|Those Sports Guys||
NL MVP- Albert Pujols- Albert Pujols and Joey Votto were the two best hitters in all of baseball. Pujols was better (.312/42/118) winning both the home run and RBI crowns and completing his career triple crown. Pujols continues to be the best hitter in baseball, probably one of the best hitters in baseball history completing his record breaking 10th consecutive season of .300/30/100 (he been in the league 10 years). Votto, on the other hand, had his career year this year (.324/37/113) and lead his team to the playoffs. The MVP voters will probably side with Votto and i guess thats cool because he is deserving and he probably won't have another great shot at winning it, and his team went to the playoffs. Pujols did have the best numbers though, which makes him the Most Valuable Player by definition... just saying.
NL Cy Young- Roy Halladay- Before the playoffs, Adam Wainwright had a slim hope of winning the award he deserved last year. Roy Halladay made that slim hope a snowballs hope in the Sahara. Halladay was dominant all year, he got a few gifts in a game that he was perfect, but needed none when he was unhittable vs. the Reds in the playoffs and sealed the deal. The whole pitching on one leg thing vs. the giants in San Fran in an elimination game and winning, doesn't hurt either. Oh and did i mention he won 21 games and posted a 2.44 ERA and K'd 219 and lead the bigs in complete games (9) and no hitters (2; 1 perfect game and 1 no hitter)
AL Cy Young- Felix Hernandez- Never has a pitcher with a lower winning percentage won this prestigious award, but never before has a great pitcher had less help than Hernandez. Hernandez posted an ERA of 2.27 (1st in AL) which is nothing to scoff at while striking out 232 (2nd in AL) batters. Hernandez also lead the AL in quality starts with 30 quality starts. He also posted a WHIP (Walks + Hits per Inning Pitched) of 1.06 (2nd in AL). That means Hernandez allowed 1 batter to reach base an inning on his accord and still managed to lose 12 games. Hernandez got 0 help from his teammates. Out of 34 starts, 15 times the Mariners couldn't scratch out 2 runs when he started, and only 3 times did they got more than 6. Hernandez was the best pitcher in the AL this year and deserves the Cy Young.
The Ryan Howard Award- Joey Votto- This is award is very near and dear to my heart. In 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series, the Phillies didn't make the playoffs. In 2006, Ryan Howard had a line of (.313/58/149) and Pujols had a line of (.339/49/137). Howard got the MVP, while I feel that Pujols, even with slightly lesser power numbers, deserved it due to the whole world series champs thing and all. The Ryan Howard Award goes to the guy who won an award that probably should have gone to the other guy, but he won it any ways due to "sexier" stats or like of sanity by the voters. Other notable winners are Tim Lincecum (2009 Cy Young; Beating out Adam Wainwright) and Albert Pujols (2008- MVP; beating out Ryan Howard). The MVP voting technically hasn't taken place yet, but I truly believe that the voters will give it to Votto because the Reds beat up on the lowly NL Central all year. Which makes him the recipiant of the prestigious Ryan Howard Award, and my spurning for the next decade.
The Reason the MLB needs to look into Soccer style relegations- Pittsburgh Pirates- Now for those of you who don't follow International Club Soccer, most soccer leagues around the world have multiple levels, similar to baseball. At the end of each season, the bottom 3-4 teams in each league get demoted to the lower league, and the top 3-4 teams in the lower league get promoted, this happens in every league. This accomplishes a few things, 1. It keeps teams from having fire sales (the pirates have traded away what could be a playoff caliber team over the past 7 years: Jack Wilson, Jason Bay, Octavio Dotel, Matt Capps, Aramis Ramerez, Xavier Nady, Nate McCloth, etc...) 2. It allows bad teams to play against teams at their level and gives the lower level teams some incentive to win games. 3. It keeps teams from throwing in the towel the last month of the season just to develop talent. If a player in the bigs is struggling they get sent down to the minors so they can work somethings out and they get called back up when they are ready. Well, the Pirates as a team could use sometime to develop, this year they earned the incredible record of being a below .500 team for 18 years . That means their are some college students who weren't alive the last time the Pirates were respectable, let alone good. It's time for them to go down to the minors for a few years gather themselves and them maybe, just maybe, make it back the bigs one of these days.
Cinderella that missed the ball- San Diego Padres- Like all Fairy Tale stories, it was just too good to be true. The Padres couldn't complete the miraculous turn around from worst to first but, it was just too good to be true. I really wanted to see them pull it off, I really did. And they were in the drivers seat all year! A shaky September made things look a little bleak, but on the last day of the season they controlled their own destiny... Win and you are still alive. But it just wasn't meant to be. The two ugly step-sisters, the Giants and Braves, got to go dancing (and in the Giants case meet prince charming) and Cinderella had to stay home.
Please, Just Stop Talking Award- Brandon Phillips and Orlando Cabrera- This award is for the guy(s) who opened his mouth when he really shouldn't have. After losing the first game of a pivotal series at home, Phillips called the other team, the Cardinals, some words that I will choose not to repeat on here (he went 0 fer the night, and had 1 hit in the series). The next game he tapped Catcher Yadier Molina on the shinguards and a brawl was the result. Phillips underperformed against the Cards all year. The old adage of beat them on the field definitely comes into play with Phillips. Now that was the far and away the winner of the award until his teammate Cabrera spoke up in the playoffs. The Reds were no-hit in the first game of the playoffs by Roy Halladay. In an interview after the game, Cabrera said that Halladay wouldn't have no-hit the Reds had a different umpire been working that night. The Marlins had a case for this back in May, but Halladay was on and the Reds were off that night and well... the umpire had nothing to do with this no hitter. Again, Orlando Cabrera, think before you open your mouth... and never blame the umps...
The Mans Got Class Award- Armando Galarraga - Armado Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game on the 27th out by one of the worst calls in Major League Baseball history. Galarraga did not run and yell at the umpire, he did no drop to his knees and cry, he just gave a wry smile and walked back to the mound... ladies and gents, that is the definition of class. He didn't blast Umpire Jim Joyce in the media, or make a big scene, or draw things out about it the rest of the season, he just kept pitching. He did things the right way, and theres something to be said about that. So my hats off to you Armando, you were perfect in my book.
Most Anticipated Debut Award- Steven Strasburg - No Pitcher has ever had a more hyped first game in the bigs. The Indians (2nd start opponent) sold more tickets for the one game Strasburg pitched than they probably did for the other 6 games they played that week. Too bad Strasburg got hurt and had his season come to an early end, but all of the Nats opponent's box offices really appreciated him being around for that one month.
The Big Game , Good Team That Couldn't Beat Bad Teams Award- St. Louis Cardinals- This one really hurts to say, but sometimes truth hurts. The Cards had a losing record against teams with below .500 records (40-42). The Cards got things done when they played the Reds (12-6) and the rest of the playoffs teams, but struggled against bad teams. In one 7 game stretch against the Nats and Pirates, the Cards went 2-5. Yeah, I really can't say much more than that.
Worst Fans Award- Tampa Bay Rays- This may seem a little harsh, but read my last post. The Rays were 22nd in attendance this year despite having the 2nd best record in majors. This was the lowest of all playoff teams. The Diamondbacks were the next closest team above them and they out supported their team by 2500 fans per game, and the Diamondbacks were tough to watch. I feel bad having to give this award out, but the Rays' fans deserve it.
There's Always Next Year Award- The Chicago Cubs- Because... Well... there's always next year on the north side. Maybe year 103 will be the year...