2008 Bastians

ST. PETERSBURG – It’s time to roll out this year’s annual Bastian Postseason Awards. I’m hanging at my hotel here in Florida, getting ready to watch the White Sox and Twins play for the right to join me at Tropicana Field tomorrow. In the meantime, here are my picks:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

CY YOUNG AWARD

1. Roy Halladay, TOR: 20-11, 2.78 ERA, 9 CG, 246 IP, 206 K, 39 BB, 1.05 WHIP, .237 BAA
2. Cliff Lee, CLE: 22-3, 2.54 ERA, 223.1 IP, 170 K, 34 BB, 1.11 WHIP, .253 BAA
3. Francisco Rodriguez, LAA: 62 saves, 2.24 ERA, 77 K, 34 BB, 68.1 IP

Apologies to: Daisuke Matsuzaka, BOS; Mike Mussina, NYY; Joakim Soria, KC; Mariano Rivera, NYY; Jon Lester, BOS.

COMMENT: No, I am not a homer. But, I will admit that it is a joy to watch Halladay pitch every five days. I give Doc the nod here based on a few things. One, I’m a sucker for innings and complete games. Second, Halladay received 4.72 runs or support to Lee’s 6.13, and pitched in a far tougher division. Consider that in Halladay’s 11 losses, he received just 23 runs to work with from his offense. Lee had a fantastic season, but if you look at everything but their records, Halladay should be the obvious pick — at least to me. I’ve included K-Rod in the top three as an honorary pick for setting the all-time single-season saves record. I realize he arguably wasn’t the best closer this season, but that record is too impressive to ignore.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

1. Dustin Pedroia, BOS: .326 AVG, 17 HR, 54 2B, 83 RBI, 213 H, 118 R, .869 OPS
2. Justin Morneau, MIN: .302 AVG, 23 HR, 47 2B, 129 RBI, .877 OPS
3. Kevin Youkilis, BOS: .312 AVG, 29 HR, 115 RBI, .958 OPS

Apologies to: Carlos Quentin, CWS; Miguel Cabrera, DET; Alex Rodriguez, NYY; Joe Mauer, MIN; Josh Hamilton, TEX; Milton Bradley, TEX.

COMMENT: Through August, Quentin seemed destined to take home the AL MVP — that was until he broke his wrist by slapping his bat in frustration. With Quentin missing the final month, this race became wide open. My first reaction was to give it to Morneau, considering Minny wasn’t expected to do anything this season and, without him, they wouldn’t have. But, upon further review, I bought into the Pedroia hype. He plays a strong second base, helped out in the heart of Boston’s order when David Ortiz was out, and put up some solid numbers for a little guy. One that I always look at is strikeouts to walks, and Pedroia fanned 52 times and drew 50 walks — almost even. He also stole 20 bases and was caught just once. Oh, and he led the league in hits and runs scored. Good enough for me.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Evan Longoria, TB: .272 AVG, 27 HR, 31 2B, 85 RBI, .531 SLG, .874 OPS
2. Alexei Ramirez, CWS: .290 AVG, 21 HR, 77 RBI
3. Armando Galarraga, DET: 13-7, 3.73 ERA, 178.2 IP

Apologies to: Jose Arredondo, LAA; David Murphy, TEX; Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS; Mike Aviles, KC; Glen Perkins, MIN; Nick Blackburn, MIN; Jesse Carlson, TOR.

COMMENT: This is a no brainer. Longoria is practically the posterboy for Tampa Bay’s turnaround this season. From worst team in baseball in ’07, to AL East champs in ’08, with Longoria unaware of what it was like to play for a losing team in St. Pete. His numbers would be solid over a full season, but he missed time due to injury, and put up those totals in 448 at-bats. It’s similar to what Ryan Braun did last year for the Brewers en route to the NL’s ROY honor. Behind Longoria, there is a wealth of talent in this rookie class, but Ramirez and Galarraga stand out. Ellsbury could just as easily be among the top three as well.

MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay: 97-65
2. Terry Francona, Boston: 95-67
3. Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota, 88-74

COMMENT: Maddon should be a unanimous pick for this award. It’s one thing to show improvement, but to climb out of the cellar and jump over all four AL East teams to claim the crown? And on a $44 million payroll? The Rays should have shed the “Devil” tag a lot sooner. As for Francona, he’s done an admirable job with an injury-riddled roster all year long, and Garden hire took advantage of a surprisingly weak AL Central, putting the Twins within striking distance of the playoffs — maybe even in the playoffs with a win tonight.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

CY YOUNG AWARD

1. Tim Lincecum, SF: 18-5, 2.62 ERA, 265 K, 227 IP, 1.17 WHIP, .221 BAA
2. Brandon Webb, ARI: 22-7, 3.30 ERA, 183 K, 65 BB, 3 CG, 1.20 WHIP
3. Ryan Dempster, CHC: 17-6, 2.96 ERA

Apologies to: Johan Santana, NYM; C.C. Sabathia, MIL; Brad Lidge, PHI.

COMMENT: Anyone wish the Blue Jays would’ve swung that trade for Lincecum now? The young right-hander threw down some wicked numbers for a weak San Francisco squad this season, and no disrespect to Webb and his 22 dubyas, but Lincecum was the top pitcher in the league. Timmy had a 3.15 K/BB ratio and logged a quality start (at least six innings and no more than three earned runs) 79 percent of the time.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

1. Albert Pujols, STL: .357 AVG, 37 HR, 44 2B, 116 RBI, 100 R, .653 SLG, 1.114 OPS
2. Ryan Howard, PHI: .251 AVG, 48 HR, 146 RBI, 105 R, .543 SLG
3. David Wright, NYM: .302 AVG, 33 HR, 42 2B, 124 RBI, 115 R, .924 OPS

Apologies to: Chipper Jones, ATL; Lance Berkman, HOU; Hanley Ramirez, FLA; Carlos Delgado, NYM; Ryan Ludwick, STL; Manny Ramirez, LAD.

COMMENT: Why on Earth would Pujols want to get that elbow surgery? If it ain’t broke…you know? Prince Albert had (yawn) another season of .330/30/100 — his fifth such showing in eight years. This year, he did so with a team that wasn’t expected to do much. So they finished fourth, they could’ve been a lot worse off this season, and where would they have been without him? I don’t always buy into the “MVPs shouldn’t be on teams that don’t make the playoffs” argument. The Cardinals were within striking distance most of the season in a year no one thought they’d do anything. That credit goes largely to Albert. There’s a serious case to be made for Howard and Wright as well, and Jones should get some well-earned consideration, too.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Geovany Soto, CHC: .285 AVG, 23 HR, 86 RBI, .868 OPS
2. Joey Votto, CIN: .297 AVG, 24 HR, 84 RBI, .874 OPS
3. Jair Jurrjens, ATL: 13-10, 3.68 ERA, 139 K, 188.1 IP

Apologies to: Kosuke Fukudome, CHC; Johnny Cueto, CIN; Hiroki Kuroda, LAD.

COMMENT: There’s certainly a case to be made for Toronto native Joey Votto, but what Soto has done behind the plate has been integral to the Cubs’ success this year. Handing a rookie catcher a full-time job takes is a leap of faith in its own, but Soto came through in a big way. Offensively, he was strong all year. Behind the plate, Soto had a 3.80 catcher’s ERA, which was the second-best mark among qualified NL regulars. Now, the Cubbies are in the playoffs for the second straight year — a first since 1907-08 — and vying for their first World Series title in a century. Oh, and Soto was nails for my league champion fantasy team. Just saying…

MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Lou Piniella, CHC: 97-64
2. Charlie Manuel, PHI: 92-70
3. Cecil Cooper, HOU: 86-75

COMMENT: As noted in the previous section, Cubs fans are enjoying a type of success they haven’t witnessed in 100 years. Piniella deserves all the credit in the world for helping Chicago reach this point. The Cubs were the best team in the National League this year, making me wish I was still just a kid in Chi-town. Manuel and his Phils benefited from another Mets collapse and won the NL East for a second straight year, this time with 92 wins. It helps having a pair of MVPs in your lineup. As for Cooper, I’m including him for Houston’s surprise act in the second half. They came out of nowhere and ended up right in the thick of the Wild Card race.

