Chicago Cubs: Maddon topped by Mets Collins for NL Manager of the Year


Collins wins Sporting News NL Manager of the Year; Maddon finishes third

This seemed like a foregone conclusion to me. The Chicago Cubs would add some hardware to the trophy case with a Kris Bryant Rookie of the Year and a Joe Maddon Manager of the Year Award. Bryant got his half of that on Monday, but Maddon was beaten out by Mets’ skipper Terry Collins for the Sporting News NL Manager of the Year Award.

The Minnesota Twins Paul Molitor won the AL MOY. Was I the only one that saw this as a done deal for Maddon?

But it gets even worse. The award is voted on by the managers of each league, Maddon finished not second, but third. To the Cardinals’ Mike Matheny. We know this award isn’t simply about winning the division, because Molitor’s Twin finished second, 12 games back of the Royals in the AL Central. So what gives here?

I would have understood more if Matheny had taken home the award after winning 100 games with a team that was devastated by injuries throughout the season. But the Cubs were just behind the Cards and the Pirates–the two best teams in baseball–and won 97 games. The Mets won just 90 in a division with the dysfunctional Nationals and nobody else over .500.

The Cubs on a pretty regular basis were starting four rookies, and while there were some growing pains it led to a win in the Wild Card game and a trip to the NLCS after beating the Cardinals in the division series. He made a bold move to bench Starlin Castro, once thought to be a cornerstone of the franchise. He then later reinserted Castro into the lineup at second and saw a revival of his season and possibly his career. 

With just two reliable starting pitchers for a good half of the season, Maddon had to turn to his bullpen often. He was forced to manage innings as well as take on late season signings to help get through the final months. Guys like Clayton Richards, Trevor Cahill and Fernando Rodney all played pivotal roles with the Cubs down the stretch.

Collins won the award with seven votes, Matheny was second with five, while Maddon received just one. Just. One. Vote. Now this isn’t to take anything away from Collins and the job he’s done with the Mets. They’re in the World Series, hard to say he didn’t earn it. The Mets are a surprise as much as the Cubs were I suppose, but most would have said the Cubs were still a year away.

Not winning the award isn’t going to hurt Maddon’s feelings, and it won’t alter the direction of the Cubs. But it was an award that I feel Maddon deserved. So I guess for that award, wait till next year?

Next: Bryant wins NL Rookie of the Year Awards