Terry Francona finished 4th in AL Manager of the Year Award voting which was announced Wednesday. Passionate Red Sox fans (myself included) hoped that voters would not turn this into a popularity contest and look at what Francona accomplished given that he was managing a AAA team for part of the year and having the daunting challenge of filling out a different line-up card for almost every game of the season. Ron Gardenhire, manager of the AL Central champs Minnesota Twins won the 2011 Award, and finished ahead of the AL Pennant finished second.
Red Sox Nation can take heart in his 4th place finish, as the only managers to finish ahead of him piloted teams to the post-season. Despite making the play-offs, Joe Girardi received 1 third place vote, his only vote. Despite not making the play-offs, Toronto manager Cito Gaston received 1 first place vote, again, his only vote. (Huh? What happened there?)