Indians skipper Eric Wedge wins AL Manager of the Year

Eric Wedge, who piloted the Cleveland Indians to the American League Central title and shared with the Boston Red Sox the best record in the majors in 2007, was elected AL Manager of the Year in balloting by the BBWAA. He is the first Cleveland manager honored with the award, which the BBWAA first presented in 1983.

Wedge was the only manager listed on all 28 ballots cast by two writers in each league city. He was first on 19, second on six and third on three to score 116 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. Wedge was the only manager named on every ballot.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Mike Scioscia, the winner in 2002, was the runner-up with 62 points, based on four first-place votes, 11 seconds and nine thirds. The New York Yankees’ Joe Torre, a two-time winner (1996 and 1998), had one more first-place vote than Scioscia but was one point behind in third place with 61 points. Torre has since moved to the National League where he will be the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Terry Francona, who won his second World Series in four seasons with the Red Sox, was the only other manager to receive votes and was fourth with 13 points. Voting is conducted prior to post-season play.

It marked the second consecutive year that only four managers gained mention. In 2006 when the Detroit Tigers’ Jim Leyland was the winner, the only other managers to receive votes were Ron Gardenhire of the Minnesota Twins, Ken Macha, then with the Oakland Athletics, and Torre.

Wedge, who finished second in the 2005 balloting to Ozzie Guillen of the Chicago White Sox, took the Indians to their first post-season appearance in six years with a 96-66 record, coming off a 78-84 mark in 2006. Cleveland eliminated the Yankees in four games in the Division Series before losing in seven games to the Red Sox in the AL Championship Series.

At 39 years, 10 months of age, Wedge, who was in his fifth season as manager of the Indians, is the third youngest manager to win the award. Buck Showalter was 38 years, six months, when he won for the first time in 1994 with the New York Yankees. Showalter won again in 2004 with the Texas Rangers.

Tony La Russa was 39 years, one month old when he won the first of his four Manager of the Year Awards in 1983 with the Chicago White Sox. He won again in the AL with the Oakland Athletics in 1988 and 1992 and in the NL with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2002.

The vote:

2007 AL Manager of the Year

Eric WedgeCleveland Indians1963116
Mike SciosciaLos Angeles Angels of Anaheim411962
Joe TorreNew York Yankees581261
Terry FranconaBoston Red Sox3413