In his first season as a major league manager, Matt Williams, whose only previous managerial experience came in a short stint as a skipper in the Arizona Fall League in 2012, led the Washington Nationals to the best record in the National League at 96-66 and helped get the Nats back to the postseason for the second time in three years.
Tonight, Williams was named a finalist for NL Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Williams, a veteran of 17 major league seasons as a player who then worked as a coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks before helping to bring postseason baseball back to the nation's capital, joins the Pittsburgh Pirates' Clint Hurdle and the San Francisco Giants' Bruce Bochy as the three finalists for the National League's MOY.
Hurdle's Pirates finished strong at 88-74 but lost to Bochy's Giants (88-74) in the NL Wild Card Game. Hurdle won the NL Manager of the Year award last season. Bochy won it in 1996.
The Nationals have a Manager of the Year nominee for the second time in the last three seasons with Davey Johnson winning the award after leading the Nationals to a 98-64 record and a postseason berth back in 2012.
Williams was the only National named a finalist for any of the BBWAA's postseason awards, which were announced tonight. The NL Manager of the Year will be announced next Tuesday, November 11th.
Finalists for NL Manager of the Year (alphabetically): Bruce Bochy, Clint Hurdle, Matt Williams. Winner announced 11/11.— BBWAA (@officialBBWAA) November 4, 2014
Will Matt Williams win the NL MOY? Does he deserve it? We'll find out next week...