Guillen, Cox win managers honors
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Cox, the Atlanta skipper, topped La Russa for the second straight year to tie him with four awards.
NEW YORK -- Ozzie Guillen of the World Series champion Chicago White Sox was voted American League Manager of the Year, and Atlanta's Bobby Cox became the first back-to-back winner in either league, taking National League honors Wednesday after leading the rookie-laden Braves to a division title.
Guillen received 17 first-place votes, five seconds and five thirds for 105 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Eric Wedge of the Cleveland Indians was the runner-up with six first-place votes and 71 points, while Joe Torre of the New York Yankees finished third with 43 points.
"It's not easy to manage right now because there are a lot of players making big money, a lot of players with attitudes," Guillen said. "The type of players I have in my clubhouse, those are the type of players that anyone can win with."
Cox was listed first on 28 ballots and second on the other four to win by a whopping 100 points. He beat out St. Louis' Tony La Russa, who also finished second to Cox last year.
The BBWAA has elected the top manager in each league since 1983. Voting was conducted at the end of the regular season, before the Braves were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round for the fourth straight year.
"It's an honor, again," Cox said. "It's something we don't set out to win, that's for sure."
In his second year as manager, the outspoken, energetic, Guillen guided the White Sox to the best record in the AL (99-63). After nearly squandering a 15-game lead in the AL Central before holding off Cleveland, Chicago cruised through the playoffs and swept Houston in the World Series for its first title since 1917.
"I want to be like Michael Jordan, have rings all over the place," Guillen said.
His small-ball approach was a big hit in the Windy City -- he loved to bunt and hit-and-run with a scrappy team that relied on pitching, defense and fundamentals.
"We don't need superstars. We need guys who worry about the name on the chest more than the name on the back of the uniform," Guillen said. "The only bad thing about this was, we won a lot of games by one run or two runs, and that drives me crazy."
Guillen played for Cox late in his career and said he learned a lot during those days in Atlanta.
"There's nothing better than to be around that man because he will teach you how to handle things on the field and off the field," Guillen said.
Cox was delighted that he and Guillen were honored together.
"He did a super, splendid job," the Braves' manager said. "I thought he was the right guy for that job."
Cox, whose Braves have won a record 14 straight division titles, took home his fourth Manager of the Year award -- tying La Russa for the most ever.
Riddled with injuries, Atlanta was forced to use 18 rookies this year but still won 90 games to extend its streak of division titles.
"The fact is, they could play," Cox said. "It didn't have anything to do with anything I did, that's for sure. I just wrote their names in the lineup and tried to encourage them.
"The people that need the recognition are the nuts-and-bolts guys down below that send us these players ready to go," Cox said. "But I'll take this award anytime. I hold it in high esteem."
The Braves were eliminated by Houston for the second consecutive season, again leaving Atlanta with only one World Series title to show for all that regular-season dominance.
"We're disappointed in that. We thought we could go further this year, that's for sure, even with the young kids," Cox said. "That last day comes too suddenly."
Astros manager Phil Garner came in third with 38 points, 14 behind La Russa. Frank Robinson of the Washington Nationals received a pair of first-place votes and finished fourth.
Cox also won this award with the Braves in 1991, when they began their incredible run, and the AL prize in 1985 with the Toronto Blue Jays.
"It was a very special year," Cox said. "I think last year was equally as challenging, to be honest with you. The two past years have probably been the most challenging of the last 14."
NL Manager of the Year voting
As selected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, tabulated on a 5-3-1 basis:
|Bobby Cox, Atl||28||4||--||152|
|T. La Russa, StL||2||13||3||52|
|Phil Garner, Hou||--||9||11||38|
|F. Robinson, Was||2||4||7||29|
|Ned Yost, Mil||--||--||7||7|
|C. Manuel, Phi||--||1||2||5|
|Bruce Bochy, SD||--||1||1||4|
|W. Randolph, NY||--||--||1||1|