Joe Maddon Wins AL Manager of the Year: 5 Reasons He Deserved It

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Joe Maddon Wins AL Manager of the Year: 5 Reasons He Deserved It
J. Meric/Getty Images
Rays Manager Joe Maddon has led Tampa to the postseason in three of the last four years

Joe Maddon is on a roll. 

He has led the Tampa Bay Rays to the postseason in three of the last four seasons. He even threw a World Series appearance in for good measure in 2008. 

Those are impressive accomplishments made even more impressive when one considers that he has done this in the American League East. That's the division where the two highest payrolls and two most lucrative baseball markets in the entire country happen to reside.

New York and Boston. The Yankees and Red Sox. The oldest rivalry in the lengthy history of Major League Baseball. 

The Rays are always "the other team." Except that they really aren't. The best pitching and best manager in the division are in Tampa. The best third baseman is there as well. 

In spite of that, this really was supposed to be a rebuilding year in Tampa. After all they were coming off an offseason in which they lost key parts from a team that had won 96 games, the American League East crown and the American League's best record in 2010. 

Yet they found themselves in the postseason again. 

How Maddon got them there is a big part of why he took home the Manager of the Year award for the second time in his career earlier today. 

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