Wednesday, October 1, 2008
2008 MLB Awards
Here are my picks for the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year this year. These choices are who I think should win, not who I think will actually win the awards. I look at things differently than most of the people who are allowed to vote, probably. Most importantly, I don’t think the MVP needs to come from a contending team, or even a good team. The “P” stands for PLAYER. You can have value and help your team even if the rest of the team sucks. Contributing more wins for a last place team is more valuable than fewer wins for a division or wild card winner. If you disagree, fine, you’re allowed to have your opinion. I’m not going to argue with you, and keep it out of the comments. I’ll never convince you, and you’ll never convince me. Don’t even try. It’s worse than arguing politics. RBIs depend as much on getting the chances as driving them in. Low RBI total doesn’t phase me. Also, I’m not a huge fan of using win/loss record as a good judge of pitchers. Just look at the 7 blown saves and lack of run support for Santana this year… he should be 22-6 or so instead of 16-7. Or better. I’m not even against giving the MVP to a pitcher, though not this year. In 2006, I would have given it to Santana instead of his teammate.
Okay, enough of that, on to the awards. I’ll start with the AL, because I care about it less.
AL MVP: I have no fucking clue. Carlos Quentin was going to be the obvious choice until he got hurt. Milton Bradley has had an amazing season, but hasn’t played quite enough games for me. I don’t see any clear-cut winners here. If Grady Sizemore was hitting .290 instead of .268, I’d go with him.
AL Cy Young: Is there really a question here? Cliff Lee is 22-3 for a mediocre team, and he’s earned every bit of that. I don’t wanna hear anything about Francisco Rodriguez. There are at least half a dozen closers this year that would have 62 saves if they’d been given 69 chances. An 89-90% save percentage is typical for top of the line closers. The only difference this year has been opportunities.
AL Rookie of the Year:
Now, on to the NL, which I have followed a whole lot more closely.
NL MVP: Lots of good choices here. The best hitter in the league is clearly Albert Pujols, but he did miss a little bit of time. In the absence of an obvious choice, the contending team factor does come into play some for me. Four Mets are legitimate candidates (seriously, this isn’t just my bias), as is Ryan Howard. Chipper Jones missed too much time. Hanley Ramirez hasn’t been quite efficient enough with his stolen base percentage (barely ahead of the 70% break-even point). Manny Ramirez wasn’t in the league long enough. Tough call.
NL Cy Young: My pick here is going to shock a lot of people, I think. Brandon Webb struggled down the stretch. He has the high win total, but is only 9th in ERA. Santana has the best ERA, and is up there in strikeouts, and should have more wins. I believe he also leads the league in quality starts, though a 4.5 ERA is hardly “quality”. Tim Lincecum’s ERA is only a touch behind Santana’s, and he’s got more wins for an awful team. He’d get my vote over Santana if not for the guy I’m going to pick.
NL Rookie of the Year: Easy.