November 2011

Q and A With Anthony Bass

Anthony Bass is fairly new to ‘The Show.’ You might of heard of him; you might not. Either way, I’m very confident that you’ll be hearing a lot from Bass in the near future. Bass made his Major League debut for the San Diego Padres, on June 13th of this year. He only pitched in 27 games (3 starts) but achieved success–recording 2 wins and a fairly low 1.68 ERA. Not bad for a guy who just turned 24 years old, on November 1st. Bass–who’s on the Padre’s Active roster for next season–took the time recently to answer some of my questions:

1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball?

I started playing baseball at 5.

2.) Did you always want to be a pitcher?

I pitched and played every position when I was younger.

3.) Describe what your Major League debut was like. What was going through your head?

Humbling. I was thinking, this is my shot.

4.) What does it feel like to be having success this early in your career?

Countless hours spent on the baseball diamond and working on being the best is starting to pay off.

5.) Do you like the NL, with the chance for you to hit? Or would you rather have someone hitting for you? (Like the DH in the AL.)

I like the NL. All 9 players in the field should hit.

6.) Which of your pitches is your favorite to throw? (Not necessarily your best pitch.)

Fastball.

7.) Favorite T.V. show?

I like storage wars.

8.) Favorite shoe brand?

Reebok.

9.) Favorite food?

Steak/pasta.

10.) Favorite sport, besides baseball?

College basketball. (Michigan State.)

11.) Favorite type of music?

Rock.

12.) Favorite moment of your baseball career thus far?

Making my MLB debut.

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Big thanks to Anthony Bass for taking the time to answer my questions. You can follow him on twitter: @AnthonyBass45

Speaking of twitter, if you follow me then you might have seen my tweet on Monday stating that this Q and A entry was going to have a surprise at the end. Well, keep reading to find out what it is.

It all started with a simple question of whether or not Anthony Bass had any game used items left over from the season that he’d be willing to get rid of. I fully expected a polite, but firm, “no”, but that’s not what happened. Bass–being the awesome guy that he is–proceeded to offer me his AFL (Arizona Fall League) Batting Practice jersey. I was thrilled. To get something like that from a guy like him? I couldn’t believe it.

I sent my address, and told him where I wanted him to sign it. (Yes, he offered to autograph it too!) I then waited patiently for it to arrive in the mail, as it did on Saturday:

How awesome is that?!

Notice the patch on the bottom right portion of the jersey? Here’s a closer look:

Here’s what the back looks like:

Let me take the time to note that the jersey isn’t messed up. All of those wrinkles occured when I layed it down, and I didn’t do a good job of unwrinkling them before I took the photo.

You can sort of see the autograph in the picture above, but here’s a better look at it:

With AFL standing for Arizona Fall League, of course.

I can’t begin to thank Anthony Bass enough. He’s truly an extremely nice guy, and I wish him nothing but the best as he continues his journey in the Majors. He’s one of those guys that you can’t help but root for.

I hope to meet Bass in person at a 2012 Padres game, to thank him for answering my questions and sending me his AFL BP jersey. If that happens, I’ll be sure to post an entry about it right here on my blog.

Have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow everybody!!!

Justin Verlander Wins AL MVP

I was looking to go 6 for 6 with my predictions that I made a week ago today. Through the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards, I was right on, going 4 for 4. I was feeling good about my AL MVP prediction, of Jacoby Ellsbury. I didn’t think Justin Verlander would recieve enough votes to win, given the fact that he’s a pitcher, but I was wrong. It was announced earlier this afternoon that Verlander was in fact the winner of the MVP award. The first starting pitcher to win it since Roger Clemens, back in 1986.

You’re probably wondering–or maybe you’re not, I don’t know–about how I feel about Verlander’s recieving of the AL MVP award. First of all, I have nothing against a pitcher winning. Considering the fact that there was a 25 year drought between starting pitchers, it’s not like any starting pitcher can win it. They have to have an incredible season–as Verlander did. Another thing that put Verlander over the top for me, is the fact that he became the first pitcher since Sandy Koufax, back in 1965, to record 24 wins and throw a no-hitter in the same season. Anytime your name is included in the same sentence as someone as great as Koufax, you know you had a special year.