So, there you have it. Comments and arguments are always welcome. Who are your picks?

41 Comments

Jordan
I’d like Halliday to win the Cy Young as well, but doubt if it happens. I think you bought the hype on Pedrolia. Check out Josh Hamilton, he’s a lot more deserving.

Hamilton: .304 ba/.371 OBP/.901OPS, 32 hr’s, 130 rbi’s. He beats Pedrolia in hr’s, and the most important categories, RBI’s, risp and risp with 2 outs.
RBI’s: Hamilton-130, Pedrolia-83
Risp: Hamilton-.311, Pedrolia-.307
Risp, 2out: Hamilton-.325, Pedrolia-.231

Pedrolia is seriously being pumped by Boston, but Hamilton and Morneau are better choices, in my view.

The Lefty the Jays wound up with the Stairs trade just may turn out allright,and the Phillys have picked up all of Matts contract for this season and next season.

If Cito can take this team into next season and do what he did in the last half how can we not make the playoffs.

Pedroia also led the league in multi-hit games. A very impressive stat. My vote would go to Youkilis for M.V.P. ahead of Mourneau. Youkilis played both 1b and 3b and filled the shoes of Ramirez quite well. Honestly nobody really sticks out when it comes to the M.V.P. in the A.L. Quentin would have been the runaway choice but he got hurt.

Gsumner…

I wouldn’t go with Hamilton. His numbers tailed off in the second-half. Also how valuable can he be anyway? Texas stunk with him. Hamilton was a great story in baseball, of course T.B. winning the division is the best story in baseball.

I also think Sabathia deserves M.V.P. consideration. Where would Millwaukee be without him? I will take a guess and say watching the playoffs like me. Sabathia came up big!! Ramirez also deserves consideration, L.A. took off when he arrived.

Nobody from the Mets deserve consideration for any award. That team folded like a tent in September. Again!!lol.

Jordan…

Both Chicago teams in the playoffs together for the first time in 100 years! Wow! How about those Bears? Will they get tripped up in Detroit? The Bears better be careful.

Bosox
I tend to agree with you on Sabathia, Ramirez and Youkilis. Sabathia probalby gave the best pitching performance we’ve ever seen for a short period of games that all really counted. No question, he’s a “big game pitcher”-maybe the best right now.”
I think two of the most important numbers for a MVP is hitting with risp and rbi’s, in other words hitting when it really counts. Manny was a staggering .355 risp, Youkilis was .374. Manny made the difference for the Dodgers-no question.
That’s why I don’t really think Pedrolia is in the same league, sorry I’m not that impressed with mulit hit game stats. Don’t get me wrong, I like Pedrolia, I just don’t think he’s in the same class as others for the MVP.
I like Hamilton as mvp because of his story which I think should be taken into consideration and send a message to the kids. If it is just numbers, I think i’d go with Youkilis, but I do think Hamilton deserves it because of his story. It’s a good story for baseball.

Gsumner…

Not impressed with multi-hit games. Toughest thing they say is to hit a baseball. I think Pedroia deserves consideration for sure. Pedroia is the heart and soul of the team. Not bad for a second year player, the kid is a gamer!

Hamilton is a great story not only in baseball but the game of life. Who wasn’t rooting for Josh Hamiltion, I know I was. I think he falls a little short for the M.V.P. His second half hurt him for sure. Perhaps hitting all those longballs during the H.R. Derby might have hurt him.

I think Torre deserves some consideration as well. He showed everyone he can manage. Whether you have the All Star lineup ( like he had with the Yankees ) or the youngsters he had in L.A. Of course getting Ramirez cemented the division for L.A.

Bosox
No question, the toughest thing to do is hit a baseball. Harder yet, is to hit at the right time and that is with risp and risp with 2 outs, or clutch hitting. Guys that have that ability deserve to be MVP’s. Pedrolia is a nice player-no doubt, but he’s weak by comparision to your own Youkilis in hitting with risp and real weak with 2 outs. As nice a player as he is, he’s not great clutch hitter like the others in contention and as a result I don’t take his contention as MVP seriously.

