Piniella Named 2008 NL Manager of the Year … Really?

Veteran rewarded for guiding Cubs to best record in NL

NUEVA TUCSON ACCIDENTE LUNES

Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella was today named the National League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America.  Piniella received 15 first-place votes, eight second place votes and four third place votes for a total of 107 points.  Philadelphia’s Charlie Manuel placed second with 67 points.

Piniella is only the third skipper in franchise history to earn Manager of the Year honors, the first since Don Zimmer in 1989.  Jim Frey also won the award in 1984.  Piniella has earned three Manager of the Year awards in his 21 seasons as a big league manager, previously winning American League Manager of the Year honors in 1995 and 2001 with the Seattle Mariners.
 
Additionally, Piniella is one of only five managers to win this award at least three times, joining Tony LaRussa (four times), Bobby Cox (four), Dusty Baker (three) and Jim Leyland (three).  Piniella is now the fourth manager to win the award in both leagues, joining LaRussa, Cox and Leyland.

In 2008, Piniella guided the Cubs to a National League best 97 victories.  Chicago was either tied or had sole possession of first place in the National League Central for 151 of 181 days, including May 11 through the end of the season.  He joined Dick Williams as the only managers to win 90 games with four different clubs, as Piniella previously reached 90 wins with the Yankees, Reds and Mariners.

The Cubs have gone 182-141 under Piniella’s guidance, a .563 winning percentage, and the 182 wins are the most in back-to-back seasons by the Cubs since 1935-36, when the club combined to win 187 contests. 

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