The Rays' Joe Maddon and the D-backs' Kirk Gibson on Monday were selected as Sporting News' 2011 American League and National League managers of the year, respectively. The award is presented by Gillette Odor Shield. After opening the season with six straight losses and sitting nine games back in the AL Wild Card race on Sept. 2, Maddon led the Rays to a 17-8 finish as they clinched the Wild Card. "We are the best 0-6 team in the history of Major League Baseball," Maddon said after his team was eliminated by the Rangers in the AL Division Series. "It was a huge success this year, and anybody that wants to argue otherwise, please come by. I'd be happy to engage in that discussion."
In his first full season at the helm of the D-backs, Gibson led the club to the NL West division title after Arizona lost 97 games in 2010. Gibson's squad took over first place on Aug. 10 and spent the rest of the season atop the division. "I'd prefer things that focus on our team," Gibson said during a September series in Los Angeles about his impact. "Our goals are on our team, and I [don't care] about whether I'm manager of the year. Honestly." Voting was done by 23 Major League managers. Twelve AL managers voted for the AL manager of the year, while 11 NL managers voted for the NL award.