Baseball: Maddon, Piniella win awards
NEW YORK ó Joe Maddon had a good reason for interrupting his honeymoon.
About an hour after he landed in Rome, the newly married Maddon easily won the American League Manager of the Year award Wednesday for guiding Tampa Bay from baseball’s basement to the World Series in one astonishing season.
Lou Piniella took the NL honor after leading the Chicago Cubs to the league’s best record.
Maddon, who succeeded Piniella as Tampa Bay manager in 2006, was a runaway winner in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He received all but one of the 28 first-place votes ó the other went to Minnesota’s Ron Gardenhire.
It was a nice wedding gift for Maddon and his wife, Jaye, who got married last weekend. But it meant that one of the first things he did in Italy was get on the phone for a conference call with reporters.
“Jaye is very understanding of the whole situation. We knew this was a possibility,” Maddon said. “Truly a remarkable season in so many different ways.”
Next stop: the Vatican on Thursday. Then the Sistine Chapel, followed by trips to Florence, Prague and London.
“I really don’t think they care about the World Series over here,” Maddon said. “It’s kind of fun being a tour guide.”
Piniella beat out Charlie Manuel of the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies to earn his third Manager of the Year award and first in the NL. The fiery skipper also won in 1995 and 2001 with Seattle.