Red Sox

List of Red Sox managers to win Manager of the Year

List of Red Sox managers to win Manager of the Year

Alex Cora finished second to Oakland's Bob Melvin this year. Here are the Red Sox managers who have won an American League Manager of the Year award (only two have won the Baseball Writers Association of America award). 

1967 - Dick Williams (Sporting News/AP)
Record: 92-70
Result: Lost in World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-3
Williams managed the Red Sox to an AL pennant in his very first season as a manager - he was 38. Williams stayed in Boston for two more seasons, going 86-71 and 82-71. The Sox didn't get back to the World Series under his guidance. He went on to manage in Oakland, where he won two World Series, California, Montreal, San Diego, and Seattle. In 21 seasons as a manager, he had a .520 win percentage. Williams is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1975 - Darrell Johnson (Sporting News/AP)
Record: 95-65
Result: Lost in World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, 4-3
Under Johnson's tutelage, Boston won the AL pennant in 1975, his second year as manager. He stayed in Boston for one more season, but was not nearly as successful (41-45 record before being fired and replaced by Don Zimmer in 1976). He then managed in Seattle for four seasons and in Texas for one. The 1975 season was the highlight of his career - in eight seasons as a manager, his win percentage was .444.

1986 - John McNamara (Sporting News/BBWAA)
Record: 95-66
Result: Lost in World Series to the New York Mets, 4-3
After going .500 in his first season with the Sox, McNamara led Boston to within inches of a World Series ring. Unfortunately...we all know how that went. McNamara's next two seasons in Boston weren't nearly as successful. The Red Sox were six games under .500 in 1987 and he was fired at midseason in 1988 before Joe Morgan took over and led them to an A.L. East title and ALCS loss to the Oakland A's.  McNamara would go on to manage Cleveland, and eventually the California Angels. 1986 was McNamara's most successful professional season as a manager. His career win percentage was .485 over a 19-year managing career. 

1999 - Jimy Williams (Sporting News/BBWAA)
Record: 94-68
Result: Won Wild Card, lost in ALCS to Yankees, 4-1
The 1999 Red Sox' 94 wins were the most since McNamara's 1986 team. Williams' team, led by Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez, lost to the Yankees in the ALCS. The Red Sox' lone playoff victory was the only loss for the Yankees that postseason. Williams remained in Boston for two more years, going 85-77 and 65-53. Williams' bad relationship with GM Dan Duquette eventually got the better of him, and he was fired before the 2001 season was over. Williams went on to coach three seasons in Houston. In 12 total seasons as a manager, his win percentage was .535.

2013 - John Farrell (Sporting News)
Record: 97-65
Result: Won World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-2
Farrell, previously the Boston pitching coach under Terry Francona, returned in 2012 after two seasons managing Toronto to take over a Red Sox team in dire straits after the botched Bobby Valentine experiment. Boston responded under Farrell and went worst to first, winning their third World Series in nine years. In 2014, Boston went back to worst, winning just 71 games. In '15, they won just 78 games. He turned it around the next two years, winning 93 games each season. Eventually, he wore out his welcome, and Boston moved on to Alex Cora. He currently works as a scout for the Cincinnati Reds and an ESPN analyst. Farrell had a .517 win percentage in seven seasons as a manager. 

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Mookie Betts blasts desperately needed homer, but what really mattered was his reaction

Mookie Betts blasts desperately needed homer, but what really mattered was his reaction

The swing looked vintage. The fist pump around the bases felt like a dam bursting.

But for my money, the most encouraging aspect of Mookie Betts' go-ahead homer to center on Friday night was his ear-to-ear grin in the dugout.

Sounds corny, but we haven't seen much in the way of happiness from Betts this season. Mired in a slump that dates to the 2018 postseason, the defending MVP has spent April trying to find his way, with limited success.

On Friday night, however, he showed signs of life. Not coincidentally, so did the Red Sox, taking an embarrassingly important 6-4 victory from the division-leading Rays in the opener of a three-game series at Tropicana Field.

After grounding into a double play as the second batter of the game and seeing his average fall to .197, Betts found his groove. He doubled to left leading off the sixth and scored on a J.D. Martinez single. Then he unloaded on a 97-mph, dead-red fastball in the eighth of off Diego Castillo to break a 4-4 tie, slamming it 424 feet to center.

Betts pumped his fist once around second, once as he neared third, and once again as he turned towards home plate. He may not have exhibited the exuberance of, say, his joyous race around the bases after his marathon at-bat grand slam against J.A. Happ last year, but he at least looked more like himself in the dugout.

He ran the high-five gauntlet before breaking into a broad smile, which he repeated moments later at the bat rack.

That's the Betts the Red Sox want to see. That's the Betts the Red Sox need to see. The season hasn't started the way anyone wants, but it's not like it's over.

"When you look around in big league stadiums and there's a lot of -- look everywhere, there's the average," manager Alex Cora told reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. "Back in the day, you didn't have that. You only learned because of the newspaper. Now it's all over the place. Although you don't want to look, it's there for you. It's not cool when you're struggling.

"It's hard to smile when you're struggling. But he prepares, gives 100 percent regardless of the results. Sometimes, yeah, he gets down, because he knows what he can do. But just like the team, it's a long season. Still got plenty of games. Good to see him doing that."

Betts takes his struggles very seriously, which is why he termed his play unacceptable last week. The concept of a short memory doesn't always apply. He wears it when things aren't going well, and he'll work himself to exhaustion trying to make it right.

He needed to feel rewarded.

"He keeps working," Cora told reporters. "He was hitting .380 or .400 last year and kept working the same way. He tries to be the best out there. He showed up today and worked his swing and didn't start the right way, but the double, then he crushed that pitch. It's good to see him contribute."

Cora has insisted for the last week that a hitter as talented as Betts can turn things around with just one swing. Who knows? 
Maybe this was the one.

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Highlights from the Red Sox' 6-4 win over the Rays

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Highlights from the Red Sox' 6-4 win over the Rays

FINAL SCORE: Red Sox 6, Rays 4

IN BRIEF: Back-to-back home runs from Mookie Betts and Mitch Moreland in the eighth inning propelled the Red Sox over the Rays on Friday night.  BOX SCORE

RED SOX RECORD: 7-13

HIGHLIGHTS:

2nd inning
Brandon Lowe solo home run (TB 1-0)

3rd inning
Avisail Garcia RBI triple (TB 2-0)

5th inning
Rafael Devers RBI double (TB 2-1)

Christian Vazquez two-run home run (BOS 3-2)

6th inning
J.D. Martinez RBI single (BOS 4-2)

Daniel Robertson two-run double (4-4)

8th inning
Mookie Betts solo home run (BOS 5-4)

Mitch Moreland solo home run (BOS 6-4)

UP NEXT:
At Rays, Saturday, 6:10 p.m., NESN
At Rays, Sunday, 2:05 p.m., NESN
vs Tigers, Monday, 7:10 p.m., NESN

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