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The battle for the post-season is just about settled. The Rays, by taking 3 of 4 from Boston, have prolonged matters. But they've got 10 games left, and 7 of them are with the Yankees. The Red Sox also have 10 games left, and 7 of them are with the Orioles.

Big, big advantage to the Red Sox.

So let's hand out some awards.


The unspoken narrative this season has been the search for an excuse to support the MVP case of Anybody-Except-Jose-Bautista. The only sinister motive I assign to this is the desire for people to have something to talk about. Bautista burst from the gate like Babe Ruth himself and quickly lapped the field. Which is not the most interesting story to tell, especially if you make your living writing stories about baseball. I personally have always believed that "most valuable" means "best." The best player has more value than the second best player. Jose Bautista has been the best player in the American League this season.

There are those who focus on the phrase "most valuable to his team" when they're trying to justify some other candidate. I've always thought of this as the Doug Gilmour fallacy. Back in the early 1990s, Leafs fans would try to argue Doug Gilmour's case for the Hart Trophy by saying that he meant more to the Maple Leafs than Mario Lemieux meant to the Penguins. This did not actually make him more valuable than Lemieux, of course - if the Penguins had been sufficiently insane as to actually trade Lemieux for Gilmour, the Leafs would have gotten better and the Penguins would have gotten worse. What they meant was that Gilmour constituted a greater share of the overall goodness of the Leafs than Lemieux did for the Penguins. But even this argument isn't going to fly in the case of Bautista, who represents a greater share of what is good and decent and noble about the Blue Jays than any other player in the majors means to his team.

There is a third line of argument, that considers what the player has done in the context of its impact on the championship season. And this is where Bautista's case could run into trouble. It's not Jose Bautista's fault that all his efforts have been able to achieve is to keep the Blue Jays at around .500. But that is all he's achieved. He's lifted a bad team to mediocrity. If Alex Anthopoulos had plied Theo Epstein with so much liquour that he had said "Sure!" to the notion of swapping Aaron Hill for Dustin Pedroia... the Jays would still be out of contention. Likewise, if Anthopoulos had held Brian Cashman's family hostage until he agreed to swap Curtis Granderson for Corey Patterson... the Yankees would still be comfortably ahead of Toronto. It's not Bautista's fault that both Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano are so much better than Aaron Hill, it's not his fault that Rajai Davis and Corey Patterson couldn't carry Curtis Granderson's batting gloves. But those are Bautista's circumstances.

But these are also Robinson Cano's circumstances, and Ellsbury's and Granderson's. Those teams are sufficiently better than the competition that no single player is that significant. Granted, the Red Sox late season stumbles are threatening to change this particular equation - but I think it will be pretty hard to support Ellsbury for MVP if the Sox fold up completely and actually miss the post-season. Anyway, this is more or less the thinking behind the MVP argument for Justin Verlander. If Detroit was forced to replace Verlander with even an average starting pitcher - Gavin Floyd, say - it's not at all clear that they'd still be in first place. If you wanted to say that no player in the American League has had as significant an impact on the championship season as Justin Verlander, I might agree. I might give him my vote as the Most Significant Player, and if that's what you want from the MVP, maybe he's your man. But Verlander would not be the league's MSP if he played for Boston, or if he played for Toronto. Just like Bautista, just like Pedroia and Granderson, Verlander's particular distinction also comes from the accident of his circumstances. Besides - I don't think Verlander is the best player on his own team. I know they played about 130 games this season where he was just slightly more valuable than me.

So I end where I began. The most valuable player in the league is the best player.

1. Jose Bautista, Toronto
2. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
3. Curtis Granderson, New York
4. Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston
5. Justin Verlander, Detroit


The situation in the National League is strikingly similar. Again, a player on a bad team has quite clearly been the best player in the league. The Dodgers were eliminated from contention almost as quickly as the Blue Jays, so there will be no shortage of people looking for a reason to give the award to someone besides Matt Kemp. MVP voters have always loved RBI men, the Brewers are going to the post-season, so it's certain that Prince Fielder will receive considerable support. This would be pretty silly, as the man has no defensive value whatsoever, and isn't even the best offensive player on his own team. The man who is the Brewers' best player, Ryan Braun, does have a good MVP case. His raw offensive numbers, in fact, are actually better than Kemp's.

