Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Francona and Hurdle Win Their First Manager of the Year Awards

The Manager of the Year awards for the American and National leagues were announced yesterday with Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians and Clint Hurdle of the Pittsburgh Pirates winning the awards. Francona had 16 of 30 first place votes for 112 points in a tightly packed ballot. Hurdle had 25 of 20 first place votes for 140 points.

Francona in his first season at the helm of the Cleveland Indians led the team to a 92-70 record and a Wild Card berth. The Indians would eventually end up losing to the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card playoff game. Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell received 12 first place votes for a total of 96 points in leading the Boston Red Sox to a World Series title after finishing in last place of the American League East last season. Bob Melvin of the Oakland Athletics came in third with 36 points.

Hurdle led the Pirates to a 94-68 record in the National League Central which was not only good enough for a National League Wild Card berth but also the 20-year losing season streak in Pittsburgh was broken. The Pirates defeated their division rival Cincinnati Reds in the Wild Card playoff game and lost in five games to the eventual National League champion St. Louis Cardinals.

What I find interesting about the vote is that Hurdle didn't win the award unanimously. Don Mattingly of the Los Angeles Dodgers came in second with 68 points (2-first place votes) and Fredi Gonzalez of the Atlanta Braves third with 43 votes (3-first place votes). I know people have different points of view, but leading a team to an impressive record, a second round playoff spot AND breaking a 20-year losing record streak translates to an unanimous Manager of the Year showing. But that's just me.

I'm not disappointed in the least with the winners of the Manager of the Year awards. If Farrell or Melvin would have won, I still wouldn't be disappointed. The three top managers in the American League Manager of the Year award ballot did an amazing job with leading their respective teams to winning records during the 2013 season.

Tomorrow is when the Cy Young Awards are announced. The finalists for the American League Cy Young are Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers, Hisashi Iwakuma of the Seattle Mariners and Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers. In the National League, Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins, Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals are the NL Cy Young finalists. It should be interesting to see who wins.

Sisco Kid

For Further Reading:
- Click Here to access the breakdown of the American League Manager of the Year vote from the BBWAA website
- Click Here to access the breakdown of the National League Manager of the Year vote from the BBWAA website