November 12, 2013

Old Sox manager edges out new Sox manager for top award

Terry Francona wins AL Manager of the Year, beating out Boston’s John Farrell.

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In this June 24, 2013, photo, Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona talks to reporters before the Indians’ baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore. Francona was selected as the AL Manager of the Year on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America,

AP Photo/Nick Wass

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In this Sept. 24, 2013, file photo, Cleveland Indians designated hitter Jason Giambi, left, picks up manager Terry Francona after Giambi hit a two-run home run off Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Addison Reed in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Cleveland. Francona was selected as the AL Manager of the Year on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

Mike Matheny of the Cardinals was the only other skipper to appear on a ballot. He was tabbed second by four voters and third by seven.

Cy Young Award winners will be announced Wednesday evening, and MVPs on Thursday.

Francona garnered 16 first-place votes to 12 for Farrell, who lifted the Red Sox from last place to first in the AL East in his debut season as their manager. Boston won 97 games, tied for most in the majors, one year after going 69-93 under Bobby Valentine.

Bob Melvin, last year’s winner, received the other two first-place votes and came in third after his low-payroll Oakland Athletics won their second consecutive AL West crown.

Francona never received a first-place vote during eight seasons as manager of the Red Sox. He had never finished higher than fourth for this award in 12 years as a big league skipper, including his stint with Philadelphia.

After a messy split from the Red Sox following their 2011 collapse, Francona spent a year in broadcasting that he said helped him become more patient and less stubborn.

This season with the Indians was one of his most fun in baseball, he said, and he loves the people he works for because when challenges arise “we tackle them together.”

“Boston is, you’re not really supposed to ever lose a game, and that’s difficult to do,” Francona said, adding the job there is “to manage all the noise that’s around the team so the guys can play.”

“You can’t have all that passion and not have some of the headaches that come with it,” he explained. “It’s a little different in Cleveland because it’s more just baseball, which I enjoy.”

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