Results tagged ‘ AL ’
Although Spring Training games have yet to begin, the current speculation is that Rays’ phenom Wil Myers will start 2013 with AAA Durham, instead of with the big league club, down in Tampa, regardless of how he performs over the course of the next month. This leaves many people (myself included) to ask the question: Is this the right decision for Myers?
I’m not 100 percent sold on the idea.
This past season, before getting traded from the Royals to the Rays, in December, Myers batted .314 with 37 home runs and 109 RBI’s, between AA North West Arkansas and AAA Omaha. The expectation was for Myers to receive a September call up from the Royals, however, that didn’t end up happening. Leaving many people scratching their heads.
In response to not calling up Myers, the Royals made the statement that they didn’t feel he was big league ready. While that might be true, I still don’t understand why they didn’t give him a shot for the last few games of the season, especially with them not being in play off contention; just as I’m not fully understanding the Rays’ logic with Wil Myers, going into the 2013 season.
According to Rays’ manager Joe Maddon, the decision to keep Myers down in the minors, to begin the season, is merely a “baseball decision”, that would give Myers a greater chance of success once he makes the transition to the major league level, sometime this season. Maddon is known for preferring this type of strategy, as his recent comments would suggest:
“I just think that it’s easier for a player with that kind of expectation level to get some time under his belt on a Minor League level, get it rolling, get the feel going, when you know it’s going well, then walk into a big league situation. Not as difficult as opposed to leaving a camp with all this expectation, all this hype then having to match up to that on a Major League level right out of the chute.”
I sort of understand where Maddon is coming from, though I still have to disagree.
While it’s vastly debated as to whether or not Maddon’s approach with Myers is the correct one, there’s no argument when it comes to if Myers has enough natural talent, and potential, to perform at the big league level. Anyone can see that, just by watching the guy play. No one more so than Rays’ hitting coach, Derek Shelton, who, after day one of Rays Spring Training, had this to say about Myers, and his talent level:
“The thing that’s the most impressive is the bat speed. The way the ball comes off his bat….You don’t see very many people who generate that kind of bat speed….It’s loud. It’s a different sound….You don’t hear many guys that can create that sound….it’s exciting to see.”
After reading all of what Shelton had to say, combined with my personal observations of Wil Myers’, and his stats from 2012, if it were up to me, I’d choose to let him loose to see what he can do at the major league level. Worst-case scenario, Myers doesn’t produce, and the Rays could then decide to either work through it or send him back down to the minors. But there’s always the possibility that Myers could hold his own, picking up where he left off in 2012, absolutely tearing it up out of the gate.
To me, the mere chance that Myers could be an impact player for the Rays to begin the season is enough to give him a shot. Playing in the somewhat difficult American League East, if the Rays want a chance to win their division, I’m not sure they can afford even a few weeks without Myers.
Today marks the official reporting date for pitchers and catchers to Spring Training, and therefore, after nearly four months since the Giants won the 2012 World Series, it’s officially time for baseball once again. For die-hard baseball fans, like myself, this long awaited day couldn’t have come sooner.
The Red Sox, Rockies, Cubs and Indians had their pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Sunday, however, the majority of pitchers and catchers are set to report to camp sometime over the course of the next 48 hours: The D-back’s, Braves, Reds, Tigers, Astros, Royals, Marlins, Mets, Athletics and Pirates reporting date is today, with the Orioles, White Sox, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers, Twins, Yankees, Cardinals, Padres, Giants, Mariners, Rays, Rangers, Blue Jays and Nationals set to report tomorrow. (The Phillies’ pitchers and catchers report on Wednesday.)
Once all of the pitchers and catchers have reported, on Wednesday, there will be a mere 45 days until the first official game of the 2013 MLB regular season, which begins on March 31st, with the Houston Astros taking on the Texas Rangers.
But I’m not quite ready to jump ahead to the start of the regular season, just yet, as I still have a lot I want to talk about in the coming weeks. Therefore, for the time being, I’d like to take a minute to discuss something I love to do this time of year (besides watch Spring Training games on TV.) Every Spring Training, for the past two or three years, I’ve sent out a handful of through the mail (TTM) autograph requests to different players around the league. This year, I’m going to be sending out a dozen, or so, TTM’s, with the best player being Mariano Rivera.
