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Maddon and Piniella named top managers

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NEW YORK (AP) — Joe Maddon easily won the American League Manager of the Year award Wednesday after guiding the Tampa Bay Rays from baseball's basement to the World Series. Lou Piniella of the Chicago Cubs took the NL honor.

Maddon, who succeeded Piniella as Tampa Bay manager in 2006, was a runaway winner in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He received all but one of the 28 first-place votes — the other went to Minnesota's Ron Gardenhire.

There has never been a unanimous winner for Manager of the Year.

Piniella led the NL Central champion Cubs to the league's best record and beat out Charlie Manuel of the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies to earn his third Manager of the Year award and first in the NL.

The fiery Piniella also won in 1995 and 2001 with Seattle.