Published: Thu, November 16, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Torey Lovullo, Paul Molitor Named Managers of the Year

Torey Lovullo, Paul Molitor Named Managers of the Year

A native of Santa Monica, Calif., Lovullo was an All-American for the Bruins in 1987 and became the first Pac-10 player to repeat as the conference's player of the year.

And he fashioned a winning record despite a pitching staff roiled by injuries and ineffectiveness; 36 different players took the mound during the season.

Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Paul Molitor of the Minnesota Twins are the 2017 MLB Manager of the Year Award winners. Francona, a teammate of Molitor's on the 1989 Brewers, received 11 first-place votes and 90 points overall to finish runner-up, and Hinch received the other first-place vote and 56 points to finish third.

In the NL, Lovullo, a first-year manager, received 18 of a possible 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, becoming the third rookie manager to win the NL award in the past four years, joining Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers last year and Matt Williams of the Washington Nationals in 2014.

Molitor's 85 victories are the second-fewest ever by an AL manager of the year victor, ahead of only the 83 wins recorded by the Royals' Tony Pena in 2003.

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In his first full season as a skipper, Lovullo built a culture of communication with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"I was aware of some of the history", Molitor said. The team won 26 more games this year than last, the biggest increase in the major leagues.

"I still had a lot of optimism", he said.

Shortly after the playoff loss to the New York Yankees, Molitor earned a new three-year contract to continue managing the Twins.

In his first year at the helm, Lovullo led Arizona to a 93-69 record, a 24-win improvement over 2016.

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Powered by Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb and Martinez, and led by pitchers Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray, the Diamondbacks made the playoffs this year.

The Diamondbacks were swept in a three-game series at Minnesota in mid-August, outscored 27-8 at Target Field.

Going into a new season, Lovullo's team has a new target.

"We tried to make these guys believe", he said.

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