The results of the AL MVP voting (top 5) are as follows:

1) Justin Verlander- 280 Votes

2) Jacoby Ellsbury- 242 Votes

3) Jose Bautista- 231 Votes

4) Curtis Granderson- 215 Votes

5) Miguel Cabrera- 193 Votes

Although I didn’t predict Verlander to win, I didn’t think that the results would come out the way they did. I thought for sure that Curtis Granderson would finish either second or third, but he came in fourth–with Bautista beating him out. That’s the only part of the MVP voting that I question. But whatever. It is what it is. Congrats to Justin Verlander.

There is a lot of controversy as to whether or not a pitcher should be allowed to win the MVP award. I say absolutely, but you may think otherwise. So, what do you think?

My Predictions for Upcoming MLB Awards

MLB awards start up again today, with the AL and NL Rookie of the Year Award winners being announced around 2:00. Then, in the upcoming days, the winners for AL and NL Cy Young and MVP will be announced. With the busy schedule of awards coming up I thought I’d try to predict who will win what.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD

AL- This is a tough one for me to predict. There are two major contenders in the American League that have a shot at winning the award. The first of the two, Jeremy Hellickson, had an amazing year for the Tampa Bay Rays. He recorded 17 wins and held up a 2.95 ERA. Hellickson also threw two complete games including a shut out. Eric Hosmer–first baseman for the Kansas City Royals–also had a fantastic season. He recorded 19 home runs and 27 doubles off of 153 hits. Anytime a rookie can do that he’s a good candidate for the rookie of the year award, but I give a slight advantage to Hellickson.

NL- For me, this one is a no brainer. Craig Kimbrel is the best candidate to win the award for the National League. Kimbrel recored 46 saves in 54 opportunities–a rookie record. To me there’s no one that could beat out Kimbrel. The guy’s just too good.

CY YOUNG AWARD

AL- Just like the National League rookie of the year award, this one is almost too easy to predict. There was no pitcher in the American League that was better than Justin Verlander this year–possibly in all of MLB. The guy was amazing. I mean, he had a 24 win season and held his ERA to a low 2.40. No one else, in my opinion, even came close to Verlander.

NL- Another easy one to predict. Clayton Kershaw had a fantastic season and is the most deserving of the award in the National League. Kershaw recorded 21 wins and held his ERA to 2.28. Not to mention his 248 strike outs. There was no pitcher that was better than him this season in the NL.

MVP AWARD

AL- Another difficult prediction for me to make. In my opinion, Curtis Granderson and Jacoby Ellsbury are both players that I feel are deserving. Curtis Granderson hit 41 home runs off of 153 hits. That’s nearly double the number of home runs he hit last season (24). Granderson also recorded over 100 more total bases than he did last season. But when it comes down to it, I think that Jacoby Ellsbury was slightly better than Granderson this season. Ellsbury–who only played in 18 games last season–had a season to remember, hitting 32 home runs, 5 triples, and 46 doubles, off of 212 total hits. Truly incredible.

NL- There were some worthy candidates on the National League MVP Award list–including the Brewers’ Ryan Braun– but I feel that Matt Kemp just barely beat them out. Kemp became only the second player in Dodgers history to record a 30-30 in a season. (For those of you that don’t know, that’s 30 stolen bases and 30 home runs.) Kemp ended the season just one home run shy of a 40-40, which is why I think he’ll take home the award.

Those are just my predictions, based off of what I’ve seen throughout the past season. I’m sure you have predictions of your own that probably differ from mine. Which is why I want you to leave a comment if you don’t agree with one, or several, of my predictions. I’d love to hear what you guys are thinking.

Q and A With Danny Worth

Danny Worth has only been in the Majors for two seasons, but has shown a lot of promise. He’s a player to watch in the years to come. Worth–current third baseman for the Detroit Tigers–took the time recently to answer some of my questions:

1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball?

I started playing at the age of 5. I became interested in becoming pro when I was 12. Baseball was always my first love growing up.

2.) Did you play any other sports growing up?

I played all major sports growing up until I was 14. Played baseball year round from the age of 9-on.

3.) Describe what your Major League debut was like.

My ML debut was everything I expected it to be and more. It was an unreal feeling when my major goal in life was accomplished. I loved it.

4.) What pitch do you find hardest to hit?

The pitch I find hardest to hit would be a couple: backdoor curve from LHP, and a backdoor sinker from a RHP.

5.) How different were the play offs from regular season ball?

The playoff atmosphere was a lot of fun to be apart of. The players keep it the same more or less, but the fans bring a lot more intensity.

6.) Favorite food?

A nice filet mignon, medium rare.

7.) Favorite sport besides baseball?

Football.

8.) Favorite T.V. show?

All time- Seinfeld. Right now- Survivor.

9.) Favorite shoe brand?

Nike.
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Big thanks to Danny Worth for taking the time to answer my questions. Be sure to check out my past Q and A entries: Brent Lillibridge, Daniel Hudson, Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner, Jeremy Guthrie, Bryan Harper, Casper Wells, Bud Norris, David Huff, Brandon McCarthy, Shawn Kelley, Casey Kelly, and Jeremy Guthrie (Shoe Collection).

Jorge Posada’s Career With the Yankees Is Over

It’s official. According to the Yankees’ Jorge Posada, he will NOT be returning to the Yankees for the 2012 season. But after the Yankees made it clear towards the end of the 2011 season that his services were no longer needed, you pretty much figured this was coming.

Posada was part of the ‘core four’ in the late 1990′s. A group of four Yankees that consisted of Posada, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera. The four came up through the minors together and continued their togetherness stretch on up into the 2000′s. They won four World Series titles in a five year span–earning the name ‘core four’. Three of the ‘core four’ members (Jeter, Posada, and Rivera) played together for 17 consecutive years (1994-2011.) Andy Pettitte’s retirement earlier this year (Febuary 4th) caused the ‘core four’ to become the ‘key three’. Which now–with Posada’s career as a Yankee over–makes Jeter and Rivera the last remaining members of the 1990′s Yankees.

You know Posada wishes that his time with the Yankees could continue for at least another season. A wish made apparent by the following statement that he made yesterday:

I will always be a Yankee. The New York Yankees, for me, is my second family. It’d be tough to put on another uniform for real and learn a new set of rules. But it’s one of those things where I have to see if I wanna keep playing. At the end of the day, it’s a business. You look back and you wish there were some things that could’ve gone differently, but they didn’t. Everything happened for a reason. I’m not bitter at the Yankees. I’m not bitter at Joe Girardi. I’m not bitter at Brian Cashman. It just happens.

It may “just happen”, but I hate to see him go. I’ve been a fan of Posada for as long as I can remember. I feel that he’s a great guy–on and off the field–and is one of the most unappreciated players in all of MLB. (At least as far as last season goes.)

In honor of Posada’s fantastic career as a Yankee, I decided to talk about some of the highlights from his career:

Jorge Posada’s Major League Debut–September 4, 1995

Posada’s first game of his career in 1995 was also his only game of the year. He didn’t play another game in a Yankee uniform until 1996 when he played in eight games. He didn’t make the post season roster that season, however.

Jorge Posada’s First World Series Ring–October 21, 1998 

The 1998 World Series saw the New York Yankees taking on the San Diego Padres. The Padre’s were no match for the Yankees, as they were swept in four games. Posada had one home run in the entire series, but with the help of his teamates, was able to win his first World Series title, and ring. Posada, and the Yankees, would go on to win three more World Series titles. (1999, 2000, and 2009.)

Jorge Posada’s First All-Star Game–July 11, 2000

Posada was lucky enough to be on a winning team for the first All-Star game of his career. The year 2000 saw the American League winning 6-3. Posada has been in four All-Star games since, (2001, 2002, 2003, and 2007), with the American League team coming out on top every single time. (Unless you consider the 2002 All-Star game as a no-win for both teams. That years game ended in a 7-7 tie, after both teams ran out of players.)

