Much like the Cubs and Rays Rookies of the Year, the two teams took the Manager of the Year honor in each respective league with very little question. The only realistic candidate in either league, other than winners Joe Maddon and Lou Pinella, was Charlie Manuel of the Phillies, but the award is a regular season award.
During the course of the regular season, Lou Pinella led his Cubbies to the most victories the franchise has had since 1945, securing the number one NL seed with ease for the postseason. Of course, the Cubs were swept (again) in the playoffs, but, as I said above, this is a regular season award. Manuel's case, though he's a very solid manager, wasn't near as strong. I'm sure he's really worried about not winning, considering the ring and trophy he earned in the playoffs.
In the AL, the drastic turnaround by the Rays -- especially after losing Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford for the stretch run -- made the choice the easiest on the entire ballot, including the ROY selections. The Rays had never won more than 70 games, and had only avoided last place once -- when they won 70 games and finished fourth in the AL East a few years ago. All they did this season was win 97 games. It was a no-brainer.
The AL Cy Young Award winner will be announced tomorrow.
Tampa Bay Connection: Lou Pinella and Joe Maddon Named Managers of the Year originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Wed, 12 Nov 2008 14:25:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.