Bastian's 2007 Award Winners
CLEVELAND — Greetings from Ohio, where I’m staying just a few blocks from The Jake. Out my hotel window, I can see a giant "Go Tribe!" sign plastered across a store front. The Indians worked out today and I’ll be heading over to the ballpark for Yankees coverage tomorrow. Yep, yours truly drew the GA tag for the New York beat during the ALDS.
Before I head down the street for a cool brew at an Irish Pub tonight, I figured I’d toss up my year-end picks for this season’s awards. My No. 1 choices probably won’t stray too far from who you’d expect me to say, but I’ll put my top three choices in each category to stir some debate. In the "Apologies to" category, the names are listed in no particular order.
Bastian’s 2007 MLB Award Winners:
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
1. Alex Rodriguez, NYY — .314 AVG, 54 HR, 156 RBIs, 143 R, 1.067 OPS
2. Magglio Ordonez, DET — .363 AVG, 28 HR, 139 RBIs, 54 2B, 1.029 OPS
3. David Ortiz, BOS — .332 AVG, 35 HR, 117 RBIs, 52 2B, 111 BB, 116 R, 1.066 OPS
APOLOGIES TO: Vladimir Guerrero, LAA; Carlos Pena, TB; Curtis Granderson, DET; Victor Martinez, CLE; Jorge Posada, NYY
COMMENT: Having A-Rod and Maggs finish one and two for this accolade seems pretty straight forward. As much as people may loath Rodriguez, he had a season of historic proportions. In another season, Ordonez might’ve netted the MVP. You could make an argument for a number of guys for the three spot, but Ortiz still put up a monster season while battling a leg injury.
CY YOUNG AWARD
1. C.C. Sabathia, CLE — 19-7, 3.21 ERA, 209 K, 37 BB, 241 IP, 4 CG
2. Josh Beckett, BOS — 20-7, 3.27 ERA, 194 K, 40 BB, 200.2 IP, CG
3. Fausto Carmona, CLE — 19-8, 3.06 ERA, 137 K, 61 BB, 215 IP, 2 CG
APOLOGIES TO: Roy Halladay, TOR; John Lackey, LAA; Kelvim Escobar, LAA; Chien-Ming Wang, NYY; Justin Verlander, DET
COMMENT: This should be a very tight race between Sabathia and Beckett. I give the edge to C.C. based on complete games, innings, and having fewer walks with 40 more IP to his credit. Having watched Halladay (16-7, 7 CG) all season, I’d love to list him third. The season he had despite missing three weeks was amazing. But, even Roy said there were more deserving guys. That said, you’ve got to like the year Carmona had for Cleveland.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
1. Dustin Pedroia, BOS — .317 AVG, 8 HR, 50 RBIs, 39 2B, .380 OBP, .442 SLG
2. Delmon Young, TB — .288 AVG, 13 HR, 93 RBIs, 38 2B, .316 OBP, .408 SLG
3. Hideki Okajima, BOS — 3-2, 2.22 ERA, 63 K, 17 BB, 69 IP, 66 G, 27 HLD
APOLOGIES TO: Daisuke Matsuzaka, BOS; Reggie Willits, LAA; Jeremy Guthrie, BAL; Brian Bannister, KAN; Billy Butler, KAN; Alex Gordon, KAN
COMMENT: Young could easily win this award, and the Rays have certainly been pumping him up. When they were in Toronto, the Rays handed out a release detailing Young’s season, trying to perhaps sway the writers. BUT, Pedroia has been phenomenol this season, and as a second baseman, he has a better OBP and SLG than Delmon — not to mention Pedroia’s strong D. You could argue Dice-K could rank third here, or even Willits for that matter, but I was more impressed with Okajima this season.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR
1. Joe Torre, NYY (94-68)
2. Eric Wedge, CLE (96-66)
3. Terry Francona, BOS (96-66)
APOLOGIES TO: Mike Scioscia, LAA (94-68)
COMMENT: There was a point earlier this season when it seemed ludicrous that the Yankees would make the playoffs. Still, New York climbed back into the race after being 14 1/2 back of the Red Sox at one juncture and the Bombers gave Red Sox Nation quite a scare in September. Then again, you could easily give this award to Wedge for leading the Indians to the Central title or to Francona for helping Boston finally dethrone the Yankees in the East.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
