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Girardi, Leyland Win Top Manager Honors

November 15, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) _ Six weeks after he was fired by Florida, Joe Girardi won the NL Manager of the Year award Wednesday for keeping the rookie-laden Marlins in contention nearly all season, and Detroit’s Jim Leyland took the AL honor.

A rookie manager himself, Girardi won easily despite Florida’s losing record. He received 18 of 32 first-place votes and totaled 111 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Willie Randolph of the New York Mets was second with eight first-place votes and 81 points.

Leyland turned around the long-moribund Tigers in his first year with the team, leading them to the World Series and their first winning season since 1993. He got 19 of 28 first-place votes and 118 points to beat out Minnesota’s Ron Gardenhire, who was listed first on nine ballots and totaled 93 points.

Girardi guided the Marlins to a 78-84 finish and had them in the playoff race deep into September, a surprisingly competitive performance for a team that was expected to lose at least 100 games.

Still, he was fired two days after the season ended following a rift with owner Jeffrey Loria and has agreed to become a New York Yankees broadcaster again rather than seek another managing job this fall.

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