Davey Johnson joked with reporters during the Washington Nationals' five-game postseason run that he didn't exactly like the idea of possibly winning what would be the second Manager of the Year Award of his second career in baseball. "I just have bad thoughts about that," the 69-year-old manager who led Washington to a 98-64 record this year laughed, "Last time I got the award, the same time I got my pink slip. I'm not big on individual awards." Johnson was fired by the Baltimore Orioles after leading the 1997 O's to an identical 98-64 record and winning the AL's version of the MOY award. The Nats' skipper hasn't been officially announced as the Nationals' manager for the 2013 campaign, but both he and Washington's GM Mike Rizzo have said publicly that they want the soon-to-turn 70-year-old Johnson back in the nation's capital next year.
Johnson was named The Sporting News' Manager of the Year back in late October and tonight he was named one of three finalists along with the Cincinnati Reds' Dusty Baker (97-65, 1st in NL Central) and the World Series Champion Giants' Bruce Bochy (94-68, 1st in the NL West) for the BBWAA's NL Manager of the Year Award. The winner of the NL's 2012 MOY Award will be announced on November 13th. Johnson wasn't the only member of the team with the best record in baseball this season to get recognized tonight as MLB announced the finalists for all of their awards.
20-year-old Nats' '09 no.1 overall pick Bryce Harper was one of three finalists announced for the NL Rookie of the Year award along with 25-year-old D-Backs' lefty Wade Miley and the Reds' 26-year-old IF/OF Todd Frazier. Harper led all rookies with 98 runs scored, finished second in HRs behind Rockies' catcher Wilin Rosario's 28 and ahead of Frazier's 19, and finished his first major league season with a .270/.340/.477 line, 26 doubles, nine triples and the 22 home runs in a +4.9 fWAR rookie campaign.
The +4.9 fWAR was the best amongst NL rookies ahead of the Brewers' Norichika Aoki (+2.9 fWAR) and Frazier (+2.8 fWAR), who hit 26 doubles, nine triples and the 19 HRs in a .273/.331/.498 campaign. Miley finished his own rookie season with a (16-11) record, 3.33 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 37 walks and 144 Ks in 32 games, 29 starts and 194.2 IP. The NL Rookie of the Year winner will be announced on November 12th.
On November 14th, the BBWAA will announce the winner of the 2012 AL and NL Cy Young Awards. Gio Gonzalez, as expected, was named as one of three finalists for the NL Cy Young as well tonight along with 2011 Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and R.A. Dickey of the Mets.
Gonzalez, 27, in his first season in the National League, had a (21-8) record over 32 starts and 199.1 IP in which he posted a 2.89 ERA, 2.82 FIP, 3.43 BB/9, 9.35 K/9 and finished at +5.4 fWAR. Kershaw, 24, was (14-9) with a 2.53 ERA, 2.89 FIP, 3.43 BB/9 and 9.05 K/9 in 33 starts and 227.2 innings on the mound over which he was worth an NL best +5.5 fWAR. The 37-year-old knuckleballing Dickey (who turned 38 in late October), finished his 10th MLB season with a (20-6) record, 2.67 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 2.09 BB/9 and 8.90 K/9 in 33 games and 232.2 IP over which he was worth +4.7 fWAR.