Thursday, October 10, 2013

National League Award Voting

Now that the regular season is over it’s once again time for my votes for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) Awards.  In previousyears I have selected winners in all the American League categories.  This year I will also pick the National League winners.   Check back after the World Series to the BBA site to see who the award winners are

This post will present all of the National League picks with limited commentary.  Between now and the World Series I will post the AL winners, one award at a time with a detailed post and more explanation for each one.

Walter Johnson Award (Pitcher of the Year)
Not a lot of suspense with this one.  Lots of hurlers had seasons that would be deserving of an award in other years including Cliff Lee, Adam Wainwright, Rookie Jose Fernandez (more on him in a minute) and even Matt Harvey until he was injured. But this year’s winner is unquestionably Sandy Koufax.  I mean Clayton Kershaw.

Connie Mack Award (Manager of the Year)
I saw Clint Hurdle in Spring Training when the Pirates visited Fort Myers.  He signed an old baseball card of his before the game, and seemed like a genuinely nice guy.  I’m happy to be able to vote for him, in what should be a landslide victory.

Goose Gossage Award (Reliever of the Year)
Several Alberta connections here among the candidates:  I watched Jason Grilli pitch for the Calgary Cannons when he was a Marlins prospect.  Jim Henderson is from Calgary – his mom lives literally across the street from me (true story).   I once confused Kenley Jansen with Casey Janssen who pitches for the Blue Jays and whose home games are therefore blacked out in Alberta due to MLB.TV’s archaic rules.  Aroldis Chapman threw a 102 MPH fastball while I was watching from the stands.
Two pitches later he gave up a 2 run walkoff home run
Despite all of these concrete Alberta connections from these players, the award winner is Craig Kimbrel.

Willie Mays Award (Rookie of the Year)
Just like with the pitcher award, there was a good crop of rookies this year that may have had strong consideration in other seasons, including Matt Adams, Gerritt Cole and Hyun-Jin Ryu.  But despite Yasiel Puig getting all the headlines and media attention, Marlin pitcher Jose Fernandez gets my vote and it’s not even a tough decision. I already have my rant ready for all the media sheep who will blindly give this award to Puig.

Stan Musial Award (Top Player)
Note that it doesn’t say MVP, so no extra points for leading your team to the playoffs.  Andrew McCutchen, Joey Votto, Clayton Kershaw, Matt Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Shin-Soo Choo and Freddie Freeman who did help lead their teams may get a bit of an MVP push.  But I'm looking strictly at who was best, and not most "valuable" so am ignoring team standings.  That helps put guys like Paul Goldschmidt and Carlos Gomez in the conversation.  But it doesn't matter.  McCutchen started the year on the cover of The Show, was the league's best player, and should end the year with an MVP trophy.
Warming up prior to a game in Fort Myers

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