Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Postseason Awards

I briefly thought of just linking you to Jayson Stark's "Year in Review" article, because I agree with 90% of what he says. However, there are some minor points of disagreement, so here are my picks for the major awards this season. As a reminder, here were my mid-year picks.

I discussed this in a previous post, with much more detail. I don't see how this isn't Justin Morneau. By the way, Jeff Brantley is now my least favorite talking head on ESPN, not because he doesn't think Morneau is the MVP (if you didn't watch Baseball Tonight this evening, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about), but because his reasons for being against Morneau were absurd. Examples: Morneau shouldn't be the MVP because last year, Torii Hunter and Jacque Jones had to get on his case for not playing hard enough, and "that's not the kind of guy I want to be the MVP." Me? I'd say Morneau took that advice to heart and put together a remarkable season. Brantley also said that Morneau doesn't get clutch hits. I think most of us Twins fans would disagree. Then again, we've actually seen Morneau play this season.


Very, very close between the Phillie's Ryan Howard and the Cardinal's Albert Pujols. They're so close in so many regards, but I'm going to give the edge to Pujols because he never strikes out, his team made the playoffs, and Pujols was directly responsible for the Cardinals winning at the end when they needed to.

AL Cy Young
Umm . . . some fella named Johan Santana comes to mind.

NL Cy Young
I'm going to go with Brandon Webb over Carlos Zambrano. And does it bother anyone else that the two most likely victors in this category play for terrible, terrible teams? Where are the great pitchers for the winning teams? And no, Chris Carpenter doesn't count.

AL Manager of the Year
Ok, I'm going to go with the unanimous opinion of, well, everyone and say that Jim Leyland will win this award, and probably should win it. I have a really, really hard time doing that, however, for one really big reason. As I've mentioned about 1000 times in the last few days, the Tigers were just not good down the stretch. They were good early because they had a bunch of pitchers having career years (I guess Justin Verlander, as a rookie, pretty much had to be having a "career year" by definition, but still). In other words, I'm not sure he's responsible for what happened early in the year. Certainly, nothing the Tigers did in the 2nd half showed that they are really a playoff team, and losing 5 games in a row to end the season, when just 1 would have secured the division . . . well, that doesn't smack of a team being led by a brilliant manager. Ron Gardenhire should get consideration, Leyland should edge him out.

NL Manager of the Year
The consensus pick is Joe Girardi, and I'll go along with that. Bruce Bochy deserves an honorable mention, but nobody saw the Fish being any good, and Girardi was a big reason why the young guys on that team stayed confident despite starting off terribly.

AL Comeback Player of the Year
A guy who nobody thought could contribute anymore, and who was booted out of town by the World Series champions unceremoniously, or a guy coming off an injury who was picked up by the World Series champions to give the team some pop? To me it's clear that Frank Thomas should win this award, just because of the description above. The White Sox clearly thought Thome would produce this year, and he did. There was no real indication that he was done, while Thomas looked washed up. Thomas' season was more remarkable, and he deserves to win the award.

NL Comeback Player of the Year
I don't see how this is anyone other than Nomar Garciaparra, who changed positions and played great. He was an afterthought in the free agent market, and it was clear most execs didn't think he was worth the cash. That was a mistake, and this award shouldn't be close.

AL Rookie of the Year
I have to agree with Stark that Justin Verlander should win this award. The injuries to Liriano and Papelbon, and the late entry of Jered Weaver, make this Verlander's award by default.

NL Rookie of the Year
A million players to choose from. In the end, I can't ignore Dan Uggla's .280/26/89 as a SECOND-BASEMAN. Ryan Zimmerman has better raw number (.288/20/110), but he's at a position where that's supposed to happen. With apologies to all of the other guys who had great rookie years in the National League, Uggla is the man.

AL Gold Gloves
C-Ivan Rodriguez (Can't argue with .997 fielding percentage)
1B - Mark Teixeira
2B - Mark Ellis (20 fewer starts than Castillo but nearly as many putouts)
3B - Mike Lowell
SS - Michael Young
OF - Grady Sizemore
OF - Curtis Granderson
OF - Torii Hunter (Yes, still)

NL Gold Gloves
C - Brad Ausmus
1B - Todd Helton
2B - Josh Barfield (This one is really up for grabs)
3B - Scott Rolen (.965 was the best fielding % amongst NL 3B)
SS - Omar Vizquel (Yeah, I don't believe it either . . . dude's OLD!)
OF - Juan Pierre (1.000 fielding %)
OF - Andruw Jones
OF - Jason Bay (.991 fielding %, which is 3 errors in 156 games)


  • At Sun Oct 01, 09:27:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Great posting. Really enjoyed your thoughts. I am a big Uggla guy, but I would probably vote for Hanley Ramirez just ahead of him. The Marlins could also campaign for Willingham and Minnesota native, Josh Johnson.

    Torii shouldn't win the Gold Glove, but probably will.



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