OAKLAND -- The Baseball Writers Association of America has released its list of finalists for the 2012 Major League Baseball awards, and A's manager Bob Melvin is a finalist for the American League Manager of the Year award -- one of two Oakland nominees.
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Melvin is up against Orioles manager Buck Showalter, and White Sox manager Robin Ventura. Many have considered the AL Manager of the Year category a two-man race between Showalter and Melvin as the two skippers each lead their surprisingly successful teams to the postseason.Melvin's A's finished with a 94-68 record and overcame a 13-game deficit to win the American League West on the final day of the season. Showalter's Orioles finished 93-69 and took one of the AL Wild Card spots. The Orioles lost 93 games in 2011 and snapped a string of 14 consecutive losing seasons. They improved by 24 games. The A's won 74 games in 2011 and improved by 20 games. It will be a tight race. Melvin has strong strong support from general manager Billy Beane and his entire roster. They have been outspoken about how much the A's skipper has meant to the team. While both the Orioles and A's had surprising years, Oakland's season was a bigger shocker than than Baltimore's. The Orioles had many of their key players last season. They also had a lineup featuring All-Stars Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy and Nate McLouth. The A's traded away All-Stars Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey prior to the season. Through Melvin's leadership the A's overachieved with the use of regular platoons at first base, second base, catcher, and designated hitter.The American League Manager of the Year Award will be announced next Monday, Nov. 12.