I agree on Torre-although I’m sure he’s already had his award this year seeing his team make the playoffs and the Yanks not. lol

Anyone out there that thinks Cito and crew can take this team to the playoffs next year,and if you do what does JP have to do to help him this offseason.

I think if JP brings back Reed Johnson, the Jays could win 115 games. Reed for MVP! Hell, Reed for President!

Plus hit the nail on the head. lol.

In a best case scenario i’d say the jays should look to acquire a number 2 pitcher. Offer up Rios or Lind for someone like Cain from SanFran. May have to sweeten the pot alittle bit but I don’t have an issue with that so long as it isn’t much more. This after offering Burnett the rumoured offer. If A.J. accepts great, if not then I look into something like that.

I’d look to see if anyone is willing to give up a cheap, platoon catcher for B.J. Ryan. Someone to split the games with Rod Barajas next season. This is done more so to free up the cash in order to try and retain A.J. (if needed) or land one of:
Manny Ramirez
Carlos Delgado (if available)
Jason Giambi
Raul Ibanez if all else fails.

I’d love to see JP sign either Giambi or maybe Milton Bradley if he would sign for 1 or 2 years, but he is probably looking for 3 or 4. If that happens, trade Lind + 1 for a #2 or strong #3 starter. I think the Mets would have to pick up Delgado’s option, so he is out, but Ibanez could work. I give about a 1% chance of AJ staying, there is no way JP offers him 4 and 70 or 5 and 75-80, which is what he will get somewhere else.

It’s true that he could get that somewhere else. I have hope albeit little though that he will take a paycut to stay.

sorry, not a paycut but a discount, I speak of A.J.

Bradley is another guy I forgot to mention, I personally don’t see so highly of him but if he’s good enough for Cito then i’m ok with it, he’s just not my first choice.

Bradley was amazing this year, but his health is a huge ???. He was better than everyone’s favorite ex-heroin addict. He’d be a great guy to get on a 1 year deal, but I think he’s pretty determined to get something long term.

I don’t like Bradleybecause we have better players than him now, Who would he replace.AJ will stay,Mark my words on that.What we need is a shortstop with some power,and a good AVG,speed and OBP.Now that is a lot to ask for ,but if they are thinking of spending about 8 mil.on a DH add a few more Mil and get the right shortstop

Bradley probably had the best offensive year in the AL, albeit in 136 games, and in a hitters park, but still, look at his numbers. He is an upgrade offensively over everyone on the Jays roster right now. He is pretty much a DH for good, so they wouldn’t be getting any defense, but they really don’t need it either. The SS market isn’t good. The worst thing JP could do is sign Orlando Cabrera for big $$ when he isn’t much of an upgrade over Scutaro. Furcal is risky, and the guys that he would look for in a trade will cost alot because most are young and cheap for their current teams. I think with the starting staff in disarray, SS isn’t much of a priority now, unfortunately.

If they get a Bradley, Giambi, or Ibanez, I think they have to trade Lind for pitching, assuming Snider makes the Opening Day roster.

Plus
I tend to agree on Burnett. The Yanks have stated already they will be targeting Burnett and Sabathia. I’d expect they offer Burnett a minimum of 4-100 and Sabathia will get what his agent asks for-the Yanks want him that bad. I’d expect Sabathai will get 5-7 years at an average of 25-30 mill. per year, which is just a bit higher than Santana got from the Mets last year.
The rumor is JP offered a two year extension at 15 mill, so its 4 and 54, which isn’t going to do it.

I really don’t see Giambi at all guys and the reason his, he’s declining very rapidly over the last 3 years. Funny how the lack of juice makes a difference.

Giambi’s risp hitting stat has been the following:

2005: .302
2006: .271
2007: .269
2008: .213

More disturbing is of his 32 hr’s, 22 were hit with bases empty-a surprising stat considering how many base runners the Yank’s get. Giambi turns 38 in January, and I doubt very much if he’s worth any kind of gamble. I think the length of time he was on the juice has cost him any chance of a late age productive career.

If we sign him, it’s a huge mistake and will be more costly than Thomas.

