Wak: The right man(ager) won

If this had been a horse race, Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu would have finished out of the money.

But he agreed that the right person won the American League Manager of the Year Award.

The voting results were announced today and Wakamatsu finished fourth behind the AL division winners – Angels skipper Mike Scioscia, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and the Yankees Joe Girardi.

“There’s no doubt that Mike deserved it,” Wakamatsu said. “Teams that win, those are the guys that ought to be rewarded. ‘Scios” got my vote. (The Angels) had a lot of things happen, injuries and the tragic death of (Nick) Adenhart.

“I can only imagine how difficult it would have to be handling something like that. But he held that club together.”

And that was one of the main reasons he voted for the Angels manager.

It was interesting that three of the top five vote-getters were from the four-team AL West. Rangers skipper Ron Washington finished right behind Wakamatsu.

“For whatever it’s worth, our division had the most wins,” Wak said. “Everyone knew the Angels would be good and the Rangers were in striking distance for a lot of the season.”

The Rangers were in sole possession of first place from May 6 through June 23, and either led or shared the stop spot with the Angels until July 11 when the eventual division champions took over first place for good.

“The bottom line is that if you win, you deserve the award, and if you don’t, you did a nice job,” Wakamatsu said.

In case you were wondering, Lou Piniella is the only Mariners manager to be selected as Manager of the Year. He won the award in 1995 and in 2001.

— Jim Street

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