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November 12, 2013

Voting aside, Farrell-Cherington combo is the best

Francona named AL Manager of the Year

Terry Francona edged out best friend John Farrell for AL Manager of the Year last night.

But if there was a Manager/GM of the Year award, Farrell and Ben Cherington would have beaten Francona and Indians GM Chris Antonetti by a landslide.

The tremendous job Cherington did building the 2013 Boston Red Sox clearly was taken into account by the baseball writers who had a vote for this annual award. By choosing Francona, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America essentially made the point that Francona had less to work with in terms of player personnel than Farrell.

The final vote is not a travesty in the least. Remember, all ballots are mailed in before the playoffs begin.

Francona, in his first year with Cleveland, inherited a squad that won just 68 games in 2012. He turned the Indians into a 92-win club that earned the first Wild Card spot and finished just one game behind the mighty Detroit Tigers for first place in the AL Central.

Francona earned 16 first-place votes, 10 second-place votes and two third-place votes for 112 points. Farrell earned 12 first-place votes, 10 second-place votes and six third-place votes for 96 points. Oakland skipper Bob Melvin finished third with 36 points.

The final vote actually reflects the incredible job Cherington did last offseason, working together with his baseball operations staff and Farrell to put together the right group of players who responded to Farrell’s demands and style.

Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes provided an interesting answer this past season when asked what made Tampa’s Joe Maddon such an effective manager. Maddon is a two-time AL Manager of the Year.

“I think what makes him good goes up to the GM (Andrew Friedman) and their scouting department,” said Gomes, who was on the 2008 Rays that went to the World Series under Maddon. “What makes Joe good is that there are 25 guys that he gets every year that will buy into the Ray way, which is Joe’s way. And I think Joe and Andrew work great together.”

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