After last years debacle at the hands of the-manager-that-shall-not-be-named, Red Sox skipper John Farrell is one of the early front runners to win the American League Manager of the Year.
In today's Red Sox Life Poll, let's take a look at the AL managers that have guided their teams into contention this season.
John Farrell, Boston Red Sox: Farrell defected from Toronto and inherited a team that lost 93 games in 2012. Farrell has been able to manage the personalities, keep the off the field distractions to a minimum and has the Sox in first place. While Farrell has done a good job in his first season, the real test is yet to come.
Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians: After his firing from the Red Sox, Francona was able to take a year off, recharge, write a book and have his choice of managing jobs. Francona chose the Indians and has a young, starless team playing hard and in the wild card hunt. The Tribe is on pace to improve their 2012 record by 20 games.
Joe Girardi, New York Yankees: This may have been the toughest season for Girardi since taking over for Joe Torre in 2008. While Giardi has had to deal with injuries, manage a roster that looks like a Triple-A team and deal with the enormous distraction that is Alex Rodriguez, he has the Yanks in contention with an outside shot at the playoffs.
Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays: Despite constant roster turnover and a low payroll, Maddon continues to keep the Rays relevant year after year. The Rays currently trail the Sox by one game in the AL East with a payroll that ranks 28th in baseball. Maddon remains one of the games deeper thinkers, creative strategists and interesting personalities. Just keep the snakes out of Fenway, Joe.
Bob Melvin, Oakland A's: Was last year just one of those flukey seasons for the A's? It's starting look like it wasn't. Manager Bob Melvin has the team in line for 91 wins and a wild card spot with a roster filled with other teams castoffs and Mr. Moneyball breathing down his neck. It may be hard to believe, but Melvin has over 700 career wins as a manager.