Sunday, November 15, 2009
Awards this week
As the week approaches, it is time to hand out more hardware to the players and coaches of Major League Baseball. The week and awards is as follows:
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
AL (Monday): Shortstop Elvis Andrus was pretty much as advertised. But Detroit's Rick Porcello won 14 games and was a stalwart starter on a playoff team at age 20. Tampa Bay's Jeff Niemann, Oakland's Brett Anderson and Andrew Bailey all took to the Major League mound quite nicely. Gordon Beckham of the White Sox was the most powerful rookie, so the field is pretty wide.
My pick: Rick Porcello
NL (Monday): Atlanta's Tommy Hanson showing his promise on the mound and a less-ballyhooed one by Florida's Chris Coghlan turning out the year's most impressive hitting performance. Phillies lefty J.A. Happ and Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen also made themselves very comfortable in the big leagues.
My pick: J.A. Happ
CY YOUNG AWARD
AL (Tuesday): Greinke overcame a lot to get to his career pinnacle in 2009, and this award might come down to the question of whether he can overcome the Royals' last-place finish in the NL Central. With CC Sabathia doing what he was paid to do for the Yankees and Seattle's Felix Hernandez and Detroit's Justin Verlander having superb seasons, it's hard to call it a runaway.
My pick: CC Sabathia
NL (Thursday): Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright both helped the Cardinals to the NL Central crown, and in the process made it difficult on the voters in this one. What would be the consequences of a split vote? There are other candidates in their midst. The Giants' Tim Lincecum actually lowered his ERA in an otherwise strikingly similar statistical season to his 2008 Cy Young campaign, and the Braves' Javier Vasquez elevated his team down the stretch.
My pick: Tim Lincecum
MANAGER OF THE YEAR
AL (Wednesday): After suffering along with the rest of the Angels family the heartbreaking death of Nick Adenhart, Scioscia led his team to its fifth NL West title in six years. He did it through normal baseball adversity as well, including being without star Vladimir Guerrero for much of it. A couple of his AL West colleagues did well for their clubs as well, with rookie skipper Don Wakamatsu getting the Mariners on track and Ron Washington leading the Rangers into contention. Then there's the ringmaster, and second-year manager Joe Girardi, who did lead the Yankees to 103 wins.
My pick: Joe Girardi
NL (Wednesday): He only started managing the team in May but led them to great heights. That was Jack McKeon's road to the award in 2003, and Jim Tracy took the Rockies down a similar road this year. Usual suspects like the Cardinals' Tony La Russa, the Dodgers' Joe Torre and the Phillies' Charlie Manuel figure to get votes, as does up-and-comer Fredi Gonzalez of Florida.
My pick: Charlie Manuel
Maybe all managers should take pointers from the video.