Terry Francona was voted the American League Manager of the Year today after guiding the Cleveland Indians into the playoffs with a franchise record-tying increase in victories.
Francona, 54, led the Indians to a 92-70 record in his first year at the helm, a 24-victory improvement from 2012. He was fired by the Boston Red Sox after the team blew a nine-game playoff lead with less than a month to play in 2011 for the biggest September collapse in MLB history.
The other finalists in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America were John Farrell of the World Series-winning Red Sox and 2012 winner Bob Melvin of the Oakland Athletics.
Clint Hurdle won his first National League Manager of the Year award by leading the Pittsburgh Pirates into the baseball playoffs for the first time since 1992.
The Pirates went 94-68 this year, ending a streak of 20 straight losing seasons, and won the NL wild-card playoff game against the Cincinnati Reds before losing a five-game divisional series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The other NL finalists were Fredi Gonzalez of the Atlanta Braves and Don Mattingly of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The rest of Major League Baseball’s big awards -- Most Valuable Player and the Cy Young Award given to the top pitcher in each league -- will be given out later this week.