News

Hurdle, Francona named MLB managers of the year

Hurdle, Francona named MLB managers of the year

MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Clint Hurdle is recognized for leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to the postseason for the first time in two decades. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – Clint Hurdle was named National League Manager of the Year on Tuesday after leading Pittsburgh to their first postseason berth in 21 years, while Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians took home the American League honors.

Hurdle steered the playoff-deprived Pirates to a 94-68 record in 2013, which also marked their first winning season since 1992, to claim a wild card playoff berth following a 79-83 mark in 2012.

The Pirates manager won the vote over Don Mattingly of the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers and NL East-winning manager Fredi Gonzalez of the Atlanta Braves.

Hurdle received 25 of the 30 first-place votes and was named second on the other five ballots to win by a wide margin. Mattingly was runner-up and Gonzalez third in the balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

The Pirates faded after a strong first-half in 2012, but finished strong in the 56-year-old Hurdle’s third year at the helm of the Pirates.

“From an organizational standpoint, we are a competitive team and we have big dreams,” Hurdle said. “It’s not enough to just show up and play hard.

“It’s a bit overwhelming. It’s humbling,” added Hurdle. “All I tried to do every day was to be positive.”

Francona, who led the Boston Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007, won his first Manager of the Year award after taking Cleveland into the postseason with a wild card berth in his first season in charge of the Indians.

In a tight American League race, Francona, whose Indians went from 68-94 to 92-70, collected 16 first-place votes to 12 for John Farrell, who led the Red Sox to a World Series title.

Last year’s winner, Bob Melvin of the AL West-winning Oakland Athletics, finished third and received the other two first-place votes.

Voters submitted their ballots before the start of the postseason.

“It gives me a chance to brag for our organization,” Francona said. “It’s a representation of the organization. This was one of the funnest years I ever had.”

Francona, who had never received a first-place vote in previous balloting, and Farrell go back a long way together having been team mates on the 1988 Indians club.

Francona was manager when Boston ended an 86-year World Series title drought in 2004 with a sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals. He had Farrell as his pitching coach in 2007 when Boston swept another World Series over the Colorado Rockies.

“I think I’d trade the award for what he did, any time,” Francona said about his friend Farrell’s winning this season’s World Series.

“I actually called John this morning. I thought it was hilarious that in 1988 we were both struggling to survive with the Cleveland Indians and that 25 years later we’d be going against each other for this award.”

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Judge gives go-ahead for $2 billion sale of NBA’s Clippers

Fresh
With her attorney Pierce O'Donnell, right, Shelly Sterling, center, talks to reporters after a judge ruled in her favor and against her estranged husband, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, in his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the NBA basketball team, outside Los Angeles Superior Court, Monday, July 28, 2014.

Shelly Sterling can proceed with the record $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers despite her husband's objections, a judge ruled on Monday.

in National, World

Israel strikes house of Hamas Gaza leader

Fresh
A Palestinian walks on the rubble of the house of the top Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, hit by a pre-dawn Israeli strike, in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Early Tuesday, Israel warplanes struck a series of targets in Gaza City, including Haniyeh's house and government offices, while Gaza's border area with Israel was hit by heavy tank shelling.

Israel's military pounded targets in the Gaza Strip after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country should prepare for a long conflict in the Palestinian enclave.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: How to cool a drink in two minutes

Fresh
Cold Drinks

Never drink a lukewarm beverage again! Check out this helpful summer trick.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: July 29

benjerrys

A look back at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in National, World

Israel warns of long Gaza war as Palestinian fighters cross border

Israeli soldiers patrol outside the northern Gaza Strip on July 28, 2014.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dashes any hopes of a swift end to the three-week conflict as Palestinian fighters launched an audacious cross-border raid.