Chicago Cubs players up for several regular season awards

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Sep 26, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) celebrates with Chicago Cubs players after clinching their 2015 post season appearance after their game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Maddon: Manager of the Year

On Oct. 24, 2014, Joe Maddon opted out of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays and became the manager of the Chicago Cubs. In one season, Maddon has turned a 73 win, last-place team from a season ago to a 95+ win team that clinched their first postseason appearance since 2008.

In a recent column, Chicago Tribune writer Steve Rosenbloom provided a good evaluation of why Maddon deserves the Manager of the Year Award at the end of the season.

"Forget the magician in the clubhouse, the petting zoo on the field and the onesies on the plane. What matters is how a team plays, and Maddon coaxed, demanded and worked his own magic to create a team that will play in the postseason for the first time since 2008. —-content created by Chicago Tribune writer Steve Rosenbloom"

In the column, Rosenbloom nailed the reason Maddon deserved the Manager of the Year Award over guys like St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. Everybody expected the Cardinals and Pirates to be good this season, but really no realistic predictions pegged the Cubs as topping out higher than .500 this season. The Cubs are currently 31 games above .500 and have the third best record in Major League Baseball.

How did this happen? Obviously, the Cubs have a tremendously talented team that plays well together. But, Joe Maddon deserves credit for the success too, because he figured out how to maximize the strengths of this team by creating a clubhouse culture that helps his team relax and have fun. Maddon brought the fun back to Wrigleyville this season, and for that he deserves recognition in the form of an award.

Next: Jake Arrieta the ace