Cleveland’s Terry Francona won the American League Manager of the Year award last night, beating the Rangers’ Jeff Banister.
Francona received twenty-two out of thirty first place votes, with Banister receiving four. Both led their teams to division championships, but the Indians’ was much more improbably, having won the Central division with a payroll of just $80 million, losing their best offensive player in Michael Brantley for much of the year, and having their starting rotation decimated by injuries.
After all that, they came within inches of winning the World Series.
Banister has to feel good even though he didn’t win. In his two seasons as a big league manager, he has won the award and finished second.