Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has reportedly been named the 2011 Sporting News Manager of the Year, according to Marc Topkin. This marks the second time he has won the award, also winning it in 2008 when the Rays went 97-65, and won the American League Pennant.
Maddon, 57, helped manage the Rays into the playoffs this season after trailing the Boston Red Sox in the wild card standings by as many as nine games entering the final month of the season. The Rays, who finished with 90-or-more wins for the third time in the last four seasons, did so even after losing impact players such as Carl Crawford and Matt Garza from their 2010 squad.
The Rays went on to lose to the American League Champion Texas Rangers in the American League Divisional Series. Maddon is best known for being at the helm of the Rays as they have transformed from perennial losers into a contender in baseball’s most difficult division. Despite losing 197 games in his first two seasons in Tampa, the Rays have managed to go 368-215 since 2008.