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Skip Schumaker, Brandon Hyde take home Manager of the Year honors

In a pair of wide-open races, the voters rewarded the Marlins’ one-run magic and the Orioles’ years-long rebuild.

Manager Brandon Hyde of the Baltimore Orioles looks on during batting practice prior to Game 3 of the Division Series between the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Ron Jenkins/MLB Photos via Getty Images

MLB’s awards week continued on Wednesday with Manager of the Year, and unlike the Rookie of the Year voting, we had a little bit of drama. In the end, the Marlins’ Skip Schumaker took home the honors in the NL in an extremely tight race, with the Orioles’ Brandon Hyde earning the award in the AL.

The National League race was about as wide-open as can be, as evidenced by the voting: A whopping six different skippers earned at least one first-place vote, with five — Schumaker, Craig Counsell of the Brewers, Brian Snitker of the Braves, Torey Lovullo of the Diamondbacks and Dave Roberts of the Dodgers — earning at least four. Schumaker and Snitker were tied for the lead with eight first-place votes apiece, but Schumaker also earned eight second- and third-place votes, while Snitker received just two of each. Counsell finished in second overall, with five first-place votes, seven second-place votes and five third-place votes.

It’s hard to find fault in any of those options: Counsell once again did more with less in Milwaukee, Snitker oversaw one of the best offenses in baseball history, Roberts navigated L.A. to another 100-win season despite a slew of pitching injuries and Lovullo got an unheralded D-backs team all the way to the World Series. But in the end, Schumaker is a more than deserving winner after guiding a Marlins team of whom very little was expected this spring to an 84-78 record and a Cinderella run to the final NL Wild Card spot. They were swept by the Phillies in their Wild Card series, but it was a massively overachieving year for the Fish, and Schumaker was instrumental in coaxing an excellent performance out of a largely no-name bullpen and manufacturing runs out of an offense lacking in firepower outside of Jorge Soler. Schumaker is the fourth Marlin to win the award, after Don Mattingly, Joe Girardi and Jack McKeon. It’s just the eighth time that a manager has won the award in his first year as a manager.

In the AL, meanwhile, things weren’t quite so dramatic — with the leader of the team with the league’s best record taking home the hardware. Hyde earned 27 of a possible 30 first-place votes, with Rangers skipper Bruce Bochy coming in second with three first-place votes. Kevin Cash of the Rays finished in third with 13 second- and third-place votes.

Again, there were several deserving candidates here. Bochy’s resume needs no introduction, especially not after the magic act he pulled in leading a seemingly depleted Rangers team to a World Series title — the franchise’s first and his fourth. Cash guided the Rays to 99 more ho-hum wins despite injuries to just about every member of the starting rotation, plus Wander Franco’s suspension due to off-field issues. This regular season, though, was the culmination of Baltimore’s long, slow rebuild, one that Hyde was able to see through to the other side: The O’s went from 52 wins in 2021 to 83 last year to 101 this year, a 49-win swing that saw several young prospects blossom into stars and several unheralded players improve under Hyde’s watch. Baltimore was excellent in one-run games and excellent out of the bullpen, and their leader had a ton to do with that. Hyde is also the fourth Orioles manager to win the award, after Buck Showalter, Davey Johnson and Frank Robinson.