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Red Sox GM Ben Cherington voted Sporting News Executive of the Year

Nov 11, 2013, 11:30 PM EDT

Ben Cherington Getty Getty Images

After being the architect of a team which went from worst to first in the American League East and scored an eventual World Series victory over the Cardinals, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has been voted as the Sporting News Executive of the Year.

The award was voted on by a panel of 31 MLB executives prior to the postseason. Cherington was presented with the award tonight at the GM Meetings in Orlando, Florida.

“I’ve always felt this award is about the organization, not the GM,” Cherington told Sporting News. “I understand the GM is receiving it, and I’m happy to receive it, but I’m proud of the organization. This is for everyone who works for us and went through a tough time in 2012, and committed to making things better, getting things right. I’m not sure it was necessarily a World Series outcome we had in mind, but we were fortunate that the people in our clubhouse accomplished great things. It was fun to be a part of.”

Pirates general manager Neal Huntington finished second and had a very strong case for the award, but MLB executives were understandably impressed by Boston’s rapid turnaround. The makeover really began last August when Cherington unloaded the contracts of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett to the Dodgers, which gave him the flexibility to sign Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Koji Uehara, Stephen Drew, Jonny Gomes, Ryan Dempster, and David Ross over the winter. The signings all paid dividends while players who were injured or underperformed in 2012 bounced back. He also acquired Jake Peavy in a midseason deal to fortify the rotation. While Cherington was recognized by his peers for his success this evening, Red Sox manager John Farrell is the odds-on favorite to be named the American League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA tomorrow night.

  1. raysfan1 - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Zero surprise. Congrats to Mr Cheringron.

    • j0esixpack - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:54 PM

      I’m somewhat shocked that Magic Johnson didn’t get more votes from the New England Region.

      We can’t thank that man enough for taking a quarter of a BILLION dollars of salary off of Boston’s books and making all of this possible!

  2. dcarroll73 - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    While I applaud Farrell’s job with the Sox (as I would for anyone but the last bum) I cannot understand how Girardi could not be nominated for this award. The guy managed a team with just about its entire group of starters on the DL for most of the year in an environment that expects nothing less than a pennant and preferably a WS victory. He managed to take that club to 6.5 games short of a wildcard spot, and that doesn’t even merit a nomination for Manager of the Year?

    • raysfan1 - Nov 12, 2013 at 12:11 AM

      Uh, this wasn’t the manager of the year award. So Girardi winning it would have been kind of strange.

      • dcarroll73 - Nov 12, 2013 at 7:35 AM

        I guess your reading comprehension skills or attention span aren’t up to this. The last sentence of the post is:
        “While Cherington was recognized by his peers for his success this evening, Red Sox manager John Farrell is the odds-on favorite to be named the American League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA tomorrow night.”
        So yes, it does mention Manager of the Year, Mr. Popoff. My comment did not state that I thought Girardi should have won but that he should have been nominated for MoY for the amazing job of keeping a totally bashed up team in contention for the wildcard almost to the end.

      • paperlions - Nov 12, 2013 at 8:04 AM

        No, it is your reading and writing that is lacking. You said “this award”, and within the context of the post, “this award” is for FO personnel. The last sentence was simply tying together the fact that Farrell is the favorite to win the AL MOY. No one is “nominated” for either award, they are simply voted on…no nominations necessary…..and both awards are 100% results based, win unexpectedly and you will do well in the voting. If your team is good/great every year, it is really hard to win MOY or EOY.

      • raysfan1 - Nov 12, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        Ditto everything paperlions wrote.

        Also, wait until the actual manager of they year award announcement before being dismayed by the amount of love Girardi did or didn’t receive. Right now all we know is the three finalists, and all three managed teams that outperformed expectations. Girardi did do an excellent job keeping the Yankees competitive throughout the year despite the many well chronicle obstacles they faced, so I think he deserves some love and hope some voters did show him some. However, the Yankees were picked by some in the preseason to finish third in the AL East and that is what they did–a lot of voters think no more deeply than that in order to not vote for someone.

    • rollinghighwayblues - Nov 12, 2013 at 12:12 AM

      Not to be callous, but get to the playoffs of the 2013 season then we’ll talk. In my opinion, there are no moral victories.

    • quintjs - Nov 12, 2013 at 1:07 AM

      Also there can only be so many nominations and Farrell, Francona and Melvin did execellent jobs too.

      Girardi did a good job this year, but instead of just saying he deserved a nomination I would be interested to hear who of the three above you think didn’t deserve one.

    • rje49 - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      As long as you’re using that argument, how about the 2010 Red Sox? They had so many injuries it was like watching their Triple A team play for most of the year. They finished 6.0 games behind, for the wild-card. So by your logic, Terry Francona should have got strong consideration for manager of the year. And of course, he didn’t win.

    • j0esixpack - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:46 PM

      You can’t be serious.

      It doesn’t get much better than “worst to first”

  3. stevequinn - Nov 12, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    I can live with Cherington winning the award after the Red Sox going worst to first. But I don’t understand why John Mozeliak of the Cardinals wasn’t even mentioned. In the long run, Mozeliak is the best GM in baseball.

    • quintjs - Nov 12, 2013 at 1:27 AM

      steve – That’s quite a interesting point. Mozeliak has done a great job putting that team together, but he didn’t get a mention because he didn’t really do anything this year because all those great young arms were drafted before this year. He didn’t get a mention then either because they were just ‘prospects’ until this year.. so the guy who does the best job at building a team the way everyone says they want to build a team, doesn’t come close to getting any credit from the other executives for actually doing it.

      • paperlions - Nov 12, 2013 at 8:10 AM

        No team that is successful in a given year is successful only or even mostly because of decisions made that year. All teams are what they are because of YEARS of drafting, development, contract extensions and FA decisions (who to and not to sign).

        This award, like the MOY awards, are mostly a “which team did way better than people expected them to in ST” award.

      • stex52 - Nov 12, 2013 at 8:35 AM

        Bingo. I can name several GM’s who did very well this year. But the Sox exceeded expectations the most. Ergo, Cherington gets it.

  4. pastabelly - Nov 12, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    Cherington put together a team with the most depth that was able to wear down other teams and expose weaknesses. It was a well thought out strategy in dumping $260M in contracts on the Dodgers that paid off, especially in the post season. He also made a solid manager choice and continues to build a strong minor league and player development system. Huntington probably wins this any other year.

  5. dcrudy - Nov 12, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    Sporting News Janitor of the year : Ben Cherrington, for cleaning up Theo’s mess

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