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.

Who the F*** is Jesse Carlson?

September 16, 2009
Get an Icepack on that dome of yours, Carlson.

Get an Icepack on that dome of yours, Carlson.

Tuesday night, the New York Yankees got in a tussle with, of all teams, the Toronto Blue Jays after a couple of errant pitches and a poorly backed up Brett Gardner base hit.  Jorge Posada brushed up against Jays’ reliever Jesse Carlson in the eighth inning, and all hell broke loose.

Lets get down to the details.  Sergio Mitre hit Edwin Encarnacion on the hands, high and tight, in the top of the 6th with a runner on first and nobody out in a 5 to 2 game. He went on to give up a double and his night was done.

Mark Melancon relieved Edwar Ramirez in the 7th and the “its not the arrow, its the archer,” Melancon proceeded to do what he does best, miss the strike zone.  He got out of the 7th, and got two outs in the 8th before hitting Aaron Hill between the numbers.  At this point, Hill was 0 for 4 with a strike out.

A photo of Mark Melancon in his days with Cleveland.

A photo of Mark Melancon in his days with Cleveland.

In his outing, Melancon went 1 1/3 throwing 13 of 23 pitches for strikes.  Of the non-strikes, 2 were wild pitches, one was a passed ball and one plunked Hill in the back.   For the year, Melancon has hit 4 batters in 16 1/3 and walked 10 batters.  That’s a WHIP of right around one if you’re just counting walks and beanings.  So whether or not he hit Hill intentionally is really tough to judge.

With one out the next inning and no one on, Jesse Carlson threw behind Jorge Posada on the first pitch.  Things got chippy and everyone was warned.  It really looked like Carlson wanted to fight there, though.  Posada made a few steps and said something to Carlson, but the lefty kept coming towards the plate as Posada went back to the box.

Benches had their 7th inning stretch, but it looked like your old run of the mill, West Side Story song and dance almost-brawl.  Posada got to second on a Robinson Cano single, and Brett Gardner doubled to right.  Thats when it got ugly.

On a base hit to right field, Carlson really should have made his way behind home plate via the third base-homeplate expressway, by going between home and first instead, and then just chilling in the oncoming runner’s (who happened to be Posada) running lane, Carlson made this situation a bit more fishy.

People are going to make a big deal about Posada extending his arm as he ran by, but it was nothing.  He sort of pushed him off as they brushed up against eachother, and Carlson was relatively unmoved by the contact.  Well physically unmoved, but emotionally, it seemed to get to him, because a second later he was rabid.  Posada was tossed by the homeplate ump right away, and then Carlson initiated madness by yelling and going at Posada, and the Yankees on deck batters, Hip Hip Jorge made quick work of the homeplate umpire and it was on.

Jesse Carlson is a Connecticut kid like myself.  He went to Berlin High School in a nice town not far from the capital of the Nutmeg State.  As a rival in legion ball to Berlin I may be a little biased, as a Yankee fan I may be a little biased as well, but most Connecticut kids do not get much of a chance to fight growing up, and when we get our chance we act like tough guys only to get our heads welted up by people that may have actually grown up fighting.  This leads me to believe that Carlson must have been drunk.

But honestly, Carlson should have let the situation go after he got to yell at the veteran catcher.  When Carlson went and stood right in Posada’s line of sight and path behind home plate, he was asking for the situation to escalate, and he got his wish, and for that he got his head knocked in and most likely a fine and suspension.  At this point, though, the suspension does not hurt the Jays, but losing Posada a few days could still hurt the Yankees.

These two have been recent victims of pitcher started confrontations.

These two have been recent victims of pitcher started confrontations.

The Yankees are up 6 1/2 games on the Sox after tonight’s loss which is a pretty hefty lead this late in the season, but we’ve seen the Mets choke harder.  Both the Yanks and Sox are capable of going on long win streaks, and who knows what a little turmoil can do.  Maybe Carlson, a New England kid, is still pulling for Boston in the division.  I’m quite the baseball conspiracy theorist, and a firm believer in the magic-loogie theory.

Posada was out of line here, too, though.  He has to understand that he can be the bigger guy, and walk away from all this after being walked.  If they do not fight, Posada has all the ammo in the world to hurl at Carlson in the press, but now, Posada will probably be seen as the one in the wrong because everyone out there thinks he threw an elbow.

I liked it better when it was dumb College kids fighting, but its good to know that Toronto is still trying despite being 26 1/2 games out.