Friedman, Longoria and Maddon earn annual awards
The awards keep on piling in for the Rays. And the best may be yet to come.
Executive VP Andrew Friedman was honored as The Sporting News choice for Executive of the Year on Monday night at the GM meetings in Dana Point, Calif.
Friedman received the award for his role in helping to orchestrate the Rays' remarkable turnaround from worst to the World Series, where they lost in five games to the Phillies. Friedman and the Rays built through strong drafts, including first round picks Evan Longoria and David Price, but also benefited from a bold off-season trade last year that brought SS Jason Bartlett and RHP Matt Garza from the Twins for OF Delmon Young.
Bartlett became the anchor of a much-improved defense, and was tabbed as team MVP by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Garza went on to become the MVP of the ALCS against Boston.
Friedman also made some under-the-radar-pickups that came through, trading for OF Gabe Gross and INF Willy Aybar, each of whom played significant roles at times this season.
The Baseball Prospectus Internet Baseball Awards were also announced Tuesday, with Rays manager Joe Maddon tabbed as AL Manager of the Year and 3B Evan Longoria named AL Rookie of the Year.
Each year, the Internet Baseball Awards on baseballprospectus.com allows fans to vote on the postseason awards; thousands voted this year.
Coming next week, Longoria and Maddon are strong candidates to claim two of baseball's top awards, with the AL Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year set to be announced.
-- JOE SMITH