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Terry Francona named AL Manager of the Year

Terry Francona named AL Manager of the Year

Cleveland's Terry Francona and Pittsburgh's Clint Hurdle were honored as the top managers in baseball Tuesday night.

Francona led the Indians to the postseason for the first time since 2007, earning the No. 1 wild-card spot in the American League. They lost the wild-card game to Tampa Bay, 4-0.

The Indians, under Francona, showed a 24-game improvement, going from 68 victories in 2012 to 92 this year. The 24-victory improvement matched the biggest in franchise history. The 1986 Indians won 84 games after winning just 60 in 1985.

The Indians went 21-6 in September and ended the season on a 10-game winning streak.

Francona led the Boston Red Sox to five postseason appearances and two World Series championships from 2004 through 2011, but was never voted Manager of the Year.

Hurdle guided the Pirates to their first winning season since 1992. They finished 94-68, third-best in the NL.

They lost in five games to the Cardinals in the NL Division Series.

"It's a bit overwhelming, to tell you the truth," Hurdle said in an interview on MLB Network. "It's humbling. It's gratifying from an organizational standpoint."

It was the first Manager of the Year honor for the 56-year-old Hurdle. His highest finish had been third in 2007, when he led the Colorado Rockies to the World Series.

The only other Pittsburgh manager to win the award was Jim Leyland in 1990 and 1992, the bookends to three consecutive division titles for the Pirates.

Hurdle was the only manager picked on every ballot. He had 140 points in the 5-3-1 scoring system to 68 points for Don Mattingly, who received two first-place votes after leading the Dodgers to the NL West title.

Atlanta's Fredi Gonzalez got three first-place votes and finished with 43 points.

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