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Melvin, Johnson picked as managers of the year

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Melvin, Johnson picked as managers of the year

NEW YORK (AP) Young rosters, small budgets, limited expectations.

No matter.

Bob Melvin of the Oakland Athletics and Washington's Davey Johnson won big right away and were chosen as managers of the year Tuesday after guiding their teams to huge turnaround seasons.

Melvin beat out Baltimore's Buck Showalter for the AL honor in a close vote by a Baseball Writers' Association of America panel. In his first full season with Oakland, the rookie-laden A's made a 20-game improvement, finished 94-68 and stunned just about everyone by winning the AL West with baseball's lowest payroll.

Still, the unassuming skipper was surprised to win.

``Absolutely shocked. I mean, Buck had such a great year,'' Melvin said on MLB Network.

Johnson was an easy choice for the NL prize after the Nationals - who had never enjoyed a winning season - posted the best record in the majors and made their first playoff appearance.

Johnson, who turns 70 in January, was honored for the second time. He was tabbed as the AL's top manager in 1997, hours after he resigned from the Orioles in a feud with owner Peter Angelos.

This time, Johnson will get a while to enjoy the accolade.

The Nationals announced this month that he will guide them in 2013, when he will be the oldest manager in the majors. He's set to leave the Washington dugout and become a team consultant in 2014.

``World Series or bust,'' Johnson said on MLB Network. ``It's going to be my last year, anyway.''

Melvin also became a two-time winner, having been chosen in 2007 with Arizona. He and Johnson joined Jim Leyland, Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Lou Piniella as the only managers to win the award in both leagues.

La Russa was the only other Oakland manager to earn the honor, in 1988 and 1992.

Melvin received 16 first-place votes. Showalter got the other 12 after leading the wild-card Orioles to their first winning season since 1997, and Chicago White Sox first-year manager Robin Ventura finished third.

With five rookies in their starting rotation, the A's were one of baseball's biggest surprises this year - especially after trades, injuries and the suspension of veteran pitcher Bartolo Colon wreaked havoc with the roster. Oakland never panicked under Melvin's cool demeanor, rallying from 13 games back on June 30 and overtaking Texas in the final week to win the division.

The Athletics went 72-38 after June 1, the best record in the majors. They became the first team in big league history to come back from a deficit of at least five games with fewer than 10 remaining to win a division or pennant. The A's then lost in five games in the first round of the playoffs to AL champion Detroit.

``We just tried to keep it day to day,'' Melvin said. ``It's a credit to the guys each and every day going out there and just worrying about that particular day.''

Johnson received 23 of the 32 first-place votes, while Dusty Baker of NL Central winner Cincinnati got five firsts and came in second. Bruce Bochy of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants got four firsts and was third.

Washington won its second major individual award, both in the past two days. Bryce Harper was voted NL Rookie of the Year on Monday.

Before the season, a confident Johnson declared that if the Nationals didn't win the NL East, he'd probably be fired. Washington went 98-64, taking over the division lead in late May and staying in first place the rest of the way. Boosted by Harper, Cy Young Award candidate Gio Gonzalez and their fresh ``Natitude,'' they brought postseason baseball to Washington for the first time since 1933.

``This award's really nice, but I look at the award as an organizational award,'' Johnson said. ``Young players this year really stepped in when key players got hurt. ... We had a lot of young catchers come up and everybody really produced and it was just a remarkable year. Actually, I didn't think they overachieved, they just played up to their ability.''

The playoffs didn't go quite so well. Minus Stephen Strasburg - team execs decided the ace had pitched enough in his first ``full'' season following elbow surgery - Washington blew a 6-0 lead and lost the deciding Game 5 of the division series to St. Louis. Voting for the BBWAA awards was done before the playoffs.

Johnson oversaw a diverse roster, one made up of young and old, Washington veterans and newcomers. A four-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner, two-time World Series champion and the last big leaguer to get a hit off Sandy Koufax, Johnson spoke with a soft, raspy tone but always held his team's attention.

He would occasionally raise his voice - he liked to holler ``whack-o!'' when the Nationals homered.

