Joe Maddon, Jeff Banister win Manager of the Year awards in baseball – The Seattle Times

Baseball

Cubs’ Maddon, Texas’ Banister are voted managers of the year

Joe Maddon has won his third Manager of the Year award, earning his first in the National League after guiding the Chicago Cubs to their first postseason berth since 2008.

Jeff Banister of the Texas Rangers received the AL honor.

Maddon, 61, got 18 of 30 first-place votes for 124 points from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in balloting announced Tuesday.

Maddon becomes the seventh manager to win the award at least three times and the seventh to earn it in both leagues. He won the AL award with Tampa Bay in 2008 and 2011.

“It’s really good to know that what you believe in works in other places,” Maddon said during a break from his pizza-and-wine celebration with family and friends. “I didn’t tweak anything. It was the same approach.”

The Cubs were 97-65 — a 24-game rise from 2014, when Rick Renteria was the manager.

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny was second and New York Mets skipper Terry Collins was third in the NL voting.

Banister, 51, collected 17 first-place votes and AL runner-up A.J. Hinch of Houston got eight.

Banister joined Houston’s Hal Lanier (1986), San Francisco’s Dusty Baker (1993), Florida’s Joe Girardi (2006) and Washington’s Matt Williams (2014) as the only men to win in their first season as a major-league manager.

“To be able to have this in year one — tremendous,” Banister said before praising his players.

AL West champion Texas (88-74) improved 21 games from 2014, when it had the worst record in the league.

• Infielder Cliff Pennington became the first free agent to switch teams this offseason when the Los Angeles Angels signed him to a two-year, $3.75 million contract.

Pennington, 31, began last season with Arizona and went to Toronto in a trade in August.

• San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford, 28, signed a $75 million, six-year contract with the Giants that takes him through the 2021 season.

Tennis

Federer snaps Djokovic’s streak

Roger Federer of Switzerland stopped Novak Djokovic’s ATP Finals winning streak at 15 matches, beating the top-seeded Serb 7-5, 6-2 to reach the semifinals at the season-ending tournament in London.

Djokovic, who has already clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking, had not lost at the ATP Finals since 2011, winning the last three elite titles for the top eight players in the world.

In another match in the round-robin group phase, Kei Nishikori of Japan beat Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.

Fantasy sports

FanDuel suspends N.Y. entries

Daily fantasy-sports operator FanDuel said it is temporarily suspending entry in paid contests for New York players, while state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued to halt what he considers illegal gambling by both FanDuel and DraftKings.

Schneiderman sent New York-based FanDuel and Boston-based DraftKings letters last week calling on them to halt what he considers illegal games of chance under New York law.

Both companies say their popular daily games are based on skill and are legal, and they have made that argument to an increasing number of states that are weighing whether to regulate the fantasy-sports industry.

DraftKings, which claims 375,000 New Yorkers among about 2.5 million players, said it remains committed to ensuring they can keep playing.

Golf

European Tour changes rule

The European Tour has changed its membership regulations for the 2016 season.

Players will be required to compete in a minimum of five European Tour-sanctioned tournaments, not including majors and World Golf Championships events.

From 2011 through this season, European Tour members were required to play at least 13 European Tour events, though that figure included the four majors and four WGC tournaments. The change is designed to help golfers playing a full season on the PGA Tour in the United States.

Boxing

WBC takes title away from Cotto

Miguel Cotto has lost his piece of the middleweight title before his fight Saturday night with Canelo Alvarez.

The WBC said it has stripped Cotto of the title for not agreeing to the organization’s rules, which reportedly included paying a $300,000 sanctioning fee to the organization in return for the WBC title being at stake in the middleweight showdown in Las Vegas.

The WBC issued a release saying Alvarez will be regarded as its champion if he wins the fight, but the title will be vacated if Cotto wins.

Though the fight was technically a middleweight title bout, it is being fought at a catch weight of 155 pounds instead of the 160-pound limit.

ELSEWHERE

• Three-time Olympic slalom skier Drago Grubelnik of Slovenia died after the car he was driving swerved off a mountain road and rolled down a hill in Soelden, Austria. Grubelnik, 39. died in a hospital in Mannau, Germany shortly after the crash.

• Rugby legend Jonah Lomu of New Zealand died of a kidney illness that extinguished his meteoric career. He was 40.

Lomu was at his best at the 1995 and 1999 Rugby World Cups, scoring 15 tries in 11 games but never winning a championship.

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