What Cleveland manager Terry Francona was able to accomplished with an Indians roster full of holes due to injuries and performance enhancing drug suspensions was improbable, as he not only guided the team to a winning record but the second-best mark in the American League while taking his club to ten innings in Game 7 of the World Series. The baseball world took notice, as the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced on Tuesday night that Francona had been selected as its American League Manager of the Year.
Francona was joined by his former outfielder and one-time member of the Indians, Dave Roberts of the National League’s Los Angeles Dodgers, as each league’s recipients of the annual award.
The Indians showed their appreciation for Francona’s leadership already this offseason when the team exercised club options in his contract for both the 2019 and 2020 seasons, giving Cleveland a long window of contention with the successful manager locked in at the helm.
Francona topped the other two American League candidates – Texas’ Jeff Banister and Baltimore’s Buck Showalter – in receiving the honor. He is one of just two managers in Indians history (Eric Wedge – 2007) to win the Manager of the Year Award, voted on annually by the BBWAA since 1983.
It marked the second time in Francona’s managerial career that he has received the Manager of the Year award. He previously won the award in 2013 in his first year in the dugout for the Indians.
In his fourth year back in Cleveland, Francona led the team to its fourth consecutive winning season. It marked the 12th straight season that a club under Francona’s leadership has finished the season with a winning record after he posted positive marks in each of his eight seasons in Boston with the Red Sox. He is the fifth-winningest manager among active skippers and the third-winningest in the junior circuit, trailing Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia (1,490) and Showalter (1,429).
Francona has 1,381 wins during the regular season combined over his stints with the Indians, Red Sox, and four straight losing seasons to begin his MLB managerial career with the Philadelphia Phillies. He has a 352-294 record during his Tribe tenure, good for the sixth-best winning percentage (.545) in franchise history and the eighth-most wins.
Photo: Elsa/Getty Images