‘Tis the season for… Awards!
Itâ€™s that time of year againâ€¦ but this time I actually have people paying attention to what Iâ€™m saying thanks to the BBA so lets let the festivities begin!!! (Oh, one thing firstâ€¦ big props to baseball-reference.com for helping me organize my thoughtsâ€¦)
Manager of the year â€“
1)Â Â Â Â Mike Scioscia (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – or whatever they are called this weekâ€¦)Â For all the heartache this team has suffered this season with the loss of rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart in May, it would have been easy for Mikeâ€™s team to roll over and grieve for the whole season.Â But Mr. Scioscia wouldnâ€™t let that happen and he led this team to the AL West victory.Â Iâ€™m hoping that this is the catalyst to crush the post season choke that the Angels have suffered from in recent years.Â Ironically, it is for this reason that I have also chosen the Angels to win the World Series this year.
2)Â Â Â Â Ron Gardenhire (Minnesota Twins)- The â€œNever say Dieâ€ boys pulled it off again this season taking the AL Central from my beloved Tigers in a game that will probably be seen 10,000,000 more times on the MLB Network as an instant classic.Â Mr. Gardenhire year after year seems to have a way of raising a fire in his players down the stretch.Â Even with two of his best players out of the lineup due to injury in September (Slowey and Morneau) the Twins fought back and went 17-4 down the stretch to force a play in game.
3)Â Â Â Â Jimmy Leyland (Detroit Tigers) â€“ What can I say, my boys broke my heart AGAINâ€¦ But Mr. Leyland showed us a side of himself that he hadnâ€™t in the past couple of years.Â Small ball was more prevalent in their game this yearâ€¦ lots of sac bunts, stolen bases and charges to the plate.Â Mr. Leyland proved to the fans that he does know how to run a lineup National League style with his great use of pinch hitters and runners in the late innings.Â Now if we can just take the hitting from 2008 and combine it with the pitching and small ball from 2009 â€“ we may have a winner here in 2010!
Rookie of the Year
1)Â Â Â Â Rick Porcello (Tigers â€“ P) â€“ 14-9, 3.96 ERA, 89K/52BB, WHIP 1.34 â€“ All I have to say about Mr. Porcello is that this kid is 20 years oldâ€¦ 20 YEARS OLD.Â Heâ€™s not even old enough to buy a beer yet he has the poise and presence on the mound of a 42 year old seasoned veteran.Â His win to loss ratio, all be it quite impressive, doesnâ€™t begin to show the talent that Rick will grow into.Â He suffered some crushing no decisions from bull pen errors this season.Â Rick is quickly following in the footsteps of another ROY winner on his team â€“ Justin Verlander in 2006.
2)Â Â Â Â Matt Wieters (Orioles â€“ C) â€“ 9HR, 43 RBI, .288 BA, .340 OBP -Â I actually got to see his major league debut on TV â€“ it was against the Tigersâ€¦ I didnâ€™t think much of him at the time but he proved me wrong.Â A few more years of seasoning in the MLB and Mr. Wieters will be crushing balls over the wall with the best of them (a Joe Mauer in training).
3)Â Â Â Â Elvis Andrus (Rangers â€“SS) â€“ 6HR, 40RBI, .267BA, .329 OBP -Â He was great for a rookie with the bat (mediocre for the league) but what he didnâ€™t do with the bat he made up for with his glove.Â Elvis Andrus was a breath of fresh air for the long suffering defensively Rangers.Â He may mature and become tremendous, but what he has now defensively is far beyond what the organization has had in the recent past.
Cy Young Award â€“
1)Â Â Â Â Zack Greinke (Royals)- 16/8, 2.16 ERA,Â 229.1 IP, 242 SO -Â WOW â€“ an ERA like that for a starting pitcher hasnâ€™t been seen in baseball sinceâ€¦ likeâ€¦ uhâ€¦ the 1920â€™s.Â Mr. Greinkeâ€™s win column suffered due to lack of run support but we all know when it comes to pitching stats itâ€™s more than what is in the win column.Â He also struck out 9.5 batters per 9 innings pitchedâ€¦Â Itâ€™s a shame such talent lies at the bottom of the American League Central standingsâ€¦ we will let him come play for the Tigers if he wants to.Â
2)Â Â Â Â Justin Verlander (Tigers) â€“ 19/9, 3.45 ERA, 240 IP, 269 SO -Â â€œJVâ€ as we affectionately call him here in the D also suffered from lack of run support but he was known as the stopper â€“ when the Tigers were on a loosing skid he was the one to put a win up and stop it.Â Mr. Verlanderâ€™s impressive strike out pitching this season was not as impressive as the fact that in the 8th and 9th inning he had the ability to dial it up to 97 MPH+.Â Mr. Verlander was also considered a workhorse for the Tigers this year consistently throwing over 115 pitches each outing.Â JV also struck out 10.1 batters per 9 innings.Â His ERA and propensity to have 1 blow up inning per game is the reason he was not my number 1 pick this go round.
