Matt Williams and Buck Showalter show off their leadership skills in Manager of the Year victory
Williams and Showalter win MOY in Beltway sweep
When the Nationals and Orioles square off next season, there will be even more bragging rights on the line than usual. Because on Tuesday night, the Nats' Matt Williams and the O's Buck Showalter took home their respective leagues' Manager of the Year Awards.
The bald-pated Williams, in his first year at the helm, led the Nationals to an NL-best 96-66 record. What helped the team reach first place? Dance, of course.
No, seriously. Before the season, Matt Williams said, "If [players] can dance, then they can play infield. If they can't dance, we need to get them lessons."
With Williams at the helm, the Nationals even won 10 games in a row during a torrid August stretch, with five of those victories coming in the Nats' last at-bat. Unfortunately, we're still waiting on the manager to update his Babe Ruth home run trot, which he promised to do if Washington won 10 straight.
Until Williams makes good on that promise, we'll have to make do with this classic.
Meanwhile, 38 miles to the north, Buck Showalter became just the second manager to win Manager of the Year Awards with three different teams (Tony La Russa is the other). Even stranger, Showalter has won each of them exactly 10 years apart. He won in 1994 with the Yankees, in '04 with the Rangers and now he has the '14 award to add to the mantle.
Showalter had his work cut out for him this season, leading the O's to 96 wins despite Chris Davis struggling to a .196 average and Manny Machado missing time with two separate knee injuries. The only possible answer: Showalter is psychic.
In Game 3 of the ALDS against the Tigers, Showalter instructed Zach Britton to intentionally walk Nick Castellanos to put the go-ahead run on base in a one-run game. Showalter told the team, "We're going to walk this guy. The next guy's going to hit into a double play, and we're gonna go home." Sure enough, that's how it happened:
As for when Showalter wasn't acting like Nostradamus, we can only assume he was thinking of Raymond Carver: