It remains to be seen whether the Baseball Writers Association of America will bestow its Manager of the Year award on Cubs manager Joe Maddon, but in a fairly close vote, the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America has given Maddon that honor for the second straight year.
Maddon received 85 first-place votes (48.57%) and 585 points while being named on 157 of 175 ballots (88.70%). Others receiving first-place votes include Dave Roberts (66), Dusty Baker (10) and Terry Collins (10). The final point totals for the first three finishers: Maddon 585, Roberts 484, Baker 264.
Francona received 102 first-place votes (58.62%) and 683 points while being named on 167 of 174 ballots (94.35%). Others receiving first-place votes include Jeff Banister (27), Buck Showalter (12), John Farrell (9) and Joe Girardi (5). The final point totals for the first three finishers: Francona 683, Banister 390, Showalter 193.
Personally, I thought Maddon deserved the award because he did exactly what he asked his players to do: “Embrace the target.” After the Cubs’ excellent 2015 season, they went into 2016 as favorites, and did exactly that, posting the best record in baseball and most wins for the franchise since 1910. (Voting was done before the postseason.)
Maddon used unusual tactics such as putting pitchers in the outfield to help his team win, and also was able to get several players to play well at multiple positions (Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist in particular). This doesn’t even come close to scratching the surface of the leadership Maddon brought to the North Side of Chicago.
Congratulations to Maddon and Francona. The BBWAA winners will be revealed in a live show on MLB Network at 5 p.m. CT.
NL: Maddon, Roberts, Don Mattingly
AL: Girardi, Francona, Scott Servais
I voted for Girardi because I thought he did a terrific job in keeping a team that really had no business as a playoff contender in the hunt until the season’s final days.