SportsNation Blog Archives Cleveland Indians
Francona, Hurdle are top managers
Clint Hurdle won the National League Manager of the Year award Tuesday, and it should be no surprise; his Pittsburgh Pirates shocked baseball by shaking off a 20-year futility streak to win 94 games. The American League recipient -- the Cleveland Indians' Terry Francona -- was a bit surprising, as second-place finisher John Farrell was also a popular candidate. In the end, though, it a 24-victory improvement that helped Francona edge out the Boston Red Sox skipper. Did voters get these awards right?
pollcenter:category=4652+francona,hurdlearetopmanagersAP Photo/Tony Dejak
How will MLB playoffs play out?
The division series are set, with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays earning best-of-five shots at the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox, respectively. Meanwhile, we'll see two meetings between division winners -- Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A's vs. Detroit Tigers. How will it all play out?
AL wild-card race down to the wire
Two wins separate the three teams in the American League wild-card race, and nothing is out of the question -- including a three-way tie for two playoff spots. The Rays seem to have the advantage, with a one-game lead over the Indians and a six-game win streak. But the Indians also have won six straight and finish with four games at the woeful Twins. As for the Rangers? They're one game behind the Indians but temporarily halted their monthlong plunge -- three games against the Astros will do that -- and stayed alive. Will they win out at home and keep the pressure on Tampa Bay and Cleveland?
Baseball races reach the stretch run
With three weeks in the regular season, Major League Baseball's playoff picture is coming into focus, though some big questions remain. The Cardinals, Pirates and Reds are in a tight race for the National League Central, while Oakland or Texas are battling it out for the American League West title. But the most drama is in the race for the second AL wild card, where five teams are vying for one playoff berth. Do the Indians, Orioles, Yankees or Royals have enough left in the tank to challenge the Rays?