Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Managers of the Year: Joe Maddon and Lou Piniella

The ballots are in and the winners of both leagues have been named.
Joe Maddon and the man he succeeded as Tampa Bay manager, Lou Piniella, were named Managers of the Year in the American League and National League, respectively, by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, announced Wednesday afternoon.

Both were recognized for leading their teams to 2008 glory, with Maddon's Rays reaching a destination that remained out of the reach of Piniella's Cubs for a 63rd straight year -- the World Series.

Maddon's selection had been long anticipated, ever since he put the Tampa Bay Rays on track for their first playoff appearance following a 10-year existence of losing.

The honor is the first for the 54-year-old Maddon, who assumed his first managerial job when he was hired by Tampa Bay in November 2005, taking over after Piniella had guided his hometown team to 200 wins in three seasons.

And, typical of the blithe spirit that is often associated with the manager, Wednesday's announcement caught Maddon on a European honeymoon with his bride of a few days, Jaye.

Piniella, a two-time winner of AL honors in 1995 and 2001 with the Seattle Mariners, prevailed in a more competitive NL race after guiding the Cubs to the Central Division title with a 97-64 record.

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