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Dierker Takes New Route to Honor

November 12, 1998|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Larry Dierker has come full circle, from second-guessing managers to being second-guessed himself.

Last season, little that Dierker did merited critical scrutiny.

The Houston Astros broadcaster-turned-manager won the National League manager-of-the-year award Wednesday after leading the Houston Astros to a team-record 102 wins and their second consecutive division title.

"The fact that I came from the booth instead of the minor leagues or a coaching staff may cause people to be more open-minded about who they consider," Dierker said. "Teams will start to look at the whole universe of possibilities instead of just the traditional line."

Dierker received 16 first-place votes, six seconds and four thirds to earn 102 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America.

San Diego's Bruce Bochy was second with five first-place votes and 70 points, followed by Chicago's Jim Riggleman, who got five firsts and 55 points, and San Francisco's Dusty Baker with the other six first-place votes and 39 points.

"I don't think anyone thinks about winning awards," Dierker said. "We think about winning games."

Dierker has now done both.

The Astros went 10 years without a division title before Dierker took over before the 1997 season. He built a staff that had the third-best earned-run average in baseball, and the Astros won the NL Central title with 84 wins before being swept by Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs.

Houston built upon that success this year, improving by 18 games, tied for third best in baseball, to win the division again.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

1998 Manager of the Year

LARRY DIERKER

Houston Astros

NL Manager Voting

Voting awarded on a 5-3-1 basis.

*

Larry Dierker, Houston

1st: 16

2nd: 6

3rd: 4

Total: 102

*

Bruce Bochy, San Diego

1st: 5

2nd: 13

3rd: 6

Total: 70

*

Jim Riggleman, Chicago

1st: 5

2nd: 7

3rd: 9

Total: 55

*

Dusty Baker, San Francisco

1st: 6

2nd: 2

3rd: 3

Total: 39

*

Bobby Cox, Atlanta

1st: 0

2nd: 3

3rd: 8

Total: 17

*

Managers of the Year / By Team

2: Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Houston, Montreal, Pittsburgh, San Francisco.

1: St. Louis, Atlanta, Colorado, San Diego

Researched by HOUSTON MITCHELL / Los Angeles Times

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