We won’t find out until November who won the big MLB awards. MVP, Cy Young, Coach and Rookie of the Year will be distributed after the playoffs are over, but the results are already in. The awards are meant to only take regular season action into account so the voters vote in between the last regular game and first playoff game. We will have to wait another two or three weeks to get the real results, but why wait. Here are my selections for 2009.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR
1. Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota Jim Tracy, Colorado
AL Central Champs NL Wild Card
2. Joe Girardi, NYY Joe Torre, LAD
3. Ron Washington, Tex Charlie Manuel, Phi
The Coach of the Year traditionally goes to someone who exceeded expectations. Sustained excellence rarely wins out, unless there is no obvious underdog story. Unfortunately for Torre and Girardi, there were good underdogs in both leagues. Gardenhire brought Minnesota back from 7 down in the last month and Tracy took over a Rockies team that was in last place on May 29th and got them into the playoffs.
1. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Chris Carpenter, St. Louis
19-5 2.49 ERA 217 K’s 17-4 2.24 ERA only 38 BB’s
2. Zach Greinke, KC Tim Lincecum, SF
3. CC Sabathia, NYY Adam Wainwright, StL
I know that Greinke is going to win it in the AL and I don’t think that like MVP, the award should only go to a guy on a good team. I just think that Hernandez had just as good a season and Greinke had the luxury of no pressure from about June 1st on. If I were an opposing team, I would rather avoid Hernandez than Greinke. In the NL you have three candidates that are in truth about equal. I give the edge to Carpenter, because he was able to get to 17 wins even after missing the start of the season; and because he was so dominant after losing two years to Tommy John surgery.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
1. Gordon Beckham, Chicago WS Casey McGehee, Milwaukee
.270 BA 14 HR’s 63 RBI’s .301 BA 16 HR’s 66 RBI’s
2. Rick Porcello, Det JA Happ, Phi
3. Matt Wieters, Balt Tommy Hanson, Atl
The Rookie of the Year races are wide open. In addition to the three players that make my ballot, each league has about five other players that can make a genuine case. Elvis Andrus, Andrew Bailey, Jeff Niemann and Brett Anderson in the AL; and Chris Coghlan, Randy Wells, Andrew McCutcheon, and Colby Rasmus in the NL could all win or at least come close. All things being equal I usually vote for an everyday player, so in the end I went for the two third basemen. I was swayed by the fact that each led their league in RBI’s by a rookie; and they did it while ceding 100 AB’s or more to their closest competition. I especially like Beckham. I think he will be the White Sox best player by 2011 and a multiple time All-Star in his prime.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
1. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Albert Pujols, St. Louis
.365 BA 28 HR’s 1.031 OPS .327 BA 47 HR’s 135 RBI’s
2. Mark Teixeira, NYY Hanley Ramirez, Fla
3. Miguel Cabrera, Det Prince Fielder, Milw
4. Derek Jeter, NYY Derrick Lee, ChiC
5. Jason Bay, Bos Troy Tulowitzki, Col
6. Adam Lind, Tor Ryan Howard, Phi
7. Carl Crawford, TB Matt Kemp, LAD
8. Alex Rodriguez, NYY Tim Lincecum, SF
9. Mariano Rivera, NYY Ryan Braun, Milw
10. Ichiro Suzuki, Sea Chase Utley, Phi
These were probably the easiest picks of all, except for maybe NL Manger of the Year. Mauer was absolutely amazing after he missed the first month and was able to will the Twins to the playoffs even though his main support Justin Morneau missed the end of the season. Texeira and Jeter will split the Northeast vote which helps Mauer as well. Pujols flirted with the Triple Crown much of the season and will take home his third MVP by a large margin. Ramirez and Fielder would be serious contenders in most other years, but they must bow down to the future Hall of Famer Pujols in 2009.
There are my picks……..what are yours?