Lou Piniella wins NL Manager of the Year

Lou Piniella, who led the Chicago Cubs to their second consecutive National League Central title and the best record in the league, was named NL Manager of the Year in balloting by the BBWAA. It was the third Manager of the Year Award for Piniella, who won twice in the American League with the Seattle Mariners in 1995 and 2001.

Piniella, 65, was listed first on 15 of 32 ballots cast by two writers in each league city, second on eight and third on four to score 103 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. Charlie Manuel of the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies finished second for the second year in a row with 67 points, based on eight first-place votes, six seconds and nine thirds.

The Florida Marlins’ Fredi Gonzalez received five first-place votes and finished third overall with 48 points. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joe Torre, a two-time winner in the AL with the New York Yankees, got three first-place votes and ranked fourth with 45 points. The other first-place vote went to the St. Louis Cardinals’ Tony La Russa. In all, eight managers gained mention but none on every ballot.

La Russa and Bobby Cox share the record for most Manager of the Year Awards with four apiece. Piniella is now tied with Dusty Baker and Jim Leyland with three each and is the fourth manager to win the award in both leagues, as have La Russa, Cox and Leyland. In addition to their NL victories, La Russa won in the AL with the Chicago White Sox in 1983 and with the Oakland Athletics in 1988 and 1992, Cox with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1985 and Leyland with the Detroit Tigers in 2006.

The Cubs’ 97-64 record in 2008 improved Piniella’s record in his two seasons in Chicago to 182-141, but they failed to get past the first round of the playoffs either year. Voting is conducted prior to post-season play. Piniella is the third Cubs manager honored, joining Jim Frey (1984) and Don Zimmer (1989).

2008 NL Manager of the Year

Lou PiniellaChicago Cubs1584103
Charlie ManuelPhiladelphia Phillies86967
Fredi GonzalezFlorida Marlins56548
Joe TorreLos Angeles Dodgers38645
Tony La RussaSt. Louis Cardinals11311
Jerry ManuelNew York Mets3110
Cecil CooperHouston Astros33
Dale SveumMilwaukee Brewers11