32 jacks and a .377 OBP is an upgrade over anything the Jays had this year. He’d be my 3rd choice after Ibanez and Manny, and Bradley if he is available. He would only have to be on a one year deal because of the age thing, but I think they could do worse than Giambi.

garry,
I was busy, not sleeping, though sleep would have been good . Here are my answers for what they are worth.

My thoughts: I think next year is going to be an uphill battle like every year . The Jays are in the toughest division in baseball and the other 4 teams will also make improvements . At the beginning of this year, I said TB was going to be a dominant team and I think they will be for years to come . They have youth and are acquiring experience. Jays need pitching , along with numerous other teams , so it will be difficult to keep Burnett if he is only out for the money . I read were he and Arnsberg , not to mention he and Doc , have formed a good relationship . I agree Burnett learned to be a pitcher in Toronto instead of a thrower. Maybe that will sway him a little afterall how much money do these guys need…geshhhhh

Since we never kept Johnson , ( it worked out better for him ), I am hoping they keep Inglett. He reminds me of Johnson and I think with consistent play , he will be a valuable asset . I like him in the leadoff spot. I think the same can be said for Scutaro. Ryan is expendable as long as Accardo and Janssen both come back healthy . As for Hill , I want to keep him at second and not move him back to short. I have always liked Hudson but I don’t see him back in a Jays uniform.

Jordan,
Thank you for the blog , your informative articles and putting up with our rantings . I will continue to read and maybe post . I am afraid I am not a good Canuck as I don’t really like or follow hockey

I forgot the big bat ….hmmmmm I would prefer not to sign Giambi or Manny, besides Boras will want way too much for Manny . Riccardi seems to lust after Ibanez so we might see him in a Jays uniform . Hopefully they resolve the pitching first

Thanks Kate and the rest of you,I belive all of you are on the right track.

Kate life is to short to kill yourself at work.

plus
What is needed is a 4th hole big bat that gets paid the big bucks to drive in runs, particulary important runs at important times of the game. Giambi used to do that, but no longer. OBP is nice, BUT this guy isn’t paid to get walks, he’s paid to drive in runs. Where you want the high OBP guys is at the top of the lineup-they get on and the 3,4,5 hitters drive them in. I don’t know about you, but it drove me nuts watching Frank Thomas continually work the count for a walk. We didn’t pay him 10 million a year to walk.

If you look at Ramirez as an example, of the 37 hr’s he hit, 21 were with runners on. With Giambi it was 10 with runners on and 22 with none. It reminds me of Delgado when he was here, it seemed like he always hit home runs in the 8th or 9th inning when the game was over and the hr never really had any impact on the outcome of the game..

Giambi used to be a good “clutch hitter”, my point if he has seriously declined in the last 3 years after getting off the juice and a .213 hitter with risp is not what is needed for a 4th hole big bat. The other point is, with runners in scoring postion a single or double gets them home, so the most important stat, in my view, for this “big bat” is hitting with risp-something we thought we were getting with Rolen.

I find it hard to believe that hitters can decide when they hit their home runs. “Clutch hitters” don’t exist, clutch hits do. It has been proven that differences in BA with RISP and overall BA can be attributed to chance and luck. What irks me the most is when Yankee fans whine about A-Rod being “un-clutch.” Giambi isn’t gonna be 2001 Giambi anymore, but I’ll take his 30+ bombs and his high on-base.

plus
Actually, both clutch hits and clutch hitters exist. Any batter can get a clutch hit, but the guys who consistently perform better with runners on base or risp over an extended period of time, I call a clutch hitter.
As an example take a look at Manny and his career numbers prove when runners are on or in scoring position he performs better than when no one is on.

Career: .314BA/.411OBP/.593slg/1.004OPS
Career Runners on: .330BA/.436OBP/.620slg/1.056OPS
Career RISP: .330BA/.454OBP/ .607slg/1.068OPS

This year Manny’s numbers have been even more pronounced as you can see.

Total: 332BA/.430 OBP/.601slg/ 1.031OPS
Runners On: 337BA/.451OBP/.648slg/1.099OPS
RISP: 355BA/.505OBP/.623slg/1.129OPS

The stats prove when runners are on or in scoring position Manny performs better, he gets more hits, he hits more hr’s. Maybe he focuses better who knows, but his stats prove the point.

