Tuesday, November 02, 2004

AL Awards Race

My AL picks, but first I forgot a category in my NL picks last week.

NL Executive of the Year

1. John Schuerholz
2. Walt Jocketty
3. Gerry Hunsicker
Honorable Mention : Paul DePodesta

Wacky category since the job of a GM should be judged in it's long-term effectiveness. But Schuerholz once again had the cajones to make the changes necessary to keep the Braves on top, mostly with the J.D. Drew trade, plus the Kevin Millwood for Estrada trade from a year ago paid off as well. Jocketty did a good job getting Reggie Sanders and a few no name pitchers who kept the ball in the park for their defense to catch and the Larry Walker deal was brilliant. Hunsicker (or the owner Drayton McClane) talked Clemens out of retirement and the big Beltran deal. DePodesta made some bold moves at the trade deadline and the Dodgers will be contenders for awhile now. There's not much stock in this award personally, but those are my thoughts.

AL Executive of the Year

1. Terry Ryan
2. Theo Epstein
3. Bill Stoneman
Honorable Mention : Dave Dombrowski

Terry Ryan keeps winning in Minnesota with a much more minimal budget than Billy Beane has ever had. Say what you want about competition, the team is doing their job and he keeps making almost all the right moves (Nathan for Pierzynski, losing Mientkiewicz for Morneau, etc, etc). Epstein and Bill James are proving quite the tandem and who knew that Garciaparra deal would work out so well, huh? Stoneman got Guerrero, Colon and Escobar to sign while still developing a wonderful minor league system that's contributing at the major league level. Dave Dombrowski turned one of the worst teams around to respectability and somehow got Pudge to sign with the Tigers.

AL Manager of the Year (should be known as Manager of the Team that the Media Thought Would Suck)

1. Buck Showalter
2. Ron Gardenhire
3. Mike Scioscia
Honorable Mention : Terry Francona, Joe Torre

All those managers had to deal with injuries and a multitude of other distractions to get their teams up to respecability. Showalter gets the nod for the biggest improvement though.

AL Rookie of the Year

1. Bobby Crosby
2. Zack Greinke
3. Shingo Takatsu (35 year old Rookie?)
Honorable Mention: Justin Morneau

Lew Ford got screwed and apparently doesn't qualify, much like the NL, do we have to pick? If healthy I think Joe Mauer would have run away with it. Mauer and Greinke will be All-Stars one day, Crosby and Morneau will have stiffer competition at their positions.

AL Cy Young

1. Johan Santana
2. Curt Schilling
3. Brad Radke
Honorable Mention : Francisco Rodriguez, Mark Buehrle, Pedro Martinez

I spelled out my criteria in the NL awards, but I made a HUGE mistake. Total Batters Faced is NOT a good criteria as a pitcher could rank high here by allowing a bunch of hits and walks, so I've changed my focus to WHIP (Walks + Hits Divided by Innings Pitched) and Innings Pitched. Anyway you look at it, Santana should win it unanimously. He led the league in ERA, Quality Starts, WHIP and was 2nd in Innings Pitched, and 4th in K/BB ratio. Yeah I think that deserves it. A lot of people think Rivera deserves the 3rd spot but I think Francisco Rodriguez was a better pitcher than him last year. I was surprised to see how good a year Mark Buehrle had.


1. Vladimir Guerrero
2. Manny Ramirez
3. Gary Sheffield
4. Miguel Tejada
5. David Ortiz
6. Hideki Matsui
7. Alex Rodriguez
8. Ichiro Suzuki
9. Mark Teixeria
10. Melvin Mora
Honorable Mention (pick any of these for your #9 and #10's): Michael Young, Derek Jeter, Carlos Guillen, Hank Blalock, Johan Santana

The hardest one to pick of all the awards in my opinion. Manny led in OPS and HR's, Sheffield led in Win Shares, Tejada led in RBI's, Vlad was really, really close in all and played in a pitcher's park (as did Sheffield). So why give it to Guerrero? That last week of the season was absolutely amazing but I don't think he deserves it just for that. I mean, cause he turned it on the last week of the season cause the Angels couldn't put the division away in mid-September against the Blue Jays and White Sox mean more than Manny and the Red Sox going crazy in August and cruising to their wild card berth? No...(I feel like I'm talking myself out of this). The reason for me is that Vlad (or Pedro as the AngelFan wife so delightfully calls him after the guy in "Major League") had to carry the offense a little bit more than the other guys. The Red Sox and Yanks are All-Star teams masking as franchises while the Angels had to survive through injuries to Glaus (who may have been the MVP if he stayed healthy) and Garrett (missed 2 months and his ailment sapped all his power). I follow the Angels somewhat so take it with a grain of salt but it seemed to me he carried the team all year and you know what I just like the guy. So live with it....


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