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Mattingly runner-up in NL Manager of Year vote

Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly came up short in voting for the National League's Manager of the Year Award, finishing second to Pittsburgh's Clint Hurdle on Tuesday.

Mattingly received two first-place votes to Hurdle's 25, while Atlanta's Fredi Gonzalez finished third. The award was unveiled in an hour-long special on MLB Network.

Safe to say neither Hurdle nor Gonzalez endured a 2013 season quite as trying as Mattingly's. Reportedly on the brink of being fired in late June, Mattingly led a historic turnaround that saw the Dodgers go 42-8 over a 50-game stretch en route to winning the NL West.

According to Elias, the 2013 Dodgers were the first club since the 1914 Boston Braves to win their division by at least 10 games after trailing it by more than 9 1/2.

In an interview with MLB Network during the special, Mattingly indicated that long-term contract talks between he and the Dodgers have continued this offseason, but added, "there is no real hurry or rush."

"I love where I'm at," said Mattingly, whose option for the 2014 season vested when the Dodgers advanced to the NLCS. "I'm proud to be representing the Dodgers and managing their club. We're in talks right now. Things are going good. No real hurry or rush for me at this point -- I don't think for the Dodgers either. So things are good, just working, moving forward, hoping to put something together more for the long term."

During the 2013 season, Mattingly helped the Dodgers overcome 25 disabled list placements, including injuries to Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez, Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett.

But in the end, it was Hurdle taking home the hardware, a decision likely sparked by the Pirates' turnaround. Hurdle led the club to its first season above .500 in 21 years -- and they made the playoffs and won the NL Wild Card Game, too.

Like Hurdle, Mattingly's season ended at the hands of the Cardinals. Still, Mattingly was the only one of the three finalists to make it past the Division Series round. Balloting for the award was conducted before the postseason.

With awards week now halfway done, NL Cy Young Award hopeful Clayton Kershaw is the lone remaining Dodgers player with a chance to take home some hardware. He's among three candidates for the award, which will be unveiled on Wednesday at 3 p.m. PT on MLB Network.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.
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