Award validates Melvin's exemplary work

November 14, 2012, 5:14 am
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Bob Melvin remembers the last time he was a Manager of the Year. He got fired less than 200 games later.And while one wouldnt think this MOY will treat him as badly as the last one did, well, you never really know, do you?But for the moment, Melvins role in reversing the Athletics has been acknowledged by more than the people who watched him every day, and that, children, is how awards are won.RELATED: Melvin named 2012 AL Manager of the Year
Sure, most of the time award-winners regard honorifics given by those who know them best to be of the most value; in this way, the stream of Twitter hyperpraise from Melvins players warms his entire circulatory system, heart to extremities.The fact remains, however, that Melvin wouldnt be getting all this new social media love if not for the old media that saw Melvins gifts from afar and could still see in them a triumphant work.The Manager of the Year award is restricted to those who have overachieved with a team beset by low expectations. Toward that end, Melvin was a perfect candidate. A probable 94-loss team that ended as 94-win team is exactly the sort of thing that makes trophy engravers drool.But so did Buck Showalter of Baltimore, who was taking a team with an equally subterranean reputation and nearly managed the same feat.But nearly is the difference here. Showalter didnt win the AL East. Melvin did win the AL West. And enough of the 28 voters waited until the season actually ended to make up their minds. Moreover, while Showalters support came largely from the right side of the nation and Melvin the left, Melvin also got seven of the 10 votes from the Midwestern voters, and they had no reason other than unalloyed judgment to go the way they did.Well, that, and the fact that there were only the two candidates.The voting tells us this. Nobody else got a first- or second-place vote, which is something of a rarity. Every season seems to have a mystery choice, or a mystery voter, and sometimes it has a lot to do with a voter who covers the mystery choice.But there was no division of loyalties for Melvin. There was no vote-splitting. It was him or Showalter, and in the end, his teams deeds down the stretch made it him.And that happened only because voters outside Melvins natural constituency saw the wisdom in his election. Thats an even better sign than your friends being happy for you the idea that people who dont see you every day still acknowledge that you have the honor coming.I mean, theres loyalty, and then theres objectivity. And while loyalty is an admirable trait, it isnt always actually, well, honest. Rooting for your guy is easy. Acknowledging someone elses guy is just better, because it means more.And when you get both, well, its Christmas, or whatever passes for Christmas in your home. In Bob Melvins, its the gift of knowing you were subjectively liked an admired by the people who work for you, and seen as an exemplar in your profession by those who dont.

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