Categorized | Chicago Cubs

Pinella Named National League Manager of Year

Posted on 18 November 2008 by Lou

While I was away in San Diego, the Cubs received many awards for their performance in 2008. I already wrote about Soto’s Rookie of the Year Win and Zambrano’s Silver Slugger Trophy, and next up is Lou Pinella’s Manager of the Year Achievement. The Baseball Writers Association of America voted Pinella the Manager of the Year for coaching the Chicago Cubs to the best record in the National League during the 2008 MLB season. At 65 years of age, Pinella has won the Manager of the Year Award 3 times now. This was his first National League Manager of the Year Award – he won the award as the Manager of the Seattle Mariners in the American League in both 1995 and 2001. Pinella received 15 first-place votes and finished with 103 points. Second place finisher Charlie Manuel, the Manager of the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies, received 8 first-place votes and finished with 67 points. Pinella is the 4th Manager to win the award in both leagues of MLB – Tony LaRussa (A’s and Cardinals), Bobby Cox (Blue Jays and Braves) and Jim Leyland (Pirates and Tigers) have also achieved that feat. Pinella joins 4 other managers who have won the award at least 3 times – La Russa, Cox, Leyland and former Cubs Manager Dusty Baker (who won it all 3 times with the San Francisco Giants).

Pinella led the Cubs to a 97-64 record. The 97 wins was the most wins recorded by the Cubs since the 1945 season when the Cubs won 98 games and lost in the World Series – the last time the Cubs advanced that far in post-season play. The Cubs won the NL Central Division title for the 2nd consecutive season and reached a season high 35 games over .500 on August 29, 2008 – the 1st time to do so since that same 1945 season. Pinella becomes the 1st manager to take the Cubs to back-to-back post-season appearances in 100 years – Manager Frank Chance managed the Cubs in 3 consecutive World Series in 1906, 1907 and 1908.

On the down side, the Cubs were swept out of the playoffs in the divisional series for the 2nd consecutive year. Mediocre pitching and atrocious hitting were the demise of the Cubs in each series. Although Pinella, Cubs players and Cubs fans are obviously disappointed with the early post-season departures in each of the last 2 seasons, the team continues to head in the right direction. You can’t win a World Series unless you make it to the post-season, and come 2009, the Cubs will surely be considered a favorite to win the NL Central Division and head to a 3rd consecutive playoff appearance. Will it actually happen in October? I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

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