Maddon, Banister are top managers
NEW YORK — Joe Maddon won his third Manager of the Year award Tuesday and Jeff Banister his first after each guided his team on a surprising run to the playoffs.
In his initial season with the Cubs, Maddon took the National League prize for the first time following Chicago's first trip to the postseason since 2008. He also won with Tampa Bay in 2008 and 2011.
Maddon received 18 first-place votes and 124 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He became the seventh manager to win the award three times and the seventh to earn it in both leagues.
"To be the steward of this wonderful group of young players, I feel very fortunate," Maddon said on MLB Network.
Banister got 17 first-place votes and 112 points. He joined Houston's Hal Lanier (1986), San Francisco's Dusty Baker (1993), Florida's Joe Girardi (2006) and Washington's Matt Williams (2014) as the only men to win in their first season as a major league manager.
"I'm truly honored," the 51-year-old Banister said. "I get to accept the award for an entire organization."
Texas won 88 games this season — 21 more than last year — in capturing the AL West title despite several significant injuries, including losing ace Yu Darvish for the entire season to elbow surgery.
Houston's A.J. Hinch finished second with eight first-place votes and 82 points. Minnesota's Paul Molitor, another first-year manager, got two first-place votes and 33 points.
Maddon left Tampa Bay last winter and took over a Cubs team that was coming off five straight losing seasons and hadn't won a playoff game since 2003.
With his colorful, fun-loving manner, the 61-year-old Maddon led a young club to the third-best record in the majors at 97-65, good for third in the competitive NL Central behind St. Louis and second-place Pittsburgh.
Chicago beat the Pirates in the wild-card game and then the Cardinals in the Division Series before getting swept by the New York Mets in the NLCS.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny came in second with nine first-place votes and 87 points. Mets skipper Terry Collins was listed atop three ballots and had 49 points.
Awards week is shaping up as a big one for the revitalized Cubs. Third baseman Kris Bryant was chosen NL Rookie of the Year on Monday, and ace pitcher Jake Arrieta is one of three finalists for the Cy Young Award today.