Rangers’ skipper Buck Showalter wins 2nd Manager of the Year

Buck Showalter, who had the Texas Rangers in contention for an American League West title or a wild-card playoff berth into the final week of the season, was elected AL Manager of the Year in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

In his second season with the Rangers, Showalter, 48, led the team to an 89-73 record, an 18-game turnaround from 2003 that was good for third place in the division and ended a stretch of four consecutive last-place finishes for Texas.

Showalter was listed first on 14 ballots, second on nine and third on four from the committee of two writers from each AL city to score 101 points, based on a 5-3-1 tabulation system. He is the second Texas manager honored, joining Johnny Oates, the co-winner in 1996 with the New York Yankees’ Joe Torre. It marked the second time Showalter has been cited. He also won in 1994 with the Yankees.

For the second consecutive year, the Minnesota Twins’ Ron Gardenhire was the runnerup in the balloting. Gardenhire, who has won the AL Central title in each of his first three seasons as manager with the Twins, received 11 first-place votes, 11 seconds and three thirds for a total of 91 points. He was third in the voting in 2002.

Two other former winners received first-place mention. The Anaheim Angels’ Mike Scioscia, the 2002 winner, was listed first on two ballots and placed third overall with 31 points following a season in which the Angels won the AL West. Torre, the winner in 1998 as well as co-winner in ’96, led the Yankees to the best record in the league and the AL East crown and got one first-place vote and was fourth with 18 points.

The Boston Red Sox’ Terry Francona and the Cleveland Indians’ Eric Wedge were the only other managers to receive votes. No manager was listed on every ballot.

The vote:

2004 AL Manager of the Year

BUCK SHOWALTERTexas Rangers1494101
RON GARDENHIREMinnesota Twins1111391
MIKE SCIOSCIAAnaheim Angels24931
JOE TORRENew York Yankees12718
ERIC WEDGECleveland Indians33