Ap photoWashington's Matt Williams received 18 first-place votes to be named NL Manager of the Year in his first season as big league skipper.

Ap photoWashington's Matt Williams received 18 first-place votes to be named NL Manager of the Year in his first season as big league skipper.

Ex-Giant Williams named NL Manager of the Year; Bochy third

NEW YORK — Baltimore's Buck Showalter was voted AL Manager of the Year for the third time on Tuesday, and Washington's Matt Williams won the NL honor following his first season as a big league skipper.

Williams, who played under Showalter in Arizona from 1998-00, guided the Nationals to an NL-best 96 wins. He joined Houston's Hal Lanier (1986), the Giants' Dusty Baker (1993) and Florida's Joe Girardi (2006) as the only men to win for their first seasons as big-league manager.

Williams got 18 first-place votes and 109 points. Pittsburgh's Clint Hurdle, who earned the NL honor last year, was second with eight first-place votes and 80 points. Bruce Bochy of the World Series champion Giants was third with three firsts and 30 points.

A hard-nosed player and five-time All-Star over 17 seasons, Williams was coaching third base for the Arizona when he was hired by Washington.

Now he is the franchise's fourth winner, joining Johnson (2012) and Montreal's Buck Rodgers (1987) and Felipe Alou (1994).

“Not having the experience of being there before, but you can rely on folks,” he said.

Williams credited his players for the award, saying, “These guys made my transition easy.”

The Nationals had hoped to contend for the Series title in 2013 under Johnson and came into this season with high expectations. Some predicted they would take the crown — that can often dampen a manager's chances of winning this award.

Williams stressed fundamentals from the start of spring training, and worked on creative defensive alignments. His biggest stamp might've come in late April when he benched young star Bryce Harper in the middle of a game for failing to run out a grounder.

The 48-year-old Williams kept the Nationals on track despite injuries to Doug Fister, Ryan Zimmerman and several other stars, and Washington won the NL East by a whopping 17 games, the biggest margin in the majors.

“It's a great moment for the guys,” he said. “It takes a village.”

The Nationals lost to the Giants in four games in the NL Division Series.

Showalter received 25 of 30 first-place votes and 132 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He kept up his pattern of winning the award once a decade following victories with the New York Yankees in 1994 and Texas in 2004.

“I won't be doing it 10 years from now,” Showalter said on the MLB Network telecast.

The Los Angeles Angels' Mike Scioscia was second with four firsts and 61 points, and Kansas City's Ned Yost third with 41 points. Seattle's Lloyd McClendon followed with 29 points.

Showalter guided the Orioles to a 96-66 record and their first AL East title since 1997.

Voting took place before the playoffs, where Baltimore swept Detroit in the Division Series and then was swept by Kansas City in the AL Championship Series.

Until the ALCS, the Orioles had not lost four in a row since May and had not dropped consecutive home games since June 28-29.

Showalter became the third Orioles winner, following Frank Robinson in 1989 and Davey Johnson in 1997.

“It's such a great reflection on our organization,” Showalter said. “It's pretty humbling.”

Bruce BochyMLBSan Francisco GiantsWashington Nationals

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