Rivera is known to be one of the better TTM autograph signers (as far as big name players go), if you send to him during Spring Training, however, I’ve failed to get back an auto from Rivera in either of the past two years that I’ve sent to him. This year, I’m hoping to have better luck, as with this (more than likely) being Rivera’s final season, it’s basically my final shot.
While Rivera is the player that I’m most hoping to receive back, he’s not the only well known player that I’m hoping to obtain a signature from. In addition to Rivera, I’m sending out requests to guys like Jason Motte, Adam Jones, Justin Masterson, etc., who, according to what I’ve read, are decent signers through the mail.
I’m also planning to send to a few minor league players, who received an invitation to big league Spring Training, including Danny Hultzen, Casey Kelly and Stefen Romero, who are all supposed to be great about signing.
As stated, my overall TTM autograph history is a short one; I’ve only been doing it for the past few years. In that short time, however, I’ve acquired a few decent players’ autographs. My best ever success, which coincidentally was my first success, came from Mark McGwire, back in March of 2011. Apparently, McGwire doesn’t sign TTM all that often, but for some reason he decided to do so for a few weeks during Spring Training. Needless to say, I was extremely excited to get that one back.
I’m planning to post a blog entry for every autograph I receive back from the players I’m sending TTM requests to during Spring Training. Hopefully, it won’t be all that terribly long before I start getting them back (maybe a few weeks?). So be sure to check back for that, over the course of the next few months….
The original plan for Alex Rodriguez, after undergoing hip surgery on January 16th, was for him to be fully recovered, and ready to play, by the second half of July; August at the latest. That plan may not pan out, however, as in an interview on Friday, Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman stated that there’s the possibility Rodriguez could end up missing all of 2013, saying, “I think because [of] the serious nature of the surgery and the condition that he’s trying to recover from, you know, there is that chance.”
While Cashman’s comments are worthy of attention, for Yankees fans across the country, I don’t feel they’re worthy of panic. The Yankees have always seemed to be able to find a way to win, most of the time, even when their chances looked poor. Though the Yankees appear to have their backs against the wall, I feel, with or without Rodriguez in the lineup, the Yankees will once again find a way to make it to the playoffs in the coming season.
How deep they make it into the playoffs is yet to be seen.
Looking at the Yankees’ roster, even without Rodriguez, I see a group of players that have the ability to dominate, but it’s going to come down to whether or not they’re able to perform as well as they’re capable of, throughout the entire season. If they let up, even for a few weeks, it’s likely that either the Orioles, or the newly revamped Blue Jays, will pass them up, and never look back. That’s what I feel the Yankees need to be worried about; not losing A-Rod, but losing momentum.
For me, the key player to the Yankees’ success in 2013, as it has been for the past decade, is Derek Jeter. While the looming loss of Rodriguez is a definite blow to the team, the Yankees have a decent replacement for him, in Kevin Youkilis. Though Youkilis doesn’t have the kind of pop that A-Rod possesses, when healthy, Youkilis is just as good, if not slightly better, of a defender than Rodriguez, at the hot corner. The way I see it, right now, the Yankees can survive without Rodriguez, but in the event that Jeter doesn’t return completely healthy, the Yankees, in my mind, are set to have a very disappointing season; for their standards, at least.
As stated, I truly do feel the Yankees have the players they need to make 2013 an outstanding year. While they’ll be without Rodriguez until at least July–with the possibly of losing him for the entire year–the lineup still has enough pop to make the Yankees a great team. Although the offseason, thus far, brought the loss of Nick Swisher to the Indians, and Russell Martin to the Pirates, I don’t feel those two players leaving will hurt the Yankees all that terribly much. Thus, I like the Yankees chances in 2013; especially with a healthy Mariano Rivera.
If, however, the Yankees end up suffering in the coming season, I’m not going to throw all the blame on Alex Rodriguez. Sure, Rodriguez, when healthy, plays a major part in whether or not the Yankees win, but in the end, you have to play with the players you have. And as far as I can see, the Yankees have the players they need to win, and win often.
