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Maddon named Sporting News AL manager of the year

Posted Oct 24, 2011 by Roger Mooney

Updated Oct 24, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Joe Maddon and the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Kirk Gibson have been voted Sporting News’ 2011 American League and National League managers of the year.

The Rays started the season with six consecutive losses and were nine games back in the wild-card race on Sept. 2. But Maddon led them to win 17 of the final 25 games, including their final five, finish 91-71 and leapfrog the Red Sox into the playoffs.

“We are the best 0-6 team in the history of Major League Baseball,” Maddon said after his team was eliminated in the ALDS. “It was a huge success this year, and anybody that wants to argue otherwise, please come by. I’d be happy to engage in that discussion.”

After losing 97 games in 2010, Arizona took on the attitude of its manager and won the NL West with a 94-68 record, grabbing the division’s top spot on Aug. 10 and never relinquishing it. Although he is reluctant to acknowledge it, the hard-nosed Gibson is a major reason for that success.

“I’d prefer things that focus on our team,” Gibson said during a September series in Los Angeles. “Our goals are on our team, and I could give two (expletives) about whether I’m manager of the year. Honestly.”

Voting was done by 23 major league managers. Twelve AL managers voted for the AL manager of the year; 11 NL managers chose the NL manager of the year.

This week’s TSN awards schedule:

Tuesday: Sporting News’ AL and NL comeback players of the year

Wednesday: Sporting News’ AL and NL rookies of the year

Thursday: Sporting News’ AL and NL All-Star teams

Friday: Sporting News’ player of the year

About Sporting News’ awards: Voting for Sporting News’ 2011 baseball awards was done by major league players, managers and front office executives. Ballots were distributed to all 30 teams, and 289 players, 55 executives and 23 managers participated in the voting. Players voted for player of the year, comeback players of the year and rookies of the year; managers voted for managers of the year; and executives voted for the All-Star teams.

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