The 2013 Manager of the Year awards were announced on Tuesday night, with Clint Hurdle from the Pittsburgh Pirates and Terry Francona from the Cleveland Indians coming away with the honors.
The awards are decided upon by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, along with the other major individual awards. The BBWAA will also announce the winners of the Cy Young and MVP awards on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
Hurdle helped lead the Pirates to an incredible turnaround season, taking them to the playoffs for the first time in over two decades. Meanwhile, Francona was in his first season with the Indians and led them to their first playoff berth since 2007.
Neither vote was stunning, but all six managers that were nominated were certainly deserving. Below is a deeper look at the two winning managers for the National League and American League, along with the voting results for each, courtesy of Mike Oz of Yahoo! Sports.
Clint Hurdle Wins 2013 NL Manager of the Year
|Clint Hurdle||Pittsburgh Pirates||25||5||-||140|
|Don Mattingly||Los Angeles Dodgers||2||17||7||68|
|Fredi Gonzalez||Atlanta Braves||3||4||16||43|
|Mike Matheny||St. Louis Cardinals||-||4||7||19|
The NL featured some great nominees for this award, but there wasn't a manager more deserving than Pittsburgh's Clint Hurdle.
The official Twitter account for the Pirates congratulated Hurdle on the award:
ESPN Stats & Info mentioned that Hurdle is the first Manager of the Year for the Pirates since Jim Leyland in 1992:
Clint Hurdle: 1st Pirates manager to win Manager of the Year since Jim Leyland in 1992— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 12, 2013
After so many rough seasons for the Pirates over the years, Hurdle became the manager for the team in 2011 in an attempt to get the franchise back on the right track. His tenure in Pittsburgh got off to a bit of a rough start, going 72-90 and 79-83 in his first two seasons as the Pirates faded down the stretch.
That all changed in 2013.
Hurdle's players stayed hot throughout the season. The Pirates had struggled after the All-Star break the previous couple of years, but that wasn't the case this season. They finished with a 94-68 record, the highest win total for Hurdle in his 11-year managerial career. The Pirates finished with their first winning season since 1992 and ended a 20-year run without a playoff appearance.
The Pirates weren't satisfied with those achievements, however, as they took down the Cincinnati Reds, 6-2, in the NL Wild Card. They lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS, but not before taking it all the way to Game 5.
MLB Network's PR Twitter account provided a quote from Hurdle, who had this to say about winning the award:
Clint Hurdle on winning the @officialBBWAA NL Manager of the Year Award: “It is a bit overwhelming. It’s humbling. It’s gratifying.”— MLB Network PR (@MLBNetworkPR) November 12, 2013
Don Mattingly led the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 92-70 season, but it wasn't enough to earn him the honors. The expectations for the Dodgers were high, and although they were able to advance to the NLCS, Mattingly didn't quite do enough to sway voters.
Fredi Gonzalez finished third in the voting, after leading the Atlanta Braves to an impressive 96-66 record but falling in the NLDS to the Dodgers. Mike Matheny, who led the Cardinals to the World Series, was able to grab a few second- and third-place votes as well, finishing in fourth.
While wins and deep playoff runs are important in the voting process, Hurdle won the award because his team exceeded expectations and created a truly special regular season that engaged Pirates fans. His positive attitude and passion for the game made Hurdle the clear choice for this award in 2013.
Terry Francona Wins 2013 AL Manager of the Year
|Terry Francona||Cleveland Indians||16||10||2||112|
|John Farrell||Boston Red Sox||12||10||6||96|
|Bob Melvin||Oakland Athletics||2||5||11||36|
|Joe Girardi||New York Yankees||-||2||5||11|
His former team may have won the World Series, but Terry Francona was able to win his first AL Manager of the Year award with the Cleveland Indians.
The Indians congratulated their skipper over Twitter:
Francona took some time off after leaving the Boston Red Sox, but came back in 2013 to become the lead man in the Cleveland clubhouse. The Tribe hadn't had a winning season since 2007, but that changed this year.
The Indians stepped up big under Francona, going 92-70 and finishing second in the AL Central behind the Detroit Tigers. They fell in the AL Wild Card Game to the Tampa Bay Rays, but it was still a successful season for a team that has struggled with success in recent years.
John Farrell was a popular candidate for the award, finishing in a rather close second. He led the Red Sox to an Major League-best record of 97-65 and capped it all off with a World Series title. Meanwhile, Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin, who had won the award in 2007 and 2012, was unable to win his third, while Joe Girardi came in at a distant fourth.
Despite leading the Red Sox to two World Series titles in the past, Francona had never finished better than fourth in the Manager of the Year voting. That has all changed in 2013, and now he has finally won an award many believe was long overdue.