Sunday, February 5 2023

Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona’s 2022 season included a celebratory headbutt from Josh Naylor after a walk-of home run. It also now includes recognition as the American League’s best manager.

Francona was named as the American League’s Manager of the Year Tuesday night, as voted upon by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Baltimore Orioles manager Brandon Hyde (finished second) and Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais (third) were the other finalists. Francona received 17 of the 30 first-place votes.

It is Francona’s third Manager of the Year win, along with the 2013 (his first in Cleveland) and 2016 seasons. He was also the runner-up in 2017.

The 2022 Guardians were one of the biggest surprises around baseball, beating most projections by about 15 wins to reclaim the American League Central title by double-digit games. The 92 victories were a 12-win improvement from 2021, which was the first in the Francona era (since 2013) that Cleveland had a losing record.

Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona speaks to reporters before Game 2 of an American League Division Series baseball game at Yankee Stadium, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona speaks to reporters before Game 2 of an American League Division Series baseball game at Yankee Stadium, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona speaks to reporters before Game 2 of an American League Division Series baseball game at Yankee Stadium, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

GUARDIANS:Built a foundation in 2022, hope to make more noise in 2023, beyond

AWARDS: Mariners’ Rodriguez, Braves’ Harris win AL, NL rookie of the year

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The 2022 season was also Francona’s first in which he was able to get through the entire year without major health issues since 2019. He had his 2020 and 2021 seasons cut short due to needed procedures to address several health issues, including a gastrointestinal issue that had him at one point in the ICU and then hip and toe procedures last season. Francona said in October that he would be returning for the 2023 season.

Francona also said the youthful group in the clubhouse that beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Wild Card Series and then took the New York Yankees to Game 5 in the AL Division Series energized him.

It could be argued that this was Francona’s best managerial job during the regular season, as the Guardians had the league’s youngest roster, one that was even more youthful than Triple-A teams. The Guardians became only the second club in more than 50 years to win their division as the youngest team in baseball and the first since the 1986 New York Mets.

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Cleveland Guardians’ Terry Francona named AL Manager of the Year

Source: Yahoo Sports

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