Sunday, November 05, 2006

Baseball awards: Here's who should win

NL MVP: Ryan Howard deserves by a hair over Albert Pujols (who would have deserved it if not for the DL time). Several others--including Miguel Cabrera, Matt Holliday, and Lance Berkman--also had outstanding seasons.

AL MVP: I'm going against the grain on this one and giving my vote to Jermaine Dye. I was going with Joe Mauer for most of the year, but he really tailed off at the end. I'd put Derek Jeter 2nd (though he's going to be the one to actually win the award), Mauer 3rd, Justin Morneau 4th, and David Ortiz 5th. Manny Ramirez, Travis Hafner, and Jim Thome had superb seasons but lost some time to injuries and got lowered just a notch for MVP considerations. Also, when will Grady Sizemore and Carlos Guillen get some love?

NL Cy Young: This race is wide open. Nobody even won 17 games. (In fact, nobody in the Majors won 20 games for the first time in a long time.) There are a bunch of starters with similar stats and none of them really stands out from the others; this includes Chris Carpenter, Roy Oswalt, and Brandom Webb. It is in such years that relievers get Cy Youngs, and I will go that route and vote for all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman. What will happen is that the starters will split lots of votes among themselves and Hoffman will get the Cy Young---kind of like that episode of "Different Strokes" in which Willis Jackson won a beauty contest in which all the other contestants were females because all the girls split the female vote and all the guys voted for Willis.

AL Cy Young: Johan Santana. And it isn't even close.

NL ROY: There was a very strong crop of rookies in the National League this year. With a late push (after a long midseason slump), I'm going for Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins. Honorable mentions (in no particular order): Josh Johnson (Marlins), Dan Uggla (Marlins), Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals), Prince Fielder (Brewers), and Josh Willingham (Marlins). (Notice that the Marlins have quite a core of young talent, and they also had other very successful rookies who I haven't mentioned here...)

AL ROY: I'm going to take Justin Verlander by a nose over Francisco Liriano, who pitched better but not close to as often. (Sadly, Liriano needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2007 season.) Jered Weaver also deserves an honorable mention.

NL Manager of the Year: Joe Girardi (Marlins), even though he got fired once the season ended.

AL Manager of the Year: Jim Leyland (Tigers).

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