears. Sometimes your actions speak so loudly you can’t hear a word somebody says.
“You can sit around and pop your gums a lot, or you can listen and understand the end game you’re all trying to get to.”
Five different managers received multiple first-place votes — Showalter (8), Roberts (8), Snitker (7), Oliver Marmol of the St. Louis Cardinals (5) and the Philadelphia Phillies’ Rob Thomson (2).
Roberts, 50, guided the Dodgers to a franchise-record 111 wins, a high-water mark for an organization that has made the postseason in each of Roberts’ seven seasons in the dugout, including six NL West titles.
Roberts, who was named NL Manager of the Year in 2016, owns a career .632 regular season winning percentage. That’s the highest percentage all time among managers from one of baseball’s extant leagues.
Only Bullet Rogan, Vic Harris and Rube Foster, all of whom managed in the Negro Leagues, own higher lifetime winning percentages.
Snitker, 67, has gone from a career coach and minor league manager to a fixture atop annual NL Manager of the Year voting.
The Braves’ 101 wins in 2022 were their most during Snitker’s six-plus seasons with the franchise for which he has worked since 1977. Atlanta extended its streak of NL East titles to five.
The past two seasons have seen Snitker help Atlanta withstand disappointing starts only to catch fire late in the season. In 2021, the Braves’ late-season hot streak culminated in a World Series championship.
The Braves didn’t get that far in 2022, losing in the NLDS to a red-hot Phillies team. Still, Atlanta trailed the Mets in the division race by seven games on Aug. 10 before coming all the way back to win the division.
Snitker has finished in the top four in NL Manager of the Year balloting in five straight seasons.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.