The Jays payroll in 2011 will be [if Burnett stays for 15 mil.] will be as follows for 4 players,Burnett,Wells,Rios,Hill,55 mil.That leaves 45 mil. for the other 21 players.
They better hope that some of the young guns step up by 2011,because they wont be able to put a very good team together with 45 mil.
They have to make it in 09 and10 with the players they have on hand.

How about Blalock for DH, and he can spare at first.
The Rangers just might trade him next year,And his contract is 6.5 mil.

Interesting comments from JP
“Ricciardi is quick to point to the success of clubs like the Minnesota Twins and the Tampa Bay Rays, whose strong showings this past season was largely aided by young pitching staffs. That alone is enough for Ricciardi to hope that his Blue Jays could see similar results next year.”

When Spring Training rolls around, Halladay and Litsch will be followed by a host of pitchers vying for jobs in the rotation. That group will likely include David Purcey, Scott Richmond, Casey Janssen, Brett Cecil, Ricky Romero and Davis Romero. Ricciardi insists that the Jays plan on filling the holes internally.

***Actually, I agree with JP on this. With the bullpen we will have next year with Accardo coming back, all we need from a starter is 6 innings. I hope he feels the same way about the secondary catcher and promotes JP Arrencibia instead of paying 1-3 million for a back up catcher.
Assuming Snider stays as dhl/lf along with Lind, then all the new dollars spent can be directed to fix our ss, and 1st and 3rd base power issues.
I think this also tells us that budget is limited and frankly I’m not surprised at that. This makes it more critical to fill the starter holes and DH holes internally.

Bases loaded and BJ Upton looks at three strikes,he never swung the bat,hard to belive.

gsjays – Janssen is missing from the rotation that you set out there. I also agree with JP and further I feel that a strong comeback from Janssen could have an extremely large impact on what will be a very young rotation next year if they don’t pick up someone in the offseason.

With the Cubs down 2-0, I expect Sweet Lou to start Reed in game 3. I’m sure his clutchiness can clutch his team to a clutch win.

Plus

Come on, don’t be such a t.u.r.d. lol Look at the reason the Cubs are where they are-Manny Ramirez-maybe the best clutch hitter of all time.

bmacgregor-I just posted whatever was there from Jordan’s post, but Janssen is there as a potential starter and if he’s healthy, he could be a good one.

It seems to me that Burnett may be a lot like Al Lieter who headed south to NY following the only decent season he had with the Jays. All things considered, the Jays are not in a position where they can hold on to Halliday. If Sabathia can be moved, anyone can be moved. We need to stop wasting time and move Roy asap for some young pitching hellp. None of our young guys, save perhpas Purcey and maybe McGowan — if he ever throws again, have top-of-the-rotation stuff. We need to glean a few gems from other organizations who are desparate to win now.

Manny is just one of the best hitters of all time. He hits well all the time. And if he isn’t in the lineup the last two days, the Dodgers still win easily. It looks like Reed will start though according to Lou’s post-game comments. The vastly overrated Fukudome just can’t cut it I guess. Looks like another year of pathetic Cubs fans whining about curses and ignoring the fact that their team spit the bit again.

“I’m sure his clutchiness can clutch his team to a clutch win”. That was funny!

We need a few pieces… A short stop that can hit… The free agent market is very very thin so I expect we will try and trade for one or Hill goes to short (I know he isn’t crazy about the idea) and Inglett is now our second baseman. Who even knows how Hill will comeback next season. Then we will need a #2 starter to fill AJ or pay him his money. Our rotation with AJ or a solid #2 guys will be fine with Doc, AJ/FA, Magowan (May), Litsch and Purcey and Jansen. Lastly, if we can sign Manny then we trade Lind for even more pitching or he is included in our short stop bid. If we don’t get Manny, then Lind and Snider will both be expected to be a big part of next years team.

Let’s say the Dodgers win the World Series,Will hank pull all his hair out.LOL.

I would, considering the Yankees and Jays won more games, and against tougher competition.

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