Tuesday’s roundup: Francona wins AL manager of year
New York — Dave Roberts of the Dodgers was named the National League manager of the year award and Terry Francona of the Indians won the American League honor.
Roberts won in his first year as a manager. A former backup outfielder, his highlight as a player was a key stolen base in the 2004 playoffs for a Boston team guided by Francona.
Members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voted at the end of the regular season.
The awards were announced Tuesday on MLB Network.
Roberts beat out Joe Maddon, who led the Cubs to the World Series title, and National manager Dusty Baker.
Roberts led Los Angeles to the NL West title despite the Dodgers putting 28 players on the disabled list, more than any team in the last 30 years.
Francona guided a club beset by injuries and drug suspensions to a surprising first-place finish. The Indians had a 3-1 lead in the World Series before the Cubs rallied.
Texas’ Jeff Banister was second and Baltimore’s Buck Showalter was third.
Free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who last played for the Mets, and White Sox star Jose Abreu are among the major league players on a U.S. witness list for an upcoming Cuban ballplayer smuggling trial.
Documents filed Monday in Miami federal court also list former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and several MLB executives as possible witnesses in the trial of South Florida sport agents Bartolo Hernandez and associate Julio Estrada.
A trial is set for Jan. 3 for Hernandez and Estrada on charges of conspiracy and bringing immigrants into the U.S. illegally. Both men have pleaded not guilty.
The players are not accused of wrongdoing.
A grand jury indictment says Cuban baseball players paid the smuggling ring more than $15 million to leave the communist-run island in secretive ventures that included surreptitious boat voyages.
The Mets replaced third base coach Tim Teufel and will reassign him to a different position in the organization.
Teufel, a member of the Mets 1986 World Series championship team, had been the third base coach since 2012 and also was New York’s catching instructor.
The Mets are replacing Teufel with Glenn Sherlock, who just ended a 21-season stint with Arizona. Sherlock had been with the Diamondbacks organization since its start, working in the minor leagues in 1996 and 1997 before joining the major league coaching staff for Arizona’s inaugural 1998 season. He was third base coach in 2004 and 2014, and also served as a bench coach, bullpen coach and catching coach.
... Alex Cora has been hired as bench coach for the Astros.
Cora, who had a 14-year career in the majors, takes the place of Trey Hillman, who recently left to manage in South Korea.
Cora, 41, began his career with the Dodgers, and also played for the Indians, Red Sox, Mets, Rangers and Nationals. He was a career .243 hitter with 35 homers and 286 RBIs.
Cora has worked as a television analyst since 2013 and is the general manager for the Criollos de Caguas in the Puerto Rican winter league. He also is the general manager for Puerto Rico’s team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Around the horn
Pope Francis now has a blue Cubs hat to go with his traditional white skull cap.
Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich presented Francis with the hat and what looks like a signed baseball at the Vatican, nearly two weeks after the Cubs won their first World Series since 1908.
As selected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America: (Tabulated on a 5-3-1 basis)
Terry Francona, Indians: 128 points, 20 first place votes
Jeff Banister, Rangers: 64 points, four first-place votes
Buck Showalter, Orioles: 44 points, two first-place votes
John Farrell, Red Sox: 28 points, two first-place votes
Joe Girardi, Yankees: Five points
Scott Servais, Mariners: One point
Dave Roberts, Dodgers: 108 points, 16 first place
Joe Maddon, Cubs: 70 votes, eight first-place votes
Dusty Baker, Nationals: 66 votes, four first-place votes
Terry Collins, Mets: 24 votes, two first-place votes
Don Mattingly, Marlins: Two votes