Jorge Posada’s First Silver Slugger Award–October of 2000

Jorge won the first of his five career Silver Slugger Awards in 2000. That season he hit 28 home runs and  collected 86 RBI’s off of 145 hits. Posada has won four Silver Slugger Awards since 2000. (2001, 2001, 2003, and 2007.)

Jorge Posada’s 1,000th Career RBI–July 23, 2010

Most of the fans in the stands for this game were there to witness Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th home run of his career. They didn’t get to see that, however they did get to see something just as awesome. For it was in this game that Posada collected his 1,000th RBI of his career off of a double to center field.

As you can see, Jorge Posada has had an amazing career with the New York Yankees. Whether he’ll come back to play for another team for the 2012 season is still yet to be seen. Posada did however make the following statement regarding his thoughts on next season:

I started working out again on Nov. 1 like I always do, but I have no idea what’s gonna happen. A lot of teams called after the season was over. I’m undecided. I don’t know if I wanna play or stay home. I’m having fun with the kids and my family, but I don’t know what I wanna do. I don’t wanna make the mistake of telling you that I’m not gonna play or telling you that I am gonna play when I don’t know what I wanna do.

No matter what happens, Posada will always hold a spot in Yankee history as one of the “good guys.” He was a great player on the field, and an even better person off of it. When a Major League ballplayer is as grounded as Posada is, it’s hard to not respect him. As they say, “respect is earned, not given.” I can tell you this: Jorge Rafael Posada has earned my respect.

Should Posada give up baseball altogether? Or should he come back and play with another team for the 2012 season? Let me know what you think:

Wilson Ramos Kidnapped

Wilson Ramos–catcher for the Washington Nationals–was kidnapped from his home in Venezuela earlier today. Kidnappings are not all that uncommon in Venezuela. The main targets being the wealthy. Considering the fact that Ramos earned the league minimum of 414,000 dollars this season, he fits the kidnapping category perfectley. (At least in Venezuelan standards.)

Incidents like this have happened a lot over the past decade. Most were kidnappings that resulted in the return of the hostage unhurt without any ransom money collected. Some incidents, however, didn’t turn out as good. Relatives of Melvin Mora and Omar Infante were murdered back in the early 2000′s.

But hopefully, Wilson Ramos’s story will have a happy ending.

UPDATE

Wilson Ramos was rescued yesterday by Venezuelan police. Here he is being reunited with his mom:

Truly an amazing moment.

Jeremy Guthrie Shoe Collection Q and A

Jeremy Guthrie–starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles–has a unique hobby. He collects shoes; and lots of ‘em. I recently had the chance to ask Jeremy some questions about his shoe collection. You can find the Q and A with Jeremy below:

(1) How many different pairs of shoes do you have?
About 300.
(2) Have you actually worn all of them at least once?
I have worn about 15 pair.
(3) Which pair is your favorite?
AJ 11 Concord (bought them in HS).
(4) How large (dimension wise) is your shoe vault?
8×8 foot.
(5) What’s the most you ever paid for a pair of shoes?
$3,050-Back To The Future Shoes.
(6) Do you have a favorite shoe brand?
Nike/Jordan.
(7) Do you think you’ll ever become satisfied with your collection?
Yes.
(8) Is there a specific place/store you buy your shoes from?
Get most of my shoes from Nike website or Niketown.
(9.) Do any of your teamates collect shoes as well? Or just you?
Adam Jones and Andino collect.
(10.) Why do you collect shoes?
Have always loved shoes since I can remember.
(11.) Lastly, do you collect anything else?
Collect postcards and signed Sports Illustrated magazines.
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Big thanks to Jeremy Guthrie for answering my questions about his shoe collection. Be sure to check out my past Q and A entries:

2011 Players Choice Awards

Last night was the 19th annual Players Choice Awards, which began in 1992. These awards are different from the Gold Glove or the Silver Slugger Awards, as they are voted on by the players of MLB. Every September, each player recieves a ballot on which they mark their pick for each category. The winners for each category–Oustanding Rookie, Oustanding Player, etc.–are announced in October. The winners are awarded with a grant, from the Players Trust–ranging anywhere from 20,000 dollars to 50,000, depending on the category won–that goes to the winners choice of charity. The players win the awards, and their favorite charity wins a good chunk of change. Everybody wins!

Below is a list of the AL and NL nominees and winners for each category. Please take the time to read through it–even if you watched the awards last night–as I’ve included my opinions as well as some facts that I found interesting:

OUTSTANDING ROOKIE AWARD

AL Nominees- Jeremy Hellickson, Eric Hosmer, and Mark Trumbo.

AL Winner- Mark Trumbo.

NL Nominees- Freddie Freeman, Vance Worely, and Craig Kimbrel.

NL Winner- Craig Kimbrel.

All three AL nominees, in my opinion, were closely ranked. Each had great rookie seasons, and it was anyone’s guess as to which player would win. But when it came down to it, Mark Trumbo beat out his competion–leading the AL Rookies in Home Runs and RBI’s. Although the NL rookies were also closely ranked, I had a pretty good idea that Craig Kimbrel would win. He set the record for the most saves ever in a rookie season.

OUTSTANDING PITCHER AWARD

AL Nominees- James Shields, Justin Verlander, and Jered Weaver.

AL Winner- Justin Verlander.

NL Nominees- Roy Halladay, Ian Kenedy, and Clayton Kershaw.

NL Winner- Clayton Kershaw.

You knew Justin Verlander was going to win the Oustanding Pitcher Award for the AL. There’s no way he couldn’t–as he had the most Win’s, Strike Out’s and best ERA of any AL Pitcher. Just like in the AL, I had a pretty good guess as to which NL Pitcher would win the Award. For me it came down to Roy Halladay and Clayton Kershaw. In the end, Kershaw won the award–as he had the most Wins and Strike Out’s of any pitcher in the NL.

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD

AL Nominees- Bartolo Colon, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Casey Kotchman.

AL Winner- Jacoby Ellsbury.

NL Nominees- Lance Berkman, Jose Reyes, and Ryan Vogelsong.

NL Winner- Lance Berkman.

I don’t want any nasty comments in response to what I’m about to say about Bartolo Colon–it’s only my opinion. I have no idea why Bartolo Colon is even on the Comeback Player of the Year nominee list. Every time he made a start for the Yankees he gave up several runs. To me, he shouldn’t of even been in the running. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’ll talk a little about the winner, Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury, who only played in 18 games last season, is the most deserving AL player for this award. He’s already won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger Award this season. It all just goes to show how good of a year he had. The NL winner, Lance Berkman, is also a deserving player. He hit 31 home runs and recorded 94 RBI’s this season–after only hitting 14 home runs and getting 58 RBI’s last year. He really stepped up his game.

OUTSTANDING PLAYER AWARD

AL Nominees- Jose Bautista, Adrian Gonzalez, and Curtis Granderson.

AL Winner- Curtis Granderson.

NL Nominees- Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, and Justin Upton.

NL Winner- Matt Kemp.

All three AL nominees can hit with the best of ‘em, because, well, they are the best. They were all deserving of the award, but Curtis Granderson was awarded with the honor. Curtis had a great season, especially compared to last. He was a valuable player for the Yankees. What else can you say about Matt Kemp? He’s already won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award this year, and last night he added to the list by winning Oustanding Player Award. Considering the fact that he was one home run shy of a 40-40, I’d say he earned it.

MARVIN MILLER MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

Nominees- Paul Konerko, Adam Wainwright, and Michael Young.

Winner- Michael Young.

Given for your on the field performance and off the field contributions to your community, the Man of the Year Award is one of the highest honors you can recieve. It means that your fellow players view you as a great person on and off the field. Michael Young is indeed that. Not only can he succeed on the field–ending the season tied with Andrian Gonzalez for most hits in the NL–but he can also achieve positive views for his involvement in the community.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Nominees- Adrian Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson, and Justin Verlander.

Winner- Justin Verlander.

While Man of the Year Award is one of the highest honors you can recieve, Player of the Year is probably the highest honor. It means that your fellow players didn’t view you as the best hitter or the best pitcher, but as the best player in all of MLB, regardless of the league. Justin Verlander is the definition of that. He had a fantastic season and was pretty much a shoo-in to win the Award. I’m nearly 100 percent sure that he’ll win the AL Cy Young Award as well, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Remember at the beginning of this entry when I said that the winner of each award recieves a grant ranging anywhere from 20,000-50,000 dollars to donate to their favorite charity? Well, the big winner–as far as charity money goes–is Justin Verlander, who was awarded a 20,000 dollar grant for Outstanding Pitcher, and a 50,000 dollar grant for winning Player of the Year. Being the generally awesome person that he is, Verlander decided to add 30,000 dollars of his own money to the total, making it an even 100,000 dollars.

He decided to give 50,000 to the John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Detroit, and 50,000 to the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System in Ann Arbor. Verlander partnered with both hospitals in his Verlander’s Victory for Veterans program during the season. Donating the use of his suite at Comerica Park to veterans and their families during each of his home starts this season.

Truly an amazing thing for the MLB 2K12 Cover Athlete–Justin Verlander–to do.

2011 Silver Slugger Awards

Last night was the 31st annual Silver Slugger Awards, which began in 1980. The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to “coaches’ and managers’ general impressions of a player’s overall offensive value. (Managers can not vote for their own players.)

Below is a list of the NL and AL 2011 Silver Slugger Award winners. Please take the time to read through the list–even if you watched the awards show last night–as I’ve included my opinions as well as some facts that I found interesting:

OUTFIELD

Most Silver Slugger Awards: Barry Bonds holds the record for the most Silver Slugger Awards as an outfielder, with twelve.

NL Winners: -Matt Kemp. (Second Silver Slugger Award.)

-Justin Upton (First Silver Slugger Award.)

-Ryan Braun (Fourth Silver Slugger Award.)

None of these players were a shock at all to me. All three had a great season. This was Ryan Braun’s fourth straight Silver Slugger Award. Truly remarkable.

AL Winners: -Jose Bautista. (Second Silver Slugger Award.)

-Jacoby Ellsbury. (First Silver Slugger Award.)

-Curtis Granderson. (First Silver Slugger Award.)

All three of the AL Outfield Silver Slugger award winners were well deserving. This is Jose Bautista’s second consecutive Silver Slugger award. He’s had monster seasons the past two years.

FIRST BASE

Most Silver Slugger Awards: Todd Helton is tied with Albert Pujols for the most Silver Slugger Awards as a firstbaseman, with four.

NL Winner- Prince Fielder. (Second Silver Slugger Award.)

AL Winner- Adrian Gonzalez. (First Silver Slugger Award.)

You knew the National League winner was going to be either Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols. But when it came down to it, Fielder just beat out Pujols. While both had a fantastic season, Fielder had a slightly better one, as far as offense goes. This was Adrian Gonzalez’s first Silver Slugger Awards.

SECOND BASE

Most Silver Slugger Awards: Ryne Sandberg holds the record for the most Silver Slugger Awards as a secondbaseman, with seven.

NL Winner- Brandon Phillips. (First Silver Slugger Award.)

AL Winner- Robinson Cano. (Second Silver Slugger Award.)

After missing out on a Silver Slugger award during his fantastic 2007 season, Brandon Phillips finally won one this year. It was well deserved. This was Robinson Cano’s second straight Silver Slugger Award.

THIRD BASE

Most Silver Slugger Awards: Wade Boggs holds the record for the most Silver Slugger Awards as a thirdbaseman, with eight.

NL Winner- Aramis Ramirez. (First Silver Slugger Award.)

AL Winner- Adrian Beltre. (Third Silver Slugger Award.)

Adrian Beltre had the best season of any third baseman. Hitting home run after home run in the post season, Beltre was a force to be reckoned with this season. He deserved the Silver Slugger Award more than any other third baseman in the AL, if not all of MLB.

SHORT STOP

Most Silver Slugger Awards: Barry Larkin holds the record for the most Silver Slugger Awards as a short stop, with nine.

NL Winner- Troy Tulowitzki. (Second Silver Slugger Award.)

AL Winner- Asdrubal Cabrera. (First Silver Slugger Award.)

Asdrubal Cabrera–who, in my opinion, should of won a Gold Glove this season as well–was one of the hottest bats in the Indian’s line up this season. He truly deserved the award. This was his first Silver Slugger award.

CATCHER

Most Silver Slugger Awards: Mike Piazza holds the record for the most Silver Slugger Awards as a catcher, with ten.

NL Winner- Brian McCann. (Fifth Silver Slugger Award.)

AL Winner- Alex Avila. (First Silver Slugger Award.)

Brian McCann has been good in his past seasons with the Braves, but this year he was great. He deserved the award more than any other catcher in the National League. This is his fifth Silver Slugger Award.

PITCHER

Most Silver Slugger Awards: Mike Hampton holds the record for the most Silver Slugger Awards as a pitcher, with five.

Winner- Daniel Hudson. (First Silver Slugger Award.)

Pitchers aren’t really known for their offense because, let’s face it, they aren’t the best hitters. But there are a few that stand out. One of those being Daniel Hudson. This is Hudson’s first Silver Slugger Award.

DESIGNATED HITTER

Most Silver Slugger Awards: David Ortiz holds the record for the most Silver Slugger Awards as a Designated Hitter, with five.

Winner- David Ortiz. (Fifth Silver Slugger Award.)

David Ortiz–or Big Papi–is a fan favorite in Boston. Not only is he a nice guy, but he’s also a fantastic player. With his win of a Silver Slugger Award this year, Ortiz now holds the record for most Awards as a DH, with five.

2011 SILVER SLUGGER AWARDS FAST FACTS

  • There were nine first time Silver Slugger Award winners.
  • There were six Silver Slugger Award winners that also won last year.
  • The Red Sox had the most Silver Slugger Award winners, with three.
  • There were six Silver Slugger winners that also won Gold Glove Awards this year.

2011 Gold Glove Awards

Last night was the 54th annual Gold Glove Awards, which began back in 1957. What made last night’s Gold Glove Awards different from years past, is that it was the first time the winners were announced in an hour long televised Awards show, which was broadcasted on ESPN2.

The Gold Glove Award is an award that is given each year to the players that are judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League and the American League, as voted by the managers and coaches in each league. (Managers can not vote for their own players.)

Below is a list of the NL and AL 2011 Gold Glove Award nominees and winners. Please take the time to read through it–even if you watched the awards last night on ESPN2–as I’ve included my opinions on the winners, as well as some facts that I found interesting:

CATCHER

AL Nominees- Matt Wieters, A.J. Pierzynski, and Alex Avila.

AL Winner- Matt Wieters. (First Gold Glove.)

NL Nominees- Yadier Molina, Brian McCann, and Carlos Ruiz.

NL Winner- Yadier Molina. (Fourth Gold Glove.)

Yadier Molina was awarded his fourth consecutive Gold Glove last night. It’s a great feat to win four in a lifetime, but four in a row is incredible.

PITCHER

AL Nominees- Mark Buehrle, Dan Haren, and Fausto Carmona.

AL Winner- Mark Buehrle. (Third Gold Glove.)

NL Nominees- Clayton Kershaw, Hiroki Kuroda, and Kyle Lohse.

NL Winner- Clayton Kershaw. (First Gold Glove.)

Mark Buehrle won his third consecutive Gold Glove last night. For a pitcher, it’s not really making great catches, but picking off runners, and limiting mistakes, that gets you a Gold Glove.

LEFT FIELDER

AL Nominees- Alex Gordon, Brett Gardner, and Sam Fuld.

AL Winner- Alex Gordon. (First Gold Glove.)

NL Nominees- Gerardo Parra, Ryan Braun, and Matt Holliday.

NL Winner- Gerardo Parra. (First Gold Glove.)

It was the first Gold Glove award for both the AL and NL, Left Field winners. Alex Gordon was a bit of a shock to me when you had Brett Gardner and Sam Fuld in the mix, but I can’t deny that Alex Gordon had a great season as well.

CENTER FIELDER

AL Nominees- Jacoby Ellsbury, Austin Jackson, and Peter Bourjos.

AL Winner- Jacoby Ellsbury. (First Gold Glove.)

 NL Nominees- Matt Kemp, Shane Victorino, and Chris Young.

NL Winner- Matt Kemp. (Second Gold Glove.)

Jacoby Ellsbury won his first Gold Glove last night. It was no surprise to me, with the amazing season he had.

RIGHT FIELDER

AL Nominees- Nick Markakis, Torii Hunter, and Jeff Francoeur.

AL Winner- Nick Markakis. (First Gold Glove.)

NL Nominees- Andre Ethier, Carlos Beltran, and Jay Bruce.

NL Winner- Andre Ethier. (First Gold Glove.)

Both Nick Markakis and Andre Ethier were awarded their first Gold Gloves last night. Both had great seasons for their respective teams.

FIRST BASE

AL Nominees- Adrian Gonzalez, Casey Kotchman, and Mark Teixeira.

AL Winner- Adrian Gonzalez. (Third Gold Glove.)

NL Nominees- Joey Votto, Gaby Sanchez, and James Loney.

NL Winner- Joey Votto. (First Gold Glove.)

Last night was Adrian Gonzalez’s third Gold Glove, but his first in the AL. No shock there really. He’s a great player, and had a Gold Glove year at first base.

SECOND BASE

AL Nominees- Dustin Pedroia, Robinson Cano, and Ian Kinsler.

AL Winner- Dustin Pedroia. (Second Gold Glove.)

NL Nominees- Brandon Phillips, Neil Walker, and Omar Infante.

NL Winner- Brandon Phillips. (Third Gold Glove.)

Dustin Pedroia was awarded his second Gold Glove last night. I’m glad for Pedroia. He had a great season, and deserved it as much as anyone. Brandon Phillips–who also had a great season–had tons of Gold Glove plays this year, including the through the legs flip to first base, back in May.

SHORT STOP

AL Nominees- Erick Aybar, J.J. Hardy, and Asdrubal Cabrera.

AL Winner- Erick Aybar. (First Gold Glove.)

NL Nominees- Troy Tulowitzki, Ronny Cedeno, and Alex Gonzalez.

NL Winner- Troy Tulowitzki. (Second Gold Glove.)

AL short stop is the only Gold Glove award that I disagree with the recipient. Now don’t get me wrong. Erick Aybar had a great year. But I feel that Asdrubal Cabrera had just as good of a year, if not slightly better. But I’m not a Manager or Coach, so I don’t get a vote.

THIRD BASE

AL Nominees- Adrian Beltre, Kevin Youkilis, and Evan Longoria.

AL Winner- Adrian Beltre. (Thrid Gold Glove.)

NL Nominees- Placido Polanco, Daniel Descalso, and Pablo Sandoval.

NL Winner- Placido Polanco. (Third Gold Glove.)

Both Adrian Beltre and Placido Polanco were awarded their third Gold Glove award last night. Both had a fantastic season, and were well deserving of the award.

2011 GOLD GLOVE AWARDS FAST FACTS

  • There were nine first time Gold Glove winners.
  • The Red Sox and Dodgers had the most Gold Glove Award winners, at three a piece.
  • Last night was the first time that a Gold Glove was awarded to the Left Fielder, Center Fielder and Right Fielder. In years past, the award was given to the three best outfielders in each league, regardless of their position.
  • Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier were the first pair of outfield teamates to win Gold Glove Awards in the NL since Andruw Jones and Jeff Francoeur did it with the 2007 Braves.
  • Last night was the first time Dodgers outfield teamates have won Gold Gloves in the same year.
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