Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona was named one of three finalists for the American League’s Manager of the Year award, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced Tuesday evening.
The BBWAA finalists announcement is a new kink in MLB award presentations for the 2013 season. The other two finalists for the AL Manager award are Oakland’s Bob Melvin and Boston’s John Farrell.
Finalists for AL Manager of the Year (alphabetically): John Farrell, Red Sox; Terry Francona, Indians; Bob Melvin, A's.
— BBWAA (@officialBBWAA) November 5, 2013
Francona, 54, led the Indians to a surprise 92-70 record in his first year in Cleveland. It is his third managerial stint, following a pair of World Series championships in Boston and four years with the Philadelphia Phillies.
After a few days of murmurs following the 2012 regular season, Francona was announced as Cleveland’s manager on Oct. 6. He noted his relationship with team president Mark Shapiro and general manager Chris Antonetti as a reason for moving to Ohio.
Several of the Indians new acquisitions last winter then mentioned that Francona was a key reason for their choice of team. He was a stabilizing force after the team previously faltered in the second half of the past two seasons under former manager Manny Acta.
Infamously, Francona even shared late last October that “Right now we’re not going to win very many games. We don’t have a first baseman, left fielder or DH. But that’s going to change.” Although the offseason splash signings of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn didn’t have great seasons, the Tribe’s pitching staff led the way to a surprise Wild Card appearance after winning just 68 games last year.