3)Â Â Â Â Felix Hernandez (Mariners)- 19/5, 2.49 ERA, 238.2 IP, 217 SO â€“ I have always liked King Felixâ€¦ and I was happy to see that he had a good year, but in comparison to Verlander and Greinke he just didnâ€™t have the stuff to make the top two spots on my list.Â Mr. Hernandez struck out 8.2 batters per 9 innings pitched.Â He will get his Cy someday, just not this year.
AL MVP –
1)Â Â Joe Mauer (Twins)- I hate to say it, Iâ€™m not so much a fan of the Man of Muscles, but the AL MVP belongs to Joe Mauer of the Twins hands down.Â I can give big props to a catcher who stands 6â€™5â€ (thatâ€™s a long way down when youâ€™re squatting behind the plate every night) and can rake at a .365 clip nearly all season.Â After being on the DL to start the 2009 season, the very first swing of his bat nets the man a home run to start his year â€“ an omen to come as Joe earned his 3rd batting title in 4 years this season.Â Mr. Mauer is a monster with his bat, smooth with the leather and has proved over the last couple of years to be the rock that his team leans on for guidance and leadership.
2)Â Â Derek Jeter (Yankees) – I hate the Yankees like I hate cancer and famine and flood â€“ but Derek Jeter deserves a nod for MVP as well.Â A .334 BA is nothing to shake a stick at, especially with 18 HR’s and 30 SB’s.Â As always, Jeter can be counted on for being Johnny-on-the-spot and he is as valuable defensively as he is offensively.
3)Â Â Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) -Â One night of binge drinking and brawling with the spouse doesn’t make a season, and it shouldnt ruin one either.Â Miggy finished up the 2009 season with a .324 batting average.Â Last year he was the AL homerun champ, but he fell short of that mark this year with 34 long balls and a team high of 104 RBI’s.Â Fortunately, Miggy has found a home at 1st base and his defensive skills have finally started to show… I’m expecting huge things from him next year.
4)Â Â Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners) – another 200 hit season to his record, for a record of 9 consecutive years (in case you’re counting that’s every year he has been in the MLB.Â If it wasnt for Joe Mauer, Ichiro would have had the batting title with a .352 while bringing 46 across the plate.Â
5)Â CC Sabathia (Yankees) -Â Impressive pitching in not only the regular season (19-8 with a 3.37 ERA) he has been tearing it up in the post season (I know that doesnt count for voting but still…)Â CC was nowhere near a gamble when the Yankees picked him up in free agency, and he has proved that he is earning his huge paycheck.
6)Â Kendry Morales (Angels) -Â Truly his break out year, 2009Â sawÂ Kendry hitting at a .306 clip with 34 Homers and 108 runsÂ batted in.Â He was truly an offensiveÂ force for hisÂ team this season and I would put money on him being an MVP winner in theÂ very near future.Â
7)Â Mark Teixeira (Yankees)Â – honestly again, I’m going to put personal opinions of a certain team asside, but Mr. Teixeira proved that he too earned his hefty Yankees paycheck.Â Mark hit at a .292 clip with 39 homers and 122 RBI’s on the season.Â I also think he is deserving of the gold glove at 1st base.
8.)Â Alex Rodriguez (Yankees) -Â This nominationÂ pains me more than the Joe Mauer vote… I truly and deeply dislike/despise A-Rod.Â After missing the first month of the season he posted an impressive 30 homers, 100 RBI and a .286 BA – I’ll swallow my pride and include him.
9)Â Kevin Youkilis (Red Sox) – Mr. Youkilis proved this season that he can still swing a hefty, hefty bat (even if he looks very funny at the plate doing it – can you say Cal Ripken Jr. violin stance throwback?) Kevin hit 27 homers 36 doubles with a .305 BA – those power numbers are intimidating no matter what league you play in.
10)Â Carlos Pena (Rays) -Â he lead the league in home runs this year with 39 while driving in 100 runs.Â With these numbers one would think he would have a batting average over .350…nope – a sad .227 – this reason alone will hurt his chances for MVP.Â 39 homers and 100 rbi’s = 40% of his runs driven in were with his own feet…