As the Orioles 78th game of the season lingers into extra innings, I’ve decided to take inventory of the first half of the season and give out the main awards. As we know the season is more than what you do through June, so I think a few of these awards will go to different recipients come November. For today’s purposes though, we will only consider what was actually done in the first three months of the 2009 season.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR
1. Jim Leyland, Det Joe Torre, LAD
2. Terry Francona, Bos Ken Macha, Milw
3. Ron Washington, Tex Bruce Bochy, SF
Leyland gets the nod in the AL because of the Tigers staking a 4 game lead in the AL Central. If Ron Washington can keep up the Ranger resurgence and get them to the playoffs his candidacy will be formidable. In the NL both Macha and Bochy have done superb jobs getting their teams in a good playoff position, but Torre is the choice. The Dodgers have a good team, but have had to weather pitching injuries and the Manny suspension to compile a league best 49-29 record.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
1. OF Nolan Reimold, Balt 2B Casey McGehee, Milw
2. SS Elvis Andrus, Tex OF Colby Rasmus, StL
3. SP Rick Porcello, Det SP JA Happ, Phi
Casey McGehee has been a huge contributor to the Brewers first place first half. After replacing the injured Rickie Weeks at 2B, McGehee has hit .325 with 5 homers in just 114 AB’s.The 5-0 Happ would be a stronger contender if the Phils had started him from day one. I would accuse myself of being a homer in picking Reimold, but he is just plain the most deserving. Andrus is putting in a solid year at SS for Texas and Porcello has been a find for Detroit, but neither is putting up the dazzling numbers of Reimold. He didn’t come up until mid-May but has 9 homers and a .296 average in his 135 AB’s.
CY YOUNG AWARD
1. Zach Greinke, KC Tim Lincecum, SF
2. Roy Halladay, Tor Matt Cain, SF
3. Felix Hernandez, Sea Johan Santana, NYM
Zach Greinke has been pitching lights out. Halladay may have gotten the nod if not for injury, but you can take nothing away from Greinke. He’s 10-3 with an ERA under 2.00. He also has 5 complete games in an era where that is rare. In the National League, the San Francisco Giants have the second best record. It’s not because of their below average offense, it’s because of Cain and Lincecum. There is not much to choose between them on. Cain has one more win, Lincecum a slightly better ERA. They both have 3 complete games, but Lincecum wins on firepower and control. He has 47 more K’s and 13 fewer walks. Therefore Lincecum gets the nod.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
1. Justin Morneau, Minn Albert Pujols, StL
2. Evan Longoria, TB Prince Fielder, Milw
3. Torii Hunter, LAA Hanley Ramirez, Fla
These two races could not be more different. On the NL side, Fielder and Ramirez are having excellent seasons; but it really is no contest. Pujols leads the majors with 30 HR’s, 77 RBI’s, and a huge .743 slugging %. He also has a .332 BA and 9 steals for good measure. Unbelievable. In the AL any one of about 8 players could be considered deserving. The second half of the season will certainly tell the tale as far as this award is concerned. As for now I gave hitting machine Justin Morneau a slight edge over Longoria. It’s hard to argue against his 19 HR’s 64 RBI’s and .309 BA.
There you go, you’ve got my picks as we near the All-Star break. What’s yours.
Before we go, lets take a look at what the playoffs would look like if the season ended today.
AL- Boston vs. Detroit LA Angels vs. NY Yankees
NL- LA Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Milwaukee vs. San Francisco
Unfortuantely our O’s are 13 games back of Boston and 10 back of the Wild Card. This team can be fun to watch, but it looks like another year without meaningful September baseball in Baltimore.