1. Matt Holliday, COL — .340 AVG, 36 HR, 137 RBIs, 50 2B, 216 H, 120 R, 1.012 OPS
2. Prince Fielder, MIL — .288 AVG, 50 HR, 119 RBIs, 109 R, 1.013 OPS
3. Hanley Ramirez, FLA — .332 AVG, 29 HR, 81 RBIs, 52 SB, 125 R, 212 H, .948 OPS
APOLOGIES TO: Jimmy Rollins, PHI; Chase Utley, PHI; Ryan Howard, PHI; Chipper Jones, ATL; David Wright, NYM; Albert Pujols, STL
COMMENT: No, I am not hopping on the Jimmy Rollins bandwagon, and I’ll tell you why. A) I’m not convinced he’s the best shortstop in the league. If Hanley Ramirez weren’t on the Marlins, I think everyone would be talking about him right now instead of Rollins — and, yes, I know Rollins became the first player ever to have 30 HR, 20 3B, 20 2B, 20 SB. B) I’m not convinced Rollins is the most valuable player on his own team. You could easily make arguments for Howard and Utley. So, I split the votes between the three and Ramirez gets the nod for the three spot in my book. In fact, Ramirez is arguably the top shortstop in all of baseball. I think Holliday deserves the MVP, especially after the way the Rox stormed into the playoffs, and Fielder was the youngest ever to hit 50 bombs — Nuff said.
CY YOUNG AWARD
1. Jake Peavy, SD — 19-6, 2.54 ERA, 240 K, 68 BB, 223.1 IP
2. Brandon Webb, ARI — 18-10, 3.01 ERA, 194 K, 72 BB, 236.1 IP, 4 CG
3. Brad Penny, LAD — 16-4, 3.03 ERA, 135 K, 73 BB, 208 IP
APOLOGIES TO: Jeff Francis, COL; Carlos Zambrano, CHC; Aaron Harang, CIN; Cole Hamels, PHI; Ted Lilly, CHC (Did I just type Ted Lilly’s name into a Cy Young Award list? That’s strange)
COMMENT: Throw out that meltdown Peavy had against Colorado on Monday. He simply had a dominant year and finished with pitcher’s Triple Crown (first in wins, strikeouts and ERA) in the NL. Webb finishes second for me based on his high innings total and logging 4 complete efforts in the NL, where CGs are rare nowadays. If Penny had more offense, he might’ve had 20 wins this season. His stats are pretty impressive, giving him the edge over the rest of the pack.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
1. Troy Tulowitzki, COL — .291 AVG, 24 HR, 99 RBIs, 33 2B, 104 R, .987 FP
2. Ryan Braun, MIL — .324 AVG, 34 HR, 97 RBIs, 26 2B, 15 SB, 91 R, 1.004 OPS
3. Hunter Pence, HOU — .322 AVG, 17 HR, 69 RBIs, 30 2B, .899 OPS
APOLOGIES TO: Chris Young, ARI; Tim Lincecum, SF; Kevin Kouzmanoff, SD; Peter Moylan, ATL
COMMENT: Why even include more than two names in this race? The award is going to come down to Tulowitzki and Braun, and Braun may just get the edge in the actually voting. Braun’s season didn’t start until May and he still put up a season’s worth of bloated numbers. I lean toward Tulowitzki, though, and it’s because of his defense. Tulo’s .987 fielding percentage at shortstop was the best mark in all of baseball. Braun was a liability at times in the field. One rook that stood out to me, too, is Moylan. He appeared in 80 games and posted a 1.80 ERA over 90 innings for the Bravos.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR
1. Bob Melvin, ARI (90-72)
2. Clint Hurdle, COL (90-73)
3. Charlie Manuel, PHI (89-73)
APOLOGIES TO: Lou Piniella, CHC (85-77); Ned Yost, MIL (83-79)
COMMENT: Early in the year, Yost looked like the frontrunner for this award, but the Brewers sure faded in the second half. You could also lobby for Sweet Lou, who led the Cubbies from worst to first in his first year at the helm on the North Side. I like Melvin, who defied mathematics in leading the D-Backs to the best record in the NL. The Snakes hit .250 as a team and gave up more runs (732) than they scored (712). How does that net 90 wins? Hurdle will also get votes for the Rockies’ late push and Manuel may get the nod in the actual voting for exploiting the Metro’s collapse.
Well, there you have it. Let the discussion begin. Feel free to tell me just how wrong I really am. — JB