Today marks the two-year anniversary of the day I sat down to begin ‘The Unbiased MLB Fan’. Starting this blog was more of a spur of the moment thing than it was me looking to begin a long term blog. At the time, I never could’ve imagined that I would keep at it long enough to be typing up a two-year anniversary post; to his day, I’m still surprised that I kept with it. But I’ve come to love blogging, and interacting with fellow baseball fans, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
To mark the occasion, I’ve decided to take a look back at the past two years, using a timeline, of sorts, to tell the basic story of how my blog came to be where it is now (click the headers to be taken to each post):
As the header would suggest, this was the first blog entry I ever published. It covered who I am, and the fact that I have no favorite team that I root for more than another team. While it does a decent job at getting the general point across, looking back, I’m fairly appalled at how horribly written it is. The post doesn’t flow, the grammar is terrible and my punctuation is subpar. Given, I’m by no means a professional writer now-I’m sure there are tons of issues with this post–compared to my writing style now, it’s almost as if it was a completely different person who wrote that first post. I suppose, in a way, it was.
I didn’t start out with interview intentions. I merely emailed Jerry Dior (the designer of the MLB logo) to ask him questions I had about the design process, and the story behind the logo. It wasn’t until a month later that I had the idea of putting the questions into an interview format for a post on my newly established blog. In the days after posting it, I noticed that people seemed to have a good reaction to the interview, so it was at that point that I decided to begin interviewing ballplayers; the interviews took off from there. I’ve now conducted several dozen interviews, and plan on continuing to do them in the future, as long as the players continue to be willing.
This has nothing to do with my blog, yet it has everything to do with its success. Signing up for Twitter not only allowed for a way for me to get in contact with ballplayers for interviews, but it also served (and still serves) as a way of spreading the link to each new post, around to baseball fans everywhere. If it wasn’t for Twitter, it’s very possible that I would’ve discontinued my blog, as my reader base wouldn’t have been as fast to grow.
This is more of a personal entry than it is an informative one. In this blog post, I detailed exactly how Bernie Williams came to be my favorite player to ever play the game of baseball. There’s a great story behind it, but I really don’t want to say much more than that. If you’re truly interested, feel free to click the header to be taken to the post I did on the subject.
Yet another Bernie Williams post, but this one is more somber than the first. With the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 approaching, I decided to contact Bernie Williams on Twitter to ask if he’d be willing to share his own personal experience and memories from that horrid day. He agreed to it, and after a bit of back and forth conversation, of me detailing exactly what I wanted him to talk about, I received an email from Williams, containing a fairly long response. If you don’t read another blog entry from this anniversary post, I suggest you read this one.
Ozzie Guillen and the Miami Marlins played a large part in making my blog as successful as it is today. The article I wrote on the “new look Marlins” caused my blog to absolutely explode, in terms of views. In the months following when I first posted the entry, I received day after day of several hundred view days. In all, that one post racked me up over 11,000 views, all by itself. While things have backed off slightly since then, I still have a fairly large reader base, and it can all be traced back to that one post.
After a year’s worth of blogging, I was fairly anxious to see how I would stack up against all of the great blogs around the MLBlogs community. I was fairly stunned when the results came out, stating that my blog was the 35th most viewed blog of 2011. That alone gave me a reason to continue blogging.
While my post on the Marlins netted me the most views for a single blog post, the entry I posted on the Cleveland Indians-Carolina Mudcats exhibition game, for some reason, led to the most views in the history of my blog on a single day. I’m still not all that sure as to why, but people came flocking to my blog on that particular day, netting me a total of 892 views. I haven’t had a day since that’s received more than 615 views; but I hope to change that this year.
Living in North Carolina, I don’t get the chance to attend an MLB game all that often. As a matter of fact, this particular post recapped the first MLB game I attended since starting this blog. Therefore, it was the first MLB recap I’d ever done. The plan right now is to attend at least one MLB game this year, up in Milwaukee, so I’ll no doubt be blogging about that one as well.