Kemp has been a better player than Braun, though. Partially because he plays a key defensive position, and plays it pretty well. Braun plays left field because they have to put that bat somewhere, and first base is already occupied. More to the point, Kemp's had to play half his games in one of the toughest hitter's parks in baseball, whereas Braun gets a nice boost from his home field. In neutral parks, although Braun has closed the gap dramatically this month, Kemp has still been a little bit better. Braun has hit .320/.381/.572 on the road with 17 HRs and 46 RBI - Kemp has hit .320/.406/.584 with 17 HRs and 55 RBI. But Braun goes home to Miller Field, where he's hit .347/.415/.622 with with 14 HR and 57 RBI, whereas Kemp has to go to Dodger Stadium. Where he's still managed to hit .309/.386/.529 with with 16 HR and 56 RBI.

Of course the fact that MVP voters continue to be blissfully unaware of all ballpark effects that don't involve altitude - witness the MVP awards collected by Josh Hamilton, Ivan Rodriguez, and Juan Gonzalez - is probably very bad news for Kemp. And, Like Bautista, Kemp's season hasn't been particularly significant. He's still had more value than anyone else. Although if Brian McCann hadn't missed so many games...

1. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles

2. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee
3. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado
4. Joey Votto, Cincinnati
5. Cliff Lee/Roy Halladay, Philadelphia

AL Cy Young

This is not as cut and dried as it looks, as you have to cut Sabathia and, especially, Wilson quite a bit of slack for their home parks. But Verlander's simply having one of those years, and all we can do is shut up and salute.

1. Justin Verlander, Detroit
2. C.C. Sabathia, New York
3. C.J. Wilson, Texas
4. James Shields, Tampa Bay
5. Jered Weaver, Los Angeles

NL Cy Young

Oh, this is fun. Consider, Clayton Kershaw who has posted numbers for this season that can stand up to anyone's, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee included. What's just as remarkable is that Kershaw's also worked about the same number of innings as the Philly aces. This is a boon for everyone looking for a reason to vote for someone besides Roy Halladay (again, for no particular reason except the unending search for a new story to tell.) But Kershaw's case is the opposite of Kemp's. Dodger Stadium gives Kershaw a big boost, whereas Halladay and Lee are working in a good park for the hitters. (Halladay has pitched a little better at home anyway, and Lee has actually pitched much better in Philadelphia. But still... Dodger Stadium, people. Kershaw gets a huge boost from his home park, where he's gone 11-1, 1.72 (outside Dodger Stadium, Kershaw is 8-4, 2.90.)

So it's either Halladay or Lee, and however closely I peer at their records I find it almost impossible to tell the two apart. Right now, I'd say it's Lee by a micron. Really, whoever pitches better in their final start will have had the better season.

1. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia
2. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia
3. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles
4. Ian Kennedy, Arizona
5. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia

AL Rookie of the Year

I agree that it's a pitcher, but not the one everyone was talking about all year. Michael Pineda had a fine first season, but ultimately a 3.72 ERA at Safeco isn't all that great. I think Ivan Nova's season was more impressive, although I (like everyone else) like Pineda's future better. Dustin Ackley and Brett Lawrie just didn't play enough. I think Mark Trumbo doesn't get enough respect, but it's not him either.

1. Jeremy Hellickson
, Tampa Bay
2. Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles
3. Eric Hosmer., Kansas City

NL Rookie of the Year

The senior circuit produced an amazing crop of rookies last season. This year... not so much.

1. Vance Worley, Philadelphia

2. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta
3. Brandon Beachy, Atlanta

AL Manager of the Year

Joe Maddon did what he always does - he ran relief pitchers in and out of the game like there was a bonus payable for every pitching change, and squeezed out just enough runs to support his fine group of starting pitchers. Jim Leyland and Joe Girardi both won their divisions with teams that had just one good starting pitcher - Leyland's bullpen and outfield were also full of holes, although Miguel Cabrera and the remarkable Alex Avila made up for quite a bit.

1. Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay
2. Jim Leyland, Detroit
3. Joe Girardi, New York

NL Manager of the Year

Some respect for Charlie Manuel wouldn't be monumentally out of line, you know. But when you go from losing 90 games to winning your division, it's pretty simple.

1. Kirk Gibson, Arizona
2. Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia
3. Fredi Gonzalez, Atlanta

Finally, let's pick some All-Star teams. It makes so much more sense to do this in September, rather than July, no?


C - Alex Avila, Detroit - Wow, that was easy. Honourable mention: Carlos Santana, Matt Wieters.
1b - Miguel Cabrera, Detroit - Kind of snuck up on everyone, but he had yet another monstrous year. Honourable mention: Adrian Gonzalez, Paul Konerko
2b - Robinson Cano, New York - Cano and Pedroia can both do just anything on a ball field, but Cano does some things a little better. Honourable mention: Pedroia, Howie Kendrick
3b - Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay - Injuries played havoc with Youkilis and Rodriguez's seasons, which narrowed the field somewhat. Longoria's season looks quite a bit like Adrian Beltre's and both men are wonderful defensive players, but Beltre plays in the best hitter's park in the league and Longoria plays in the worst. Honourable mention: Beltre, Mark Reynolds.
ss - Jhonny Peralta, Detroit - Not a banner year for AL shortstops. Peralta's defense is average at best, but he does enough with the bat to push him to the top of the heap. Honourable mention: Yunel Escobar, Asrubal Cabrera
lf - Alex Gordon, Kansas City - Wow, was I wrong about this guy. I'd written him off completely, and kudos to those of you who challenged me on that back in the spring. Gordon played better than Josh Hamilton, and he was much better at staying in the lineup. Which makes it a pretty easy choice, actually. Honourable mention: Hamilton, Josh Willingham
cf - Curtis Granderson, New York - Very close between him and Ellsbury. Personally, I think the criticism of Granderson's defense is suspicious - the Yankees team defense is quite impressive, and I don't think it's because of the left fielder, as good as he happens to be. And I'm pretty sure it's not the shortstop. Honourable mention: Ellsbury, Peter Bourjos
rf - Jose Bautista, Toronto - The best player in the league, so... yeah. Honourable mention: Matt Joyce, Carlos Quentin.
dh - David Ortiz, Boston - It turns out he's not quite as washed up as I was thinking. Head and shoulders above the rest. Honourable mention: Billy Butler, Victor Martinez
sp - Justin Verlander, Detroit. Honourable mention: C.C. Sabathia, C.J.Wilson, James Shields
rp - Mariano Rivera, New York - He's still the one. Honourable mention: Jose Valverde, David Robertson


C - Brian McCann, Atlanta - Duh. Honourable mention: Yadier Molina and Miguel Montero
1b - Joey Votto, Cincinnati - Stands just a little higher than the rest. Honourable mention:Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder
2b - Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee - Utley's injury and Uggla's nightmarish first half eliminated the usual suspects. Honourable mention:Brandon Phillips, Uggla
3b - Aramis Ramirez, Chicago - It's not surprising that injuries took a big bite of the seasons of Scott Rolen and Chipper Jones, but David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman and Pablo Sandoval also missed plenty of time. Ramirez was almost the last man standing. Honourable mention: Sandoval, Jones
ss - Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado - The best in the game, by a comfortable margin. Honourable mention: Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins
lf - Ryan Braun, Milwaukee - A very easy choice. Honourable mention: Matt Holliday, Carlos Gonzalez
cf - Matt Kemp, Los Angeles - The best player in the league. Honourable mention: Andrew McCutchen, Shane Victorino.
rf - Justin Upton, Arizona - Very tough choice between him and Beltran, who was just as productive a hitter in tougher places to hit. Upton's speed and durability tip the scales for me. Honourable mention: Beltran, Lance Berkman
sp - Cliff Lee, Philadelphia. Honourable mention: Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw, Ian Kennedy
rp - Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta - Honourable mention: Jonny Venters, Tyler Clippard

Let the disagreeing commence! (And next Monday comes the 2011 Blue Jays report Card, and we can all argue about that)
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Spifficus - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 02:13 AM EDT (#244220) #
I know the SS selections were pretty weak this year, but surely you could find someone that had an allstar caliber campaign in each league. :-)
Magpie - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 02:26 AM EDT (#244222) #
D'OH! Fixed! (But you're right. Where have all the shortstops gone?)
92-93 - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 05:37 AM EDT (#244230) #
Halladay has 2 more wins and the better ERA, so I'd have to give him the CY. And while Lee has the 6 shutouts to Doc's 1, I put some value in Doc's 2 extra CGs.

I don't think Trumbo belongs in the top 3 - his season has been marginally better than Arencibia's, all things considered.

I'd rather give the NL ROY to a guy who had a significant impact on his team the whole season, even if it's "just" as a closer, so it's Kimbrel for me.
Magpie - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 07:10 AM EDT (#244231) #
Halladay has 2 more wins and the better ERA

Tell me about it! It's just utterly ridiculous how close Halladay and Lee are - they've both pitched exactly 219.2 innings, and they've both allowed 61 runs (Halladay has 4 unearned, Lee only 3 and that's the ERA difference.) I could change my mind after lunch.

But I do think what Trumbo has done, in a tough place to hit, deserves more respect than he generally gets.
Magpie - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 07:31 AM EDT (#244233) #
it's Kimbrel for me.

I didn't consider him - I actually thought Kimbrel had used up his eligibility in May-June 2010, but a closer review of the transaction log informs me that they sent him back down for about 10 days in the middle of it. He ended up with about 39 days on the active roster before the rosters expanded, which gets him under the bar. I think I'd still go with Worley anyway, and Kimbrel second.

The Braves did come up with a nice rookie crop this year, didn't they?
AWeb - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 08:18 AM EDT (#244234) #

Kind of stunning how few positions appear to be debatable - the majors appear to be top heavy this year, with a lot of injuries, as noted in the piece. Even more than SS, I find the lack of good OF years shocking. After the MVP candidates and Gordon, there's quite a drop in the AL, mostly to the "high % of value comes from defense" Gardner types. I think teams may have gone too far in search of great OF defense, and might be forgetting that LF and RF can be played passably by a lot of stiffs. Maybe there's just a lack of hitters right now, but Milwaukee has shown the benefits of constructing a team that just hits and pitches, but can't play defense much at all.

Oh, and Aramis Ramirez the best 3B in the NL, probably for the first time - he's on a career pace for big counting numbers, and 314 HRs at age 33, 8 seasons over 120 OPS+...he reminds me of Michael Young (accumlating #'s, neither should be playing 3B anymore), except he seems to get slammed, rather than praised, for being a merely good player every year. Not great enough to survive a marked decline, so actual huge career totals are unlikely, but oddly a favourite of mine.


rpriske - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#244235) #

The argument that Verlander isn't valuable when he doesn't start is spurious. Why don't you count the number of at-bats he is involved in compared to a position player?

Personally, I think they shoudl change the rules on MVP so pitchers aren't allowed to win. They have their own award and every time you compare pitchers to hitters you are forcing comparisons that don't belong.

Geoff - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#244237) #
If MVP is all about who is the most dominating force between the lines, then Verlander deserves the consideration. The debate between what a hitter brings to the table as opposed to a pitcher is tiresome, but baseball is full of tiresome debates that will get you nowhere. It thrives on it and builds its tradition upon it. I know no other sport that comes even close to the amount of tiresome debates than what baseball will engender.

Hitters have their own awards too. May have to accept that this award is intended to spur debate about what any individual player brings to the table and who is the most dominant force in the game.

Anders - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#244245) #
Everything seems reasonable. On balance my AL MVP ballot would look something like: 1. Bautista 2. Verlander 3. Ellsbury 4. Granderson 5. Pedroia
Magpie - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#244246) #
The argument that Verlander isn't valuable when he doesn't start is spurious.

That wasn't an argument. That was a wisecrack.

I do think it's become very unlikely for a pitcher to have as great an impact on a season as position player. They simply aren't involved in as many at bats as they used to be. And you always have to remember that the batter, rather than the pitcher, is the larger determining force in the outcome of any at bat. It's not like you can just compare a pitcher's Batters Faced to a hitter's Plate Appearances. I would think a pitcher needs to pitch at least 250 innings to be as valid a contender. Probably more.

It wasn't always this way, but starters just don't pitch as much they used to. Pat Hentgen faced 1100 hitters in his Cy Young year; Verlander's faced 938 this season. (Of course, a big reason Verlander hasn't faced as many is he doesn't allow nearly as many of them to get on base.) Anyway - I do think Verlander's a genuine, excellent, bonafide contender. And that alone, in the modern game, is pretty unusual, and extremely impressive.
John Northey - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#244247) #
For fun I checked FanGraphs for most valuable/least valuable in dollars as far as their formulas are concerned.

Most: Jacoby Ellsbury $38.4 million (helped by over 1 win via defense), Bautista $36.8, Matt Kemp $34.2, with other $30+'s in Dustin Pedroia, Ryan Braun, Joey Votto, Curtis Granderson, and Justin Upton. For pitchers it is Roy Halladay $32.2, CC Sabathia $28.3, and Justin Verlander $27.8 - Cliff Lee was at $25.9

In the negative category...
Pitchers: Bronson Arroyo -$5.7 'wins' the NL title while Michael Kohn takes the AL title at -$3.8
Hitters: Adam Dunn takes the cake at -$12 million, while poor Felix Pie has to settle for 2nd in the AL at -$9.6 with no one else sub $7 mil. The NL title goes to Bill Hall at -$6.9 (3rd in majors).

Fangraphs lists just 3 hitters on the Jays worth over $10 mil. Most can guess the first 2 - Bautista & Escobar. Can anyone guess the 3rd hitter? The pitchers were Romero & Morrow but Morrow as #1 as FG uses FIP instead of ERA iirc.

In the negatives for the Jays are Jon Rauch ($2.6) Aaron Hill ($3.6), plus 2 guys who got some of their 'value' via other teams (Teahen & Wise) in the worst than $1 mil to the negative category.
ayjackson - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#244251) #
The top 2 are Bautista and Verlander for me.  It seems murky after that between Ellsbury, Pedroia, Avila, Cabrera, Gonzales, Granderson and Ortiz for the 3-5 spots.
DJRob - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#244254) #
Can anyone guess the 3rd hitter?

I guessed Arencibia. Very surprised at the answer.
Dave Rutt - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#244256) #
Just because the answer is probably weird, Jose Molina?
Dave Rutt - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#244257) #
Nope, Molina's been worth 6.7 mil according to FG.
Mick Doherty - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#244258) #

John, so you set it up to show that Felix Pie is second to Dunn in taking the cake?

Very nice, young chef. Very nice.

John Northey - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#244259) #
Makes one wonder - would it be worth it to sign Felix Pie this winter? The guy's peak in the majors has been a 98 OPS+ and this year a replacement level player would've been worth millions more than him. This is a guy who is entering his age 27 year (peak years) and shot through the minors quickly with a 830 OPS in AAA and 909 in AA. Solid if you want a AAA guy, but why didn't it translate to the majors? Guess it will always be a mystery why some guys do and some don't.
John Northey - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#244260) #
Molina wouldn't have shocked me as much. While it makes sense if you think it through, it still is surprising. If I say why then I give it away.
Sal - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#244262) #
Lawrie? I believe he surpassed 2 WAR at 5m per WAR
Jonny German - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#244263) #
The biggest shocker is anyone putting any kind of stock in Fangraphs dollar values.
Forkball - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#244269) #
No kidding.  I can't take the Fangraph's values seriously.

I think an argument that you could put in Verlander's favor, or any workhorse, is that they allow you to work your bullpen different.... on the days before you can bring more pitchers in knowing you have someone that's going to very likely go 7+ the next night.  And then the game after the workhorse starts you have a rested bullpen.  I always thought that was part of Halladay's hidden value with the Jays.

uglyone - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#244270) #
I think the fangraphs value markers work pretty well, at least theoretically. The only problem with them is that they're based on WAR, so any problems with WAR will also be a problem with their money values.

That being said, I think it's a pretty refreshing and revealing stat - it really puts free agent money in perspective quite well.

As for awards, I find it pretty funny how little hype Cabrera has got for MVP. Makes it pretty clear that the "anyone-for-MVP-but-Jose" sentiment is coming almost exclusively from the BOS/NYY markets. You don't hear much about how "quality of team" should be so important to an MVP vote now that the Red Sox are plummeting down the standings. Cabrera is easily the 2nd best hitter in the AL, and his team is not only comparable as good as anyone's, but his importance to his team is clearly higher than any of the guys on the other contenders. If it doesn't go to Joey Bats, it better go to Miggy.
lexomatic - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#244273) #
I don't konw how anyone can seriously consider Granderson ( I know he's 2nd in the league in HRs). I get that he reshaped his swing and he's having a really good year, but I think a large part of his numbers is due to that stadium. Sure he plays decent defense, but he shouldn't be up on that list.
greenfrog - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#244274) #
Pretty good ballgame going on at Fenway right now. Bottom of the 9th, Orioles up 6-5. Aviles, McDonald and Ellsbury scheduled to bat. I'm sure more than a few Rays fans (and players) are watching.
greenfrog - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#244275) #
And the O's win it. Rays down by 1.5 games.
Chuck - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#244276) #

[re Granderson] I think a large part of his numbers is due to that stadium

Before today's game his home/road HR and OPS splits were 20/20 and 933/937.

FearFranchise - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#244277) #

I agree with the awards except the following:

NL CY - Kershaw.  I think Lee and Halladay both being on the same team will cost them some votes.  I know it's not the same theory as MVP, but I still think it plays a factor.  Also, i think Clayton is deserving.

NL ROTY - Kimbrel.  He's been lights out since the beginning of April.



Mick Doherty - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#244280) #
I think Nova is going to get a TON of support for AL ROY. Not saying he should win,. just that he might ... 15+ wins for a pitching-challenged division winner in New York City? If the Rays catch the Sox, it will be Hellickson in a walk, and he probably should win it, but if not, it could well be Ivan the Conqueror.
Jonny German - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#244281) #
a pitching-challenged division winner in New York City

Their pitching does suck. But Nova has only been their 4th best starter.

Hellickson losing to Nova would be as bad as if King Felix had lost to Sabathia last year. The voters got that one right, so let's hope they're making progress.
Magpie - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#244282) #
Their pitching does suck.

It really doesn't! I know that perception is out there, probably because Burnett and Hughes have had bad years and they're fairly visible members of the staff. But only two teams have given up fewer runs than the Yankees - and unlike the Rays or the Angels, New York's pitchers aren't getting any help from their home field. They've got four good starters and a fabulous bullpen.
Jonny German - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#244283) #
My anti-Yankee reflexes kicked in a bit too quick. On further consideration, Yankee starting pitching doesn't suck as much as I'd like it to.
Jonny German - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#244284) #
As they say elsewhere, Coke to Magpie.
Anders - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#244285) #
15+ wins for a pitching-challenged division winner in New York City?

If they were hitting challenged this would be more impressive...

If the Rays catch the Sox, it will be Hellickson in a walk, and he probably should win it, but if not, it could well be Ivan the Conqueror.

I really hope people don't take standings into account in deciding the Rookie of the Year. I don't know who I'd vote for, maybe Dustin Ackley...

Magpie - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#244286) #
My main problem with Ackley, who's been really good, is playing time - he's only going to play about 90 games. That's just me, I suppose and it may not bother the voters. They gave the award to Ryan Howard for playing 88 games in 2005 (and Jeff Francoeur came in third that year, and he played only 70.)
greenfrog - Monday, September 19 2011 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#244287) #
I like Hellickson for AL ROY, but among pitchers, Nova isn't far behind. Among position players, my top three would probably be Hosmer, Trumbo, Ackley, in that order (if Ackley had posted his 278/353/428 line over a full season, I would have voted for him - partly because those are very good numbers, and partly because he plays 2B). Does Mike Carp have rookie status? He's had a pretty good half-year too. And of course Lawrie has had a terrific quarter-season.
Geoff - Tuesday, September 20 2011 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#244301) #
I've found a bone to pick: What's with placing Jered Weaver 5th for the Cy standings?  I'd have him edge out CC, but definitely ahead of CJ Wilson and Shields.

Where's the love for Weaver? He won't beat Verlander but he deserves second place.

Also Mike Scioscia wants some love too. Joe Girardi doesn't deserve more credit than Mike for work put in this year, but maybe that's just the anti-Yankee sentiment coming up again.

Geoff - Tuesday, September 20 2011 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#244302) #
But if there were a pitching coach of the year award, Larry Rothschild deserves consideration.
Spifficus - Tuesday, September 20 2011 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#244304) #
Without paying much attention to the race for second, I had assumed Weaver was ahead. When I thought of all the factors in play out of their control (parks, bullpen and defense... especially OF), though, I converted to Wilson.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, September 20 2011 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#244305) #
"I know that perception is out there, probably because Burnett and Hughes have had bad years and they're fairly visible members of the staff. "

I suspect it's also because of the presence of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia - at the start of the year, few people would have expected good things from a rotation featuring both of those guys.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 20 2011 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#244310) #
Where's the love for Weaver? He won't beat Verlander but he deserves second place

For some reason, I'm taking ballpark effects very seriously this week, and Weaver's the one contender who works in a great pitcher's park (and indeed his ERA is 1.81 at home, 2.93 on the road.) Sabathia has the same 2.93 ERA on the road, but he's at 3.11 in the Stadium. I also think that while New York's defense is underrated it's still nowhere as good as the Angels.
Anders - Tuesday, September 20 2011 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#244335) #
I also think that while New York's defense is underrated it's still nowhere as good as the Angels.

The Angels are doing everything they can to prove you wrong... by my count they've made about 5 errors/misplays in the last 2 innings.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, September 20 2011 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#244336) #
Some people have remarked that September AB and IP don't count when considering rookie status limits, while others say they do. Who's right?
Thomas - Tuesday, September 20 2011 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#244338) #
AFAIK (without looking it up), September ABs and IP count for Rookie of the Year status.

ROY eligibility also imposes service time limitations - I don't know what they are off-hand - so a player like Brian Jeroloman could, in theory, lose his ROY eligibility without accumulating any MLB ABs simply by being on a major league roster for 45 days or whatever it is. However, September service time does not count towards the service time eligibility requirements for ROY eligibility.
Thomas - Tuesday, September 20 2011 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#244339) #
That was somewhat poorly worded. Trying again: Players can lose ROY eligibility through either exceeding an AB or IP limitation (130 and 50, respectively) or through spending too much time on a major league roster. The former continues to accumulate in September. The service time is not accrued in September. As is my understanding.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 20 2011 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#244345) #
The service time is not accrued in September. As is my understanding.

That's correct, it's 45 days while the roster limit is at 25.
Glevin - Wednesday, September 21 2011 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#244409) #
Leyland has been maybe the worst manager in the league. The Tigers have perhaps the single worst lineup construction I have ever seen. Leyland hits the Tigers best hitters 4-7 and puts horrible OBP guys 1-3.

Kershaw will likely win Cy Young. It's really a three-way tie between Kershaw, Lee, and Halladay. AL MVP will be interesting. I can see the reasoning for voting for Bautista, Verlander, or Granderson depending on how you view the MVP. Don't understand the Ellsbury vote. He's the third best hitter on his own team. Hellickson has been way better than Nova. Fifth in the league in ERA and 11th in WHIP pitching in the AL East (and not with the Yankees or Red Sox). Ogando has been better than Nova. Hellickson has been a top-10 pitcher this year. Trumbo has had a good year but his OBP is just awful and he plays 1B. Hosmer has a better OPS than Trumbo. He may win because voters have traditionally loved HRs and RBI.

Magpie - Thursday, September 22 2011 @ 01:28 AM EDT (#244411) #
Ogando has been better than Nova.

Ogando? What does that have to do with anything?
Magpie - Thursday, September 22 2011 @ 01:45 AM EDT (#244412) #
Leyland has been maybe the worst manager in the league.

You really, really overestimate the importance of batting order. The Tigers do have quite a few players who are lousy at getting on base; and the few guys who are good at getting on base are players you're not going to use at the top of the order - you're obviously not going to lead off with Cabrera or Avila. He's had Boesch hitting second or third much of the time, which makes a bit of sense. Austin Jackson actually draws enough walks to be a decent lead off hitter, but he went and lost 50 points off his batting average...

Despite these problems, only three teams in the league have scored more runs. And the Tigers don't get to play half their games in Arlington (Coors Texas!), Fenway, or New Yankee Stadium. So maybe it hasn't been a total disaster.
TamRa - Thursday, September 22 2011 @ 02:36 AM EDT (#244414) #
The service time is not accrued in September. As is my understanding.

That's correct, it's 45 days while the roster limit is at 25.

We have this discussion EVERY year.

I used to think that way to, but it is incorrect. Service tine DOES accrue in September.

TamRa - Thursday, September 22 2011 @ 02:37 AM EDT (#244415) #
wait - that was just for the purposes of the ROY wasn't it.



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