‘Sweet’ Lou Piniella was named the National League Manager of the Year on Wednesday by the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America)after leading the Cubs to a league best 97 wins and to their second consecutive division championship. The 97 wins were the most in a single season for the organization since 1945.
Updated – 4:46pm C.T. with Additional Information and Piniella’s Entire Staff Retained for 2009
Don Zimmer was the last Cubs’ skipper to win the award in 1989….’The Boys of Zimmer‘
Lou Piniella joined Zimmer and Jim Frey (1984) as the third Cubs’ manager to win the award. Piniella received 15 first place votes and 103 totals points to beat out Charlie Manuel of the Phillies for the honor. Manuel received 67 points and finished ahead of Fredi Gonzalez (Marlins), Joe Torre (Dodgers) and Tony LaRussa (Cardinals).
Lou Piniella also became the fifth manager to win the award for at least the third time….Tony LaRussa (4), Bobby Cox (4), Dusty Baker (3) and Jim Leyland (3). Piniella joined LaRussa, Cox and Leyland as the only mangers to win in both leagues.
Lou Piniella received a $100,000 bonus for receiving the award and donated his extra earnings to Cubs Care.
Joe Madden of the Tampa Bay Rays won the AL Manager of the Year Award.
Piniella’s Coaching Staff Retained
According to several reports, Lou Piniella’s coaching staff will return in 2009. Larry Rothschild will return for an eighth season on the North Side while Alan Trammell, Matt Sinatro, Mike Quade and Lester Strode will be back for the third consecutive year. Ivan DeJesus was also retained and will serve as a Special Assistant to Lou Piniella once again.