A banner week for the Cubs ended with three of their cornerstone pieces showing up in the National League MVP voting, yet another sign of the franchise’s resurgence.
As expected, Bryce Harper became the unanimous winner when the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced the results on Thursday, the Washington Nationals outfielder going 30-for-30 in first-place votes.
Anthony Rizzo – the All-Star first baseman who put up 31 homers and 101 RBI while emerging as a leader for a young Cubs team – came in fourth with 162 points.
Jake Arrieta – who won the Cy Young Award on Wednesday – got five second-place votes and finished sixth with 134 points.
Kris Bryant – the unanimous Rookie of the Year winner and an All-Star third baseman during his age-23 season – placed 11th with 34 points.
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Joe Maddon – the ringleader of this circus – is now a three-time Manager of the Year after Tuesday’s BBWAA announcement.
This happens when a team wins 97 games and finishes with the third-best record in baseball. Add it all up and there will be sky-high expectations when pitchers and catchers report to Mesa, Arizona, in February.