Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who took over the Indians and directed them to a 92-70 record and a wild-card playoff berth was named the American League manager of the year in an upset over Red Sox manager John Farrell. Francona, a two-time World Series winner with the Red Sox, had never been manager of the year in his career. It was Cleveland’s first winning record since 2007.
Francona received 16 first place votes to Farrell's 12, winning the overall total 112-96. The BBWAA website has a full breakdown of the 30 individual ballots. Balloting is conducted prior to the start of postseason play.
The 2013 Indians showed a 24-game improvement, going from 68 victories in 2012 to 92 wins this year. The 24-victory improvement matched the biggest in franchise history. The 1986 Indians won 84 games after winning just 60 in 1985.
Tampa Bay ended the Indians season with a 4-0 victory in the wild card game.
Farrell, who led the Red Sox to a World Series championship in his first season at the helm in Boston, was perceived to be the favorite before the voting was announced on Tuesday.
Boston pulled a worst-to-first turnaround under Farrell, who was the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007 to 2010. Farrell led the Red Sox to 97 wins and a championship a season after they finished in last place in the AL East with 93 losses under Bobby Valentine.
The Red Sox offense took a major leap, going from fifth in the league in runs scored in 2012 (734) to first in 2013 season (853). The pitching staff's earned runs allowed decreased from 754 to 613.
Christina Kahrl of ESPN.com representing Chicago and Asuka Iinuma Brown of Jiji Press representing Seattle did not include Farrell on their ballots. Mike Rutsey from the Toronto Sun and Tom Maloney of The Globe and Mail in Toronto each voted for Francona first and Farrell second. Farrell was panned by the media in Toronto when he left the Blue Jays after two underwhelming seasons to take the open manager's job in Boston last season.
Athletics manager Bob Melvin was also finalist for the honor, as voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association Of America.
Clint Hurdle, whose Pirates finished the season 94-68 and captured the NL's No. 1 wild card spot, took home the honor for the National League. Pittsburgh hadn't had a winning season -- or a playoff appearance -- since 1992, the longest such streak in North American team sports.
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer