2010 Blue Duck MLB Awards Spectacular

November 12, 2010

2010 Blue Duck Major League Baseball Awards

I wrote most of this about a month ago.  All the picks were done before the playoffs.  Without further bullshit:

AL Rookie of the Year-
Neftali Feliz

22 years old

The only real no brainer of the postseason awards.  Feliz breaking the rookie saves record isn’t what impresses me.  Feliz throws hard, but more importantly has balls.  He has filthy stuff, but his out pitch is predominantly his fastball, and a closer who doesn’t have to rely on a secondary pitch, is deadly.  Here’s hoping he doesn’t turn into a Father-in-law beating slop thrower like the guy his career most notably mirrors right now.

NL Rookie of the Year-
Buster Posey
Jason Heyward will win this award.  I don’t know if Posey is even eligible, but Posey has meant more to his team than maybe any rookie in recent years.  The only stat Heyward has him on is OBP.  Posey plays in a bigger yard, at a more important position, on a team with less weapons.  Posey was the best catcher in the National League this season.

Miguel Cabrera.

Miguel being Miguel

Another pick that I doubt gets the award.  I picked Miggy last year as my MVP, and he sobered up and had another solid season.  All of his numbers got better this year, but the Tigers faded and this is what will ultimately kill Cabrera’s chances.  What worries me is this guy is arguably the best overall hitter in baseball (yeah, I said it, better than Pujols.) and he may never win an MVP.

Last year, I showed a comparison of striking similarity between Cabrera statistics up to age 26, and Ken Griffey’s to the same age.  He stayed on that Griffey pace.  The reason Cabrera is the MVP, though, is the lack of help in his lineup.  Hamilton had Nelson Cruz, Vladi, Michael Young, and Ian Kinsler at different times of the year.  Cano had the Yankees.  Cabrera’s lineup is among the deepest if all healthy, but Carlos Guillen played less than 70 games, and Magglio Ordonez played right around half the year.  No one else had more than 15 hr’s for the Tigers.

Further proof:  Cabrera had 32 intentional walks, Hamilton 5, Bautista 2, Cano 14.

The Rangers win a closer West without Hamilton, the Yankees finish third without Cano, Tigers finish 20 games below .500 without Miggy.  He had the biggest impact on his team.  He should be the MVP.

2nd- Josh Hamilton
3rd- Paul Konerko
4th- Robinson Cano
5th- Beltre/Bautista

Carlos Gonzalez.
This is a tough call.  The late surge by Troy Tulowitkzi and the late fade of the Rockies hurt him at the end, but his numbers are staggering.  CarGo (terrible nickname) finished first in the league in hits, total bases, and batting average, 2nd in RBI’s and slugging, and 3rd in OPS.  All this while swiping 26 bags, and playing well at all 3 outfield positions in a rather expansive Coors Field outfield.

Pujols and Votto sort of cancel eachother out, but I think Votto will get the award.

It should be a Venezuelan clean sweep for MVP.

2nd- Votto
3rd- Pujols
4th- Aubrey Huff.  He’s the fuckin’ man.
5th- Tulowitzki’s numbers in 122 games would’ve made him a favorite if he played say, 20 more.  Also, would’ve made the Rockies a playoff team.

AL Cy Young-
Felix Hernandez
CC is the pick right now, but King Felix has all the numbers.  Well, all the numbers except a clear lack of wins.  The debate will always rage on over whether MVP and Cy Young award winners can come from bottom of the barrel teams.  It tends to factor in more for offensive players than pitchers, but Felix will get knocked for this.  Anyone who picks someone else for this reason alone didn’t look at the stats.

Hernandez had 13 wins on the season.  This wouldn’t be all that impressive if his wins were against teams from the lowly AL West, but he actually struggled within the division.  11 of his wins were against teams with winning records, and he pitched the Yankees better than any other starter in the league.

His season line against the Yanks.  3-0….2 Complete games, 1 Shutout, 0.35 ERA, a WHIP under 1 and 31 K’s in 26 innings.

Hail Venezuela.

2nd- Clay Buchholz
3rd- David Price
4th- CC Sabathia

NL Cy Young-
Roy Halladay.
Just better than everyone else.  Pitching names come and go and Halladay puts up the same stats every year.  Why is he the Cy Young, though?  Well, the Phillies were falling apart midseason.  The shit was hitting the fan, and their one steady performer took the hill every 5 days.  The pickup and performance of Roy Oswalt at the deadline ended the NL East race, but Halladay kept his team in position for much of the year.

2nd- Josh Johnson
3rd- Adam Wainright
4th- Roy Oswalt

Too bad Carlos Zambrano didn’t have a good year.  Would have been a banner year for the land of Hugo Chavez.

Throw in Awards:

Hit the Showers, Wife Beater.

Closer of the Year-
AL- Mariano Rivera- still got unbelievable numbers, still only has one pitch.
NL- Carlos Marmol- not the best, but unbelievable year for K’s.  16K’s per 9 innings.

Comeback player of the Year-
AL- I don’t care.
NL- Don’t care either.

Manager of the Year-
AL- Ron Gardenhire- The Twins have no pitching, and a thrown together lineup.  Ron did a lot with this squad.
NL- Bobby Cox- Give the old guy a good send off.

MLB, Day 3: The Orel Hershiser Medal for Pitching Excellence

October 1, 2009
You have to be tough to survive High School with the name Orel.  I know, my first name is Fellatio.

You have to be tough to survive High School with the name Orel. I know, my first name is Fellatio.

The old baseball adage, “Good pitching beats good hitting” has proved true since the days of Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson.  Having even one great pitcher can level a playoff series like no other position on the ballfield.  So we at BlueDuck thought of a great idea.  Since the MLB doesn’t honor the top pitchers in the league each year, we have to take it into our own hands.

So we set out.  After hours of statistical and encyclopedic research, we came up with a name for the award.  Then it took us 3 minutes each to pick our winners.  The First Annual Orel Hershiser “Bulldog” Medal for Pitching Excellence goes to:

Tim Lincecum

He looks like the kid from Rookie of the Year.  Or a kid in a halloween costume, but he throws 95 with a massive hook.

He looks like the kid from Rookie of the Year. Or a kid in a halloween costume, but he throws 95 with a massive hook.

You know until like the mid-1930’s you could only win the MVP award once in your career.  This means that Babe Ruth (who owns like 5 of the 10 best statistical seasons of all time) only has one MVP award.  So people are slow to give guys awards two years in a row if its close, but I think the opposite way.

Lincecum took the Cy Young last year, and had a target on his back all season.  He led a pretty mediocre team on a very strong effort to reach the postseason, and this team will build around Tim in years to come.  His ERA is 2nd in the league, 1st in K’s, and 4th in WHIP.

The only knock on Lincecum is the 14 wins, but he also has 10 no decisions.  In those ND’s, the Giants were 4 and 6, and in those 6 losses, Tim gave up only 11 runs.  That tells you the Giant’s offense is pretty pathetic, and with a little help, Tim could have gotten 18 or 19 wins.  Another little stat, Tim Lincecum’s Giants lost 6 games this season that he went at least 7 innings, and gave up less than 2 ER.  Best pitcher in the NL.

Adam Wainwright (P) StL

His first BlueDuck award, and he reacts like this.  Act like youve been here before, Wainwright.

His first BlueDuck award, and he reacts like this. Act like you've been here before, Wainwright.

Maybe I’m a closet Cardinals fan, having picked Carpenter as Comeback Player, Franklin for NL Closer, and now Wainwright as Cy Young.  But when looking at the numbers, its not even close.  He has 19 wins, the second lowest ERA in the league (2.58), led the NL in innings pitched, and 200+ strikeouts.

Pitching for a team that didn’t know what they had for a pitching staff, Wainwright has served as the anchor.  He locked the award up while clinching the division for the Cards on Saturday, going 8 strong, striking out 11 in a 130 pitch effort.  His team needed the win, and he powered them through.  He has won a World Series as a closer, is this the year he wins it as an Ace?

Zack Greinke (P) KC

If Greinke and Lincecum both win the Cy Young, it will mark the first time two pitchers have won the award before their 15th birthdays.

If Greinke and Lincecum both win the Cy Young, it will mark the first time two pitchers have won the award before their 15th birthdays.

The field of candidates in the AL is deep, with Halladay, Verlander, Sabathia, and King Felix.  But the pick should go to the best pitcher, not the pitcher with the most wins.  Last year’s award to Lincecum finally illustrated that we shouldn’t penalize a player for pitching on a miserable team.  Sabathia led the league in wins, but he limped out of the gate while sporting a respectable 3.21 ERA.

But Greinke has been flat out filthy all year long.  He has only 16 wins, but pitches for Kansas City where wins are sparse.  An ERA of 2.06 over an entire season is simply disgusting, accompanied by 237 strikeouts.  He’s even better when considering he allowed only 60 runs all year (23 less than Halladay, the next closest pitcher).  And let’s face it, a pitcher’s job is to prevent the other team from scoring.  They can’t help it if their team cannot score runs to back them up.

Grienke did his job, giving his team a shot to win each time he toed the rubber.  Imagine if he pitched for a playoff team?

Felix Hernandez

Kings been laughing at AL Hitters all season.

King's been laughing at AL Hitters all season.

King Felix had a huge year, the kind of year we have been expecting from him since he came up, and the kind of year you can expect him to recreate the rest of his career.  Electric is the only way to describe the stuff that Hernandez hurls up at hitters.  King finished 4th in the league in K’s, 2nd in ERA, and 2nd in wins.

Felix did this all with the Mariners, though.  The 23year old had 4 games where he gave up 2 or less runs and went 7 innings, and the M’s found a way to lose.  His control gets away from him at times, and his 70 walks led to his 1.15 WHIP, but the ERA shows that those runners do not score.

Hitters batted only .237 off of Hernandez, third in the AL, but they slugged only .321 off of the young righty(1st), so he never gets hit hard.  Only Greinke gave up fewer HR’s in the AL, but King gave up 16 less doubles than Greinke did in 11 more innings.

I call it a wash between the 2 guys.  They had the best years, but Roy Halladay is still the best pitcher in the AL.  Orel would be proud of all of them.

Tomorrow’s the last day of the BlueDuck MLB Awards Ceremonies.  It will conclude with the MVP Award.

Comeback Player was on tuesday, and Best Closer was on wednesday.  We don’t care about rookies.