November 5th, 2013
The Boston Red Sox continue to celebrate their World Championship after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in six games. As the offseason begins to heat up, attention will now turn to awards and reflections on 2013 as well as rumors and projections toward the 2014 season.
The Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) recently held its 5th annual award voting in various categories. The first of those awards, The Connie Mack Award, is given to the best manager in each league.
American League: John Farrell – The Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox skipper won the closest of all the votes held by the BBA this year. Garnering 38% of the vote, Farrell held off the Cleveland Indians’ Terry Francona by less than 3%.
Farrell took over a Red Sox team that was in shambles and had just traded away a good portion of the roster to free up payroll. Expectations entering 2013 were low but the team wouldn’t be held down. Farrell, fresh from his work in Toronto, stepped in and helped right the ship. His leadership led the team to the American League’s best record at 97-65. He would continue that success into the postseason and help the team capture the eighth championship in team history.
National League: Clint Hurdle – The Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates have steadily improved over the last few seasons but were left just short of a winning record each time. Still, the writing was on the wall and many felt this was the year Pittsburgh would compete late into the season. Those that believed in the Pirates were rewarded by a team that not only produced a winning record but nearly won their division and found themselves in the postseason. They defeated the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Wild Card Game in Pittsburgh to the delight of the home town crowd.
Hurdle was the recipient of 79% of the vote from the BBA membership.
Previous Connie Mack Award Winners:
2012: Bob Melvin, Oakland A’s; Davey Johnson, Washington Nationals
2011: Joe Maddon, Tampa Bat Rays; Kirk Gibson, Arizona Diamondbacks
2010: Ron Washington, Texas Rangers; Bud Black, San Diego Padres
2009: Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Jim Tracy, Colorado Rockies
The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 232 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.