NEW YORK -- The way Ozzie Guillen works a dugout,
impatiently bouncing around and chattering away from the first
pitch to the final out, it's hard to believe he calls steady Bobby
Cox a mentor.
Different styles, both successful.
Guillen was selected AL Manager of the Year on Wednesday,
rewarded for guiding the Chicago White Sox to a stellar season that
culminated with a World Series championship. Cox became the first
back-to-back winner in either league, taking NL honors after
leading the rookie-laden Atlanta Braves to yet another division
"It's not easy to manage right now because there are a lot of
players making big money, a lot of players with attitudes,"
Guillen said. "The type of players I have in my clubhouse, those
are the type of players that anyone can win with."
Guillen played shortstop for Cox late in his career and said he
learned a lot during those days in Atlanta. Yet on the surface, the
two appear to have little in common other than these awards.
Cox has seen just about everything during 24 years as a major
league manager and knows by now to keep an even keel throughout the
Guillen was so torn up by tough losses this year that he
occasionally vomited in his office.
"I'm not a patient guy," he said. "I'm going crazy a lot."
But he'll never forget the lessons he learned from Cox about how
to communicate with players.
"There's nothing better than to be around that man because he
will teach you how to handle things on the field and off the
field," Guillen said.
And Cox was delighted that he and Guillen were honored together.
"He did a super, splendid job," the Braves' manager said. "I
thought he was the right guy for that job."
Guillen received 17 first-place votes, five seconds and five
thirds for 105 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers'
Association of America. Eric Wedge of the Cleveland Indians was the
runner-up with six first-place votes and 71 points, while Joe Torre
of the New York Yankees came in third with 43 points.
Oakland's Ken Macha also got a first-place vote and finished
Cox was listed first on 28 ballots and second on the other four
to win by a whopping 100 points. He beat out St. Louis' Tony La
Russa, who also finished second to Cox last year.
The BBWAA has elected the top manager in each league since 1983.
Voting was conducted at the end of the regular season, before the
Braves were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round for the
fourth straight year.
"It's an honor, again," Cox said. "It's something we don't
set out to win, that's for sure."
In his second year as manager, the outspoken, energetic Guillen
guided the White Sox to the best record in the AL (99-63). After
nearly squandering a 15-game lead in the AL Central before holding
off Cleveland, Chicago cruised through the playoffs and swept
Houston in the World Series for its first title since 1917.
"I want to be like Michael Jordan, have rings all over the
place," Guillen said.
His small-ball approach was a big hit in the Windy City -- he
loved to bunt and hit-and-run with a scrappy team that relied on
pitching, defense and fundamentals.
"We don't need superstars. We need guys who worry about the
name on the chest more than the name on the back of the uniform,"
the 41-year-old Guillen said. "The only bad thing about this was,
we won a lot of games by one run or two runs, and that drives me
His selection marked the eighth time a team that won the World
Series produced the Manager of the Year winner. The previous time
was Florida's Jack McKeon in 2003.
Cox, whose Braves have won a record 14 straight division titles,
took home his fourth Manager of the Year award -- tying La Russa for
the most ever.
Riddled with injuries, Atlanta was forced to use 18 rookies this
year but still won 90 games to extend its streak of division
"The fact is, they could play," the 64-year-old Cox said,
adding that he still has a passion for the game and has no
immediate plans to retire. "It didn't have anything to do with
anything I did, that's for sure. I just wrote their names in the
lineup and tried to encourage them.
"The people that need the recognition are the nuts-and-bolts
guys down below that send us these players ready to go," Cox said.
"But I'll take this award anytime. I hold it in high esteem."
The Braves were eliminated by Houston for the second consecutive
season, again leaving Atlanta with only one World Series title to
show for all that regular-season dominance.
"We're disappointed in that. We thought we could go further
this year, that's for sure, even with the young kids," Cox said.
"That last day comes too suddenly."
Astros manager Phil Garner came in third with 38 points, 14
behind La Russa. Frank Robinson of the Washington Nationals
received a pair of first-place votes and finished fourth.
Cox also won this award with the Braves in 1991, when they began
their incredible run, and the AL prize in 1985 with the Toronto
"It was a very special year," Cox said. "I think last year
was equally as challenging, to be honest with you. The two past
years have probably been the most challenging of the last 14."
Guillen, who was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1985 with the
White Sox, became the third person to win both awards. Robinson and
Lou Piniella are the others.
Four other White Sox managers have won: La Russa (1983), Jeff
Torborg (1990), Gene Lamont (1993) and Jerry Manuel (2000).
Guillen is the first Venezuelan and third Latin American manager
to be honored, joining Kansas City's Tony Pena (2003) and Felipe
Alou of the Montreal Expos (1994).