Alex Cora. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Major League Baseball's Manager of the Year award will be given out tonight, and Red Sox skipper Alex Cora's a finalist, along with the Rays' Kevin Cash and Athletics overachiever Bob Melvin.
It's expected to be a close vote, and Cora inadvertently acknowledged a big reason why shortly after Boston finished off a team record 119-win, championship season.
"It wasn't as easy as people think," Cora said. "I mean, it starts with ownership, everybody knows, they talk about it--we had the highest payroll in baseball. That's a challenge with the way they see us, you know, the media and the fans. We had to win, because there's a lot of money involved."
And the Sox did win. More than anyone else. But, with a $228 million payroll. Granted, Cora was a first-time manager.
But, Melvin's A's shocked baseball, going from 75 wins to 97, with an $80 million payroll. Cash's 90-win Rays? $69 million, and in a division with two 100-win clubs.
Only one of the last 21 managers with a 100-win season won Manager of the Year, but Cora's group was a nearly wire-to-wire favorite. Always dominant, never a real struggle.
The Sox haven't received this award since Jimy Williams in 1999.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports