Leading his team to the postseason is the goal of every Major League manager, and two skippers who did that in historic ways for their ballclubs in 2013 have been rewarded with Manager of the Year honors. Pittsburgh's Clint Hurdle led the Pirates into October for the first time since 1992 to win the National League award, and Terry Francona pushed the Indians into the postseason with a franchise-best turnaround in the standings to take the American League award in voting results announced on Tuesday by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. It's the first Manager of the Year honor for both men, and they earned the accolades in similar ways -- namely, by getting the most out of a team on the cusp and guiding it to the postseason party. Hurdle, who finished third in NL voting in 2007 after leading the Rockies to a Wild Card berth, set the tone for a Pirates team that finished 94-68 to become the first Pittsburgh club to finish above .500 since '92 and end its postseason drought. Hurdle, who at 55 has completed three seasons at the Pirates' helm, becomes the second Bucs manager to win the award, following Jim Leyland (1990, '92). After leading the Pirates deep into contention the previous two seasons before they fell short, Hurdle delivered a passionate, positive presence for his club, which had a mix of veteran talent and up-and-coming youngsters. The Pirates had a 25-game improvement over the previous season and battled the Cardinals and Reds to the very end of the season in an NL Central race that was a thrill ride all season long. Francona, who won two World Series titles with the Red Sox but hadn't finished higher than fourth in the voting before this year, takes the trophy in his first year in charge in Cleveland. He's the second Indians manager to be named top in the AL, following Eric Wedge (2007).
Skippers Hurdle, Tito honored with Manager of the Year Awards
MLB.com | Nov 13