Tony Pena wins Manager of the Year

Tony Pena, who guided the Kansas City Royals into contention in the American League Central following the first 100-loss season in franchise history, was elected AL Manager of the Year in balloting announced by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Pena, 46, Kansas City’s manager since May 15, 2002, led the Royals to an 83-79 record, their first winning season since 1994. The Royals won their first nine games of the season and had a seven-game lead in the division at the All-Star break. Pena kept Kansas City in contention despite having to use 29 pitchers, including a league-high 15 starters, among a club-record 53 players.

Of the 28 ballots submitted by two writers in each league city, Pena was listed first on 24, second on three and third on one to total 130 points, based on a 5-3-1 tabulation system. Pena, a former catcher who spent 18 seasons in the major leagues as a player, is the first Royals manager to win the award, which the BBWAA inaugurated in 1983. He was the only manager named to every ballot.

The other four first-place votes went to the Minnesota Twins’ Ron Gardenhire, who also got seven second-place votes and three thirds for a runnerup total of 44 points. Gardenhire, who finished third in the balloting last year, led the Twins to their second consecutive AL Central title. First-year manager Ken Macha of the Oakland Athletics finished third with 26 points. In all, nine managers received votes.

The vote:

2003 AL Manager of the Year

TONY PENAKansas City2431130
RON GARDENHIREMinnesota47344
KEN MACHAOakland7526
JOE TORRENY Yankees2814
ERIC WEDGECleveland22