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Joe Maddon wins AL Manager of the Year; Washington places third

The Year of the Maddon, man
The Year of the Maddon, man

Kirk Gibson, who gritted his scrappy Arizona Diamondbacks to a surprise division title, won the award in the National League.

Gibson collected 28 of the 32 first place votes. Ron Roenicke of the Milwaukee Brewers finished second and got three first place votes. Tony La Russa was third in the voting and got the only other first place vote. Charlie Manuel and Fredi Gonzalez rounded out the top five in the National League.

In the American League, Maddon collected 26 of the 28 first place votes in picking up his second Manager of the Year trophy -- the other for his 2008 World Series led Rays. Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who looked like the favorite for the award until nearly 30 minutes to go in the season, finished second and garnered one first place vote.

Ron Washington finished third in the voting. Wash did receive one first place vote. As we know now, Washington led his team past both Maddon's and Leyland's in the postseason. I bet Washington would take that last laugh every year. Manny Acta and Joe Giradi rounded out the top five in the American League.

Lessons learned for managers wanting to win Manager of the Year: Manage a surprise division winner with a menacing 5 o'clock shadow or coax your perfectly-at-expectations team to go on an epic hot streak in the final month of the season so that you embarrass the Boston Red Sox.