``Davey Johnson's legacy was secure well before he became our manager in 2011, but his performance this season has to rate among his best work,'' Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. ``He showed this club how to win despite being engaged in a pennant race for the first time. And he accomplished this with so many young players.''

Johnson managed the New York Mets to the 1986 championship and later guided Cincinnati and the Orioles. He returned to managing in 1999 with the Los Angeles Dodgers for two years.

In June 2011, Johnson was working as a senior adviser with the Nationals when Jim Riggleman suddenly resigned midway through the season. Johnson took over and agreed to be part of a search committee to select a manager for 2012, allowing that he could be a candidate for the post, too.

The Nationals finished 80-81, barely missing out on their first winning season, and Johnson was brought back for another try.

``What it really comes down to is, you've got to know the makeup of a guy. Know who he handles and when he's going to have some tough times, tough matchups,'' Johnson said. ``So you go with your gut most of the time. You go with your instincts. You don't even want to ask anybody if you're getting ready to make a change or whatever, because you don't want any ties or anything like that.''

Washington was without major league baseball for more than three decades. The Senators moved to Texas after the 1971 season, then the Montreal Expos moved to D.C. to start in 2005.

Under Johnson, the Nationals put aside their losing past and set up a winning future.

The same is true of the A's.

Fired by the Diamondbacks early in 2009, Melvin was hired as Oakland's interim manager on June 9, 2011. Three months later, he signed a three-year contract that runs through the 2014 season.

---

AP Sports Writer Mike Fitzpatrick contributed to this report.

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2019 MLB Draft: When is the first round? How to watch, date, time, live stream, TV channel

2019 MLB Draft: When is the first round? How to watch, date, time, live stream, TV channel

The Orioles and Royals battled back and forth most of 2018 for the title of the worst team in baseball, and ultimately, Baltimore pulled "ahead" to earn the top pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Any number one pick is important, but this one feels especially crucial, as Peter Angelos and his sons elected not to renew the contracts of GM Dan Duquette or manager Buck Showalter.

With a new regime in place, the player selected by the Orioles to kick off this year's draft will not only have the usual high expectations placed on their shoulders, but will also serve as the face of Mike Elias' rebuild of the organization.

Thankfully for the Orioles, this year's draft class, while not particularly deep with talent, appears to be historically strong at the top. Adley Rutschman, the projected top choice by many, will be a top 10 prospect in all of baseball the day he signs, according to some evaluators. The top three to four players as a group rival that of any in the last several classes.

Whoever they end up choosing to wear the black and orange going forward, the Orioles will be adding a talented, respected prospect to a farm system that desperately needs more future stars. It's especially exciting to the front office brass in Baltimore that each of the potential top picks in the class is not only talented, but also has a great head on his shoulders. Across the board among the top four guys, scouts rave about their work ethics and makeups.

It's been a tough season to watch in Baltimore, Miami, and Kansas City, but draft night will be an exciting moment in history for each of those franchises.

The Orioles will make the first selection in this year's draft at 7 p.m. on June 3.

2019 MLB Draft How to Watch:

What: 2019 MLB Draft Day One: Rounds 1-2
Date: Monday, June 3, 2019
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: MLB Network studios, Secaucus, NJ
TV Channel: MLB Network
Live Stream: MLB.com

How many rounds are there in the 2019 MLB Draft?

There are 40 rounds in the 2019 MLB Draft. Rounds 1-2 will air on MLB Network at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 3. Rounds 3-10 will stream on MLB.com, beginning at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4. Rounds 11-40 will also stream on MLB.com, beginning at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5.

2019 MLB Draft prospects to know: 

Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State

Rutschman is the complete package both at the plate and behind it, and is considered by many evaluators to be the best incoming MLB prospect in several seasons. It's possible the Orioles look elsewhere with their first selection, but it would qualify as a major surprise if they don't take the future star catcher.

Bobby Witt Jr., SS, High School (Texas)

The top prep player in the class, Witt projects to be a future five-tool shortstop, making him an incredibly valuable commodity. The son of a former pitcher, Witt has the defensive skillset to stick at shortstop, plus power at the plate, and a terrific makeup.

Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California

Vaughn is having the best collegiate offensive career since Kris Bryant, which is a ton of praise. The first baseman lives up to that praise at the plate, winning the Golden Spikes Award as a sophomore in 2018 and taking his bat to another level this season. The defensive profile is the only thing keeping him from going higher.

CJ Abrams, SS, High School (Georgia)

Abrams is supremely athletic, blessed with elite speed and a quick bat. His natural talent should keep him at shortstop, with Gold Glove-caliber play in center field the likely defensive floor. If he can tap into his power while mainting great contact skills, his upside rivals anyone's in the class, Rutschman and Witt included.

Recent No. 1 picks in the MLB Draft:

2018: SP Casey Mize (Detroit Tigers)
2017: SS Royce Lewis (Minnesota Twins)
2016: OF Mickey Moniak (Philadelphia Phillies)
2015: SS Dansby Swanson (Arizona Diamondbacks)
2014: SP Brady Aiken (Houston Astros)
2013: SP Mark Appel (Houston Astros)
2012: SS Carlos Correa (Houston Astros)
2011: SP Gerrit Cole (Pittsburgh Pirates)
2010: C/OF Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals)
2009: SP Stephen Strasburg (Washington Nationals)

What is the 2019 MLB Draft order?

1. Orioles
2. Royals 
3. White Sox 
4. Marlins 
5. Tigers 
6. Padres 
7. Reds 
8. Rangers
9. Braves (compensation for unsigned 2018 first-rounder Carter Stewart)
10. Giants
11. Blue Jays
12. Mets 
13. Twins 
14. Phillies 
15. Angels 
16. D-backs
17. Nationals 
18. Pirates 
19. Cardinals
20. Mariners 
21. Braves
22. Rays
23. Rockies
24. Indians
25. Dodgers 
26. Diamondbacks (compensation for unsigned 2018 first-rounder Matt McLain)
27. Cubs
28. Brewers
29. Athletics
30. Yankees
31. Dodgers (compensation for unsigned 2018 first-rounder J.T. Ginn)
32. Astros
33. Red Sox

How was the 2019 MLB Draft order was determined?

The Baltimore Orioles hoped to compete in the 2018 season, but down seasons from multiple core players and injuries combined to take them out of contention early enough to sell off most of their assets at the 2018 Trade Deadline. After the firesale, it was all but certain they would lose 100+ games, but few expected a 47-115 final record, the worst in baseball.

The Royals were also historically bad, finishing with a 58-104 record to earn the second pick in the draft. In the same division, the White Sox went 62-100 to earn the draft's third selection. Baltimore, Kansas City and Chicago were the only three teams to lose at least 100 games, as the Marlins had baseball's fourth-worst record at 63-98.

The Tigers round out the top five in this year's draft after a 64-98 season, giving the AL Central three of the five worst records in all of baseball.

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Orioles Roundup: Hess continues to struggle, Yankees make history

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Orioles Roundup: Hess continues to struggle, Yankees make history

The Orioles got obliterated by the Yankees Tuesday night, losing the matchup 11-4.

Here is your latest news on Baltimore and New York:

Player Notes:

ORIOLES:

David Hess struggles against Yankees. The righty allowed eight hits – including a trio of home runs – while also walking four batters.

Stevie WIlkerson scored a three-run home run Tuesday in the Orioles' loss to the Yankees.

YANKEES:

Gary Sanchez joined his teammate Gleyber Torres in terrorizing Orioles pitchers this season, scoring his eighth home run of the year against the O’s alone.  

Domingo German allowed three runs -- two earned -- over five frames versus the Orioles on Tuesday to pick up his ninth win of the season.

Injuries: 

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 10-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 10-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

Coming Up:

Wednesday 5/22: Orioles @ Yankees, 7:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium  
Tuesday 5/21: Orioles @ Yankees, 7:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium 
Wednesday 5/22: Orioles @ Yankees, 7:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium