Rays Skipper Joe Maddon wins Manager of the Year again

Joe Maddon, who guided Tampa Bay from a nine-game deficit in the wild-card standings on Sept. 3 to the Rays’ third playoff appearance in four seasons, was named the American League Manager of the Year for the second time in his career.

Maddon, 57, was listed first on 26 of the 28 ballots, cast by two writers in each league city, and second on one to score 133 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. He also won the award in 2008.

The other first-place votes went to the Detroit Tigers’ Jim Leyland, who finished second with 54 points, and the Texas Rangers’ Ron Washington, who was third with 31 points. Leyland, who won the award in 2006 and twice was the National League winner with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1990 and 1992, led the Tigers to the AL Central title. Washington directed the AL West winning Rangers to the World Series for the second consecutive season. Voting takes place prior to the start of postseason play.

The Rays began the 2011 season with six losses and eight in their first nine games but finished with a 91-61 record, second in the AL East to the New York Yankees. The nine-game gap in the wild-card race against the Boston Red Sox was the largest in September overcome by a team to qualify for a postseason berth. Tampa Bay won its last five games of the season, including coming back in the final game from a 7-0, eighth-inning deficit to beat the Yankees, 8-7, in 12 innings.

Maddon, who has a 495-477 record in six seasons with the Rays, became the seventh multi-winner of the AL award. Tony La Russa won three times in the AL and once in the NL. Other two-time winners in the AL were Sparky Anderson, Joe Torre, Lou Piniella, Buck Showalter and Mike Scioscia.

The voting:

2011 AL Manager of the Year

Manager, Team1st2nd3rdPoints
Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays261133
Jim Leyland, Detroit Tigers1131054
Ron Washington, Texas Rangers17531
Manny Acta, Cleveland Indians3716
Joe Girardi, New York Yankees3514
Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim114