Jeff Banister and Joe Maddon have won Manager of the Year honors by the Baseball Writers Association of America for the American and National League respectively.
Banister led the Texas Rangers to the American League West division title with an 88–74 record in his first season as manager. Bannister won with 17 first-place votes. Minnesota Twins skipper Paul Molitor and Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch were the other two finalists for the American League.
Banister is the fifth manager to win the award in his rookie season at the helm. He is also the third Rangers manager to win the award after Johnny Oates (who split the honor with New York Yankees manager Joe Torre in 1996) and 2004 winner Buck Showalter.
Maddon was also in his first season as the Cubs manager and led the team to its first postseason appearance since 2008. The Cubs finished with 97 wins, which is the most in franchise history since 1945, and earned the National League’s second wild-card spot.
Maddon received 18 first-place votes to win with 124 points. Mike Matheny of the Cardinals and Terry Collins of the Mets finished behind Maddon in the voting.
Maddon previously won the award in 2008 and ’11 with the Tampa Bay Rays. His third award ties Showalter, Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella with three Manager of the Year honors.
Maddon is the first Cubs manager to win the award since Piniella in 2008. Jim Frey (1984) and Don Zimmer (’89) are the only others to win the award for Chicago.
– Christopher Chavez