Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Andrew Friedman-Executive of the Year

Andrew Friedman of the Tampa Bay Rays is The Sporting News' choice as Executive of the Year for 2008.

The award was announced on Monday night during a dinner at the launch of the General Managers Meetings at St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort.

Friedman, executive vice president of baseball operations, made all the right moves for manager Joe Maddon as the Rays rose from last to first in the American League East, amazing insiders all year with their dynamic, consistent play. Their 97-65 record was the league's second best, behind the Angels' 100-62.

The Rays eliminated the White Sox in the AL Division Series, 3-1, and prevailed in seven memorable games against reigning champion Boston in the AL Championship Series before falling in five games to Philadelphia in the World Series.

Friedman kept the young nucleus of his talented roster essentially intact while pulling off a major offseason deal with Minnesota that brought shortstop Jason Bartlett and starter Matt Garza to solidify the defense and the rotation. A role was found for Willy Aybar, whose play during the absence of third baseman Evan Longoria was vital down the stretch.

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