Award Winners

Dave · September 12, 2007 at 8:21 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Not much interesting to say about last night’s game. M’s lose, Washburn struggles, McLaren says dumb things in post-game interview. Pretty standard day all around.

So, let’s talk non-Mariner things for a second. Everyone always has an opinion on the postseason awards with new names just filling the template for people to rehash the same arguments every year. I’ve long since gotten bored with those arguments and don’t particularly care what the BBWAA as a whole thinks about too many things, so I don’t get wrapped up in those discussions any more. I find it hard to get too riled up about whatever mediocre player Jayson Stark decides to push as his MVP candidate of the year.

But, that doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion on who should win the awards, so, without further ado, here are my totally theoretical ballots, going three deep for each award.

AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez, Ichiro Suzuki, Jorge Posada

A-Rod ended this race a few weeks ago, and no one else should get a first place vote. Honestly, a vote for anyone else this year is just a sign of personal bias. A couple of up the middle players who both provide significant offensive value round out the top three.

NL MVP: David Wright, Albert Pujols, Hanley Ramirez

Wright makes it a clean sweep for New York third baseman in a year with a lot of solid candidates but no obvious answer. You could make a compelling case for Pujols or Ramirez (though his defense is attrocious), and the difference between the guy who finishes 1st and 10th on the ballot isn’t even that large. It’s a balanced field, but Wright gets the edge by a couple of hairs.

AL Cy Young: Johan Santana, C.C. Sabathia, Josh Beckett

Johan’s still the best pitcher alive, while Sabathia has quietly put together a tremendous season as well. Beckett may get the actual award thanks to his win totals, but he’s thrown 20 less innings than Johan and 40 less innings than Sabathia – that’s too large a quantity to overcome when he hasn’t been demonstrably better on a per inning basis.

NL Cy Young: Jake Peavy, Brandon Webb, John Smoltz

The gap here is a lot smaller than you may think as either Peavy or Webb is a deserving choice. But am I the only one who wonders why John Smoltz’s season has gone totally under the radar? The guy is 40 years old and hasn’t declined at all – he’s literally just as good now as he was in his prime. Amazing.

AL Rookie of the Year: Dustin Pedroia, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima

Clearly, Boston’s reliance on three rookies to play major roles was evidence that the Red Sox don’t understand the value of major league experience. Those nerds and their calculators – when will they ever learn.

NL Rookie of the Year: Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Hunter Pence

Braun is putting the wraps on one of the great rookie seasons of all time. Just a monster of a debut. Tulowitzki’s glove has proven to be more than good enough for shortstop and his bat provides solid value at an up the middle position. That he got nearly 200 more plate appearances than Pence pushed him to the number two spot on the list.

AL Manager of the Year: Joe Torre, Mike Scioscia, Terry Francona

You can talk about payroll all you want, but Joe Torre’s team is going to play October baseball after having to give 23 starts to Tyler Clippard, Matt DeSalvo, Chase Wright, Jeff Karstens, and Darrell Rasner. That’s basically a rotation spot that they handed to Double-A pitchers due to the ridiculous amounts of injuries they faced, and they’re still going to win the wild card. Joe Torre doesn’t get nearly enough credit for how well he’s handled NY.

NL Manager of the Year: Manny Acta, Willie Randolph, Bob Melvin

The Nationals were supposed to be terrible. Instead, Acta has managed to take a team that epitomizes replacement level and turn them into a respectable club, winning games with minor league free agents and Triple-A veterans. Acta’s not perfect (see the Nook Logan fetish), but if I could choose anyone to manage a franchise next year, he’d probably be my pick.


111 Responses to “Award Winners”

  1. gwangung on September 12th, 2007 5:05 pm

    From the look on his face, he did it because he is The Face of the Franchise. It was one of the expectations stemming from his contract extension, along with becoming the Mariners Care figurehead and the PR department’s “go to” guy when a comment or quotation is needed from a player’s perspective.

    Which is fine. You can designate a Face of the Franchise. And you probably should have one.

    But the Mariners keep forgetting that’s a PR/Marketing designation. It’s separate from baseball, on the field considerations.

    Besides. There’s nothing stopping the Face of the Franchise from being a DH, instead of a LF, if that’s where he serves the team best. I think there’s an example or two that can show how well that can work out….

  2. terry on September 12th, 2007 5:06 pm

    Hey…..what about GM of the year?

  3. kenshabby on September 12th, 2007 5:35 pm

    GM of the year AL – Mark Shapiro, Cleveland
    GM of the year NL – Josh Byrnes, Arizona

  4. JJD on September 12th, 2007 5:39 pm

    I would ask who you would consider to be more valuable on the Mariners than Ichiro, but I’m afraid of the answer.

    If he’s talking about JJ, I suppose that is a case that one *could* make.

  5. Thom Jimsen on September 12th, 2007 5:58 pm

    So how do you guy see A-Rod ranking in the pantheon of all-time greats?

  6. HamNasty on September 12th, 2007 6:01 pm

    105- Near the top, I never bagged a stripper from Canada. Oh, we are talking baseball?? Then not sure till he finishes career.

  7. Jeff Nye on September 12th, 2007 6:18 pm

    I like JJ a lot, but I am not convinced that it’s possible for any reliever to be more valuable than the guy who provides so much value on the offensive AND defensive sides of the game.

    You could make a pretty good case for JJ at number 2, though.

  8. bookbook on September 12th, 2007 9:13 pm

    Has anyone figured out how many home runs Schmidt would have hit in this era? Would he have been a SS?

    A-Rod’s season may be better than any of Schmidt’s even with adjustments for bats and ballparks, but maybe not. Schmidt was a more dominant power hitter in his time than A-Rod (and a substantially better defender at the hot corner)

  9. strong silence on September 12th, 2007 9:53 pm

    Arod is a fine player to win the MVP but don’t you think the Yankees would still be one of the 4 best teams without him?

  10. strong silence on September 12th, 2007 9:58 pm

    Interesting questions bookbook.

    Era adjustments are impossible but I will note that Schmidt played when the concentration of talent was higher than it is now. This is mostly due to fewer teams back then. But, an argument could be made that steroids has made the concentration of talent greater now because of the coercive aspect of PEDs. Players, to keep up with the crowd, either had to take them or work harder. These two factors would produce a high quality of competition.

  11. hw1933 on September 13th, 2007 5:34 am

    A knock on Braun is that his defense has been pretty dreadful. He had a 3 week stretch where he made 9 errors and has 21 errors on the season. Milwaukee does some odd positioning so it’s tough to gauge his range because Braun certainly SEEMS to be athletic enough with sufficient arm to handle third. But all the metrics indicate that right now he is one if not THE worst defensive third baseman in the NL.

    That being written he has done nothing but hit. Braun began the year by slugging over .700 at Triple A and has pretty much kept it up all season. While Milwaukee fans had heard he could hit everyone has been surprised by the magnitude of the guys’s power. Braun has hit some legitimate moonshots including a couple into the second deck in Milwaukee, same in Cincinnati, and the topper was actually his first career home run when he crushed one about 450′ in San Diego. He’s not a dead pull hitter either having lined several balls over the right-centerfield fence at various times.

    Braun’s speed has also been something of a pleasant surprise. He’s 14 out of 18 on steals and also has 5 triples.

    He does struggle against right-handed pitching slugging “only” .536 against righties. Braun’s slugging percentage against lefties is .941!

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