Joe Maddon received 18 first-place votes and was named National League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA. Maddon becomes the fourth manager in Cubs’ history to win the NL Manager of the Year Award. Maddon was the only finalist to appear on all 30 ballots and received 124 points, topping Mike Matheny of the Cardinals (87) and the Mets’ Terry Collins (49).
The Rangers’ Jeff Banister took home the American League Manager of the Year Award.
Joe Maddon was the right man for the Cubs and led his team to a 97-65 record in his first year with the organization. Maddon joins Jim Frey (1984), Don Zimmer (1989) and Lou Piniella (2008) as the fourth winner of the NL Manager of the Year Award. And it has to mean a lot to Maddon that he joins Don Zimmer as one of only four Managers of the Year in Cubs’ history. Maddon was incredibly close with ‘Popeye.’
Maddon is a three-time Manager of the Year Award winner. Maddon won the award in 2008 and 2011 with the Rays and joins Tony LaRussa (4), Dusty Baker (3), Jim Leyland (3), Buck Showalter (3) and Bobby Cox (4) as the only managers to win the award three or more times.
Joe Maddon is the sixth skipper in history to win the Manager of the Year Award in both leagues (Tony LaRussa, Bobby Cox, Jim Leyland, Lou Piniella and Bob Melvin).
The Cubs were 97-65 in the regular season, 32 games over .500 and won four more games in the post-season, 101 wins for a team most figured would do well to win 81 games. The Cubs improved by 24 victories from 2014, the biggest turnaround in baseball. And the 97 wins is the most for a Cubs’ manager in his first year with the team.
Joe Maddon joined Charlie Grimm (1932), Gabby Harnett (1938), Jim Frey (1984), Dusty Baker (2003) and Lou Piniella (2007) as the only managers in franchise history to lead his team to the post-season in the first year at the helm of the Cubs.
Under Joe Maddon, the Cubs went from a 73-win team in 2014 that appeared to have a bright future to a 97-win team and a trip to the National League Championship Series. Maddon continued the change in the clubhouse that began a year ago. Maddon led a team that in the second half that featured three rookies, and four when Jorge Soler was not on the DL, in his everyday lineup to a 50-25 record over the last 75 games of the season.
Maddon had his team ready to compete out of Spring Training. The Cubs put together a winning record in April (12-8) for the first time in seven years and went on to a 47-40 record before the break.
Most wrote the Cubs off at the end of July after the Phillies completed a three-game sweep at Wrigley. Maddon kept his team focused and loose. The Cubs ignored the outside noise and took off in August … starting with a trip to Miller Park in which the Cubs swept a four-game series.
The Cubs went 19-9 in August and September, won all four in October and almost caught up with the Pirates and Cardinals in the NL Central. The Cubs came up just short and finished a game behind Pittsburgh (98-64) and three behind St. Louis (100-62) for the third best record in the division and in baseball.
Joe Maddon pushed all the right buttons during the 2015 season. Maddon dealt with a struggling bullpen early in the season and a starting staff held together by Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester in the second half. Maddon made Addison Russell his everyday shortstop and moved Starlin Castro seamlessly to second base. Russell made the infield defense significantly better and Castro excelled at the plate after the position change.
Joe Maddon did not let the pressure exceed the pleasure and appeared to thrive in the spotlight. The Cubs have set the bar extremely high and it will be up to Maddon to navigate his team through what will be a very difficult 2016 campaign. For as good as Maddon was this past season, he will have to be better moving forward in order for the Cubs to win the last game of the year.