In an industry in which tactical directions increasingly lean towards collaboration – if not top-down demands – a manager’s impact on his ball club has generally been reduced. This environment makes skippers with established references, real sidelines, stand out all the more. And in the 2022 regular season, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America decided that two of those skippers stood out above all the others.

The Guardians’ Terry Francona was named the American League winner and the Mets’ Buck Showalter the National League winner of the Manager of the Year award, as announced by the BBWAA on MLB Network on Tuesday night. And for two men who rank in the top 20 all-time in managerial wins, winning that award was a familiar feeling.

Showalter, who previously won the award with the Yankees in 1994, Rangers in 2004 and Orioles in 2014, became the first person to win Manager of the Year with four different clubs and joined Tony La Russa ( with three teams) and Bobby Cox (with two teams) as the only four-time winners.

“What a great moment for our organization and our coaching staff, our owners and our front office, our scouts, player development,” Showalter said. “Recognition from our organization means a lot to everyone. Very humbled, very honoured.”

Francona, who also won with Cleveland in 2013 and 2016, is a third time winner.

“The best part about it is it gives me the opportunity to brag about the people I work with — the coaches and the baseball operations guys and definitely our players,” Francona said. “Everyone talks about culture and things like that. I really believe we live it every day, and I’m really proud of that.”

As always, the vote took place before the playoffs. So, among other October/November results, Dusty Baker finally slaying the elusive World Series dragon in his 25th season as skipper was not counted.

Francona received 17 first-place votes and 112 voting points, followed by Brandon Hyde of the Orioles (nine first-place votes, 79 points), Scott Servais of the Mariners (one, 43), Baker (three, 31) and the Yankees . ‘ Aaron Boone (zero, four).

The NL vote was much closer. Showalter (eight first-place votes, 77 points) beat Dave Roberts of the Dodgers (eight, 57), Brian Snitker of the Braves (seven, 55), Oliver Marmol of the Cardinals (five, 44), Rob of the Phillies. Thomson (two, 36) and Bob Melvin of the Padres (zero, one).

Although the award is old hat for him, Showalter is actually the first Mets manager to win the honor, now leaving the Brewers as the only club to never have a Manager of the Year. After three seasons in the wilderness, Showalter took over a winning Mets team that had been a deep disappointment in 2021 and needed the figurative kick in the pants. Under the meticulous manager, the star-laden team brought baseball to the playoffs at Citi Field for the first time since 2016 claiming the NL’s No. 1 Wild Card spot.

The Mets’ 101 wins were a gigantic improvement from 2021’s 77 wins and were the second-most wins in franchise history, behind only the 1986 World Series championship team (108). Only the Orioles had a greater improvement.

Although the Mets squandered what had been at its peak a 10 1/2 game lead in the NL East and lost six of their last seven to division champion Braves, voters hailed Showalter for the change in sentiment around of this team and the perseverance in a season in which co-aces Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom were limited by injury to 34 starts combined. Showalter brought professionalism and attention to detail to a team that needed both.

“I just think I tried to calm the seas down a bit and figure out they were pretty good,” Showalter said. “They had done some things to attack our weakness before I got here. And to realize that we inflict a lot on ourselves. If we could get out of our own way, we could have some fun. I think our guys have really agreed to hold themselves to a high standard.

For Francona, 2022 has been something of a comeback. Health issues had forced him away from his team before the end of the season in 2020 and 2021. But in his 10th season in Cleveland, a still hobbling Francona – with a protective steel plate in his shoe after a toe operation and drains in his back to solve a gastrointestinal problem – arguably had his best management moment.

The Guardians entered their first season with their new name looking to make a name for themselves in other ways. Not only did they have the youngest roster in MLB, but the average age was actually lower than most Triple-A teams. The only established stars on a team with one of the lowest payrolls in MLB were José Ramírez and Shane Bieber, the latter with a shoulder problem. Most projections and predictions had the White Sox and Twins vying for the AL Central title. But it was the Guards — with their solid pitching brand and defense and small ball — who led in September. And over the past month-plus, the Francona club have outplayed the opposition, going 24-10 in the streak to not only win Central but also win it by 11 games.

The huge strides forward for youngsters like Andrés Giménez, Steven Kwan, Oscar Gonzalez, Triston McKenzie and Emmanuel Clase and the rapid maturation of a roster in which 17 rookies made their debuts were partly to credit for the calm, charm and personality of Francona, 63 years old. Communication.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are; it doesn’t matter how badly you want to compete and how willing you are to prioritize a team, before your personal circumstances,” Francona said. “For the younger guys still trying to find their place in our league, it’s pretty amazing that they’ve always been able to put our team first. For that, I had – and always will have – tremendous respect. for this group.