Terry Francona Finally Wins Manager of the Year After a Sox World Series Win
Only after the Red Sox won a third World Series title did Terry Francona finally nab the Manager of the Year award. Of course … he’s not managing the Red Sox this time around thanks to that little 2011 collapse. He won this year for his management of the Cleveland Indians. Cue the outrage and chants of “Worst to first!”
— Donnie Wahlberg (@DonnieWahlberg) November 13, 2013
Many considered the man responsible for this year’s World Series win, John Farrell, a lock on the spot. He “should be a unanimous selection as Manager of the Year,” said Globe columnist Dan Shaugnessy, whom no one has accused of clairvoyance this year. So there was some surprise when the award went to Francona Tuesday, with 16 first-place votes for a total of 112 points. Farrell, took 2nd place with 12 first-place votes and 96 points.
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America votes before the playoffs, so the Sox’ World Series win didn’t factor into the voting. In the regular season, the Sox dominated, but the Indians did quite well, too. And both the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe note that the award often goes to smaller-market teams, whose managers did more with less. The Indians have a payroll $90 million short of the Sox’s and Francona still managed 92 wins. Not that either paper is accepting this as an excuse:
“At some point, it’d be nice if the Baseball Writers’ Association of America stopped ignoring the fact that winning in a big market, even with a big payroll, is a feat worth rewarding,” the Herald’s John Tomase wrote.
“Francona never got a first place vote in either 2004 or 2007 because of the perception that he had a high-payroll team and he was expected to win. That was surely the case then, but this was a completely different scenario,” wrote the Globe’s Nick Cafardo.
Deserving or not, Farrell sounded about the only note he could in the wake of his runner-up finish. “Honored to represent the Red Sox, but we are most proud to be world champions,” he told reporters in a text message. But for the rest of us in this city used to assuming a posture of disappointment, this gives us at least a small taste of the kind of snubs we otherwise missed out on this season. Did you miss it?