The all expense paid trip I received to the 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby, courtesy of State Farm, is by far the best thing to ever come out of this blog. While I’ve been fortunate enough to experience several blogging related benefits since then–which range from getting free stuff, to meeting ballplayers in person that I’ve interviewed–I feel confident in saying that nothing will ever top this.
As the MiLB equivalent of a World Series game 7, the 2012 Triple-A National Championship game is the most significant minor league baseball game I’ve ever attended, thus it’s the most significant MiLB blog posts I’ve done. Therefore, I wanted to include it in this two-year anniversary post. Getting to see Reno Aces win the National Championship, along with meeting 2011 American Idol winner, Scotty McCreery, made this great game even better.
After coming in 35th at the end of the 2011 blogging year, I had no idea what to expect going into the 2012 results. While I received over five times the number of views this past year as I did in 2011, I was still eager to see where I would rank. When the rankings were posted, I was ecstatic to find my blog at the number 17 spot. I truly appreciate all of those who read my blog.
This post wasn’t posted all that long ago, but I wanted to include it nonetheless. Basically, this post covers my goals for the 2013 blogging year. I won’t waste time going over what each of my five goals are, for those of you who remember. For those of you who’ve forgotten, and are curious, you can always click the header.
‘The Unbiased MLB Fan’ Fast Facts
Total number of words written to this point: 113,428 words
- Total number of posts: 211 posts
- Average number of words per post: 538 words
- Number of different country views: 113 different countries
As stated in previous posts, I hope to make 2013 the best blogging year yet; and that means posting content that you, the reader, enjoy reading about. So, if you have anything you’d like to see me do, or stop doing, please leave a comment below.
With Spring Training a month away–putting the 2013 regular season at just under 3 months away–I thought I’d take the time to type up a blog post covering six all-time MLB career records (3 hitting, 3 pitching) and whether or not I believe there are any active players that have a shot at eventually breaking the records, sometime down the line, many seasons from now.
Keep in mind, this is all purely speculative. I have no way of knowing how long a particular player will play, whether or not they’ll remain healthy throughout their entire career, or whether they can keep on producing the kind of stats they’ve shown, and I feel, they’re capable of. Each of those three elements are extremely crucial when it comes to a player being able to break any of the following records:
All-Time Record for career Hits: 4,256 (Pete Rose)
Closest: Derek Jeter, with 3,304 career hits, is currently the closest active player to Pete Rose’s mark of 4,256.
Best Chance: Derek Jeter, sitting 952 hits back of Pete Rose, stands the best chance of breaking Rose’s record, in my mind, of any other player currently in the majors. What it’s going to come down to for Jeter is how healthy he can stay, and subsequently, how many more years he can play. If he can play as long as Rose did–up until age 45–I see Jeter passing Rose fairly easily, as that gives him another seven seasons to rack up hits, and even if he starts to slump downward, and begins to collect only 140 hits a season, he would still end his career with a total of 4,284 hits. Though, with Jeter being a team player, and not focusing on personal stats, I’m not sure I can picture him playing long enough to get the job done.
Worth Watching: While it’s still far too early to be making any long shot predictions, Starlin Castro is one of the main players worth keeping an eye on in the many years to come. Castro will be a mere 23 years old when the 2013 season commences and has already collected 529 career hits. If he can play into his early 40′s, and keep pace with the electric start to his career, he could be nearing Rose’s (possibly Jeter’s by then?) record for career hits a couple decades down the road.
All-Time Record for career Homeruns: 762 (Barry Bonds)
Closest: Alex Rodriguez, with 647 career home runs, is currently the closest active player to Barry Bonds’ mark of 762.
Best Chance: Alex Rodriguez, sitting 115 homers back of Barry Bonds, is the closest of any current player to Barry Bonds’ record for homers, however, I don’t feel he has a very good chance at passing Bonds. With his injury tendency, and age, I don’t see A-rod getting too far past 700, if he gets there at all. Albert Pujols on the other hand, with 475 career home runs, stands a slightly better chance, in my opinion, than A-rod. Though, I feel he could end up sharing in the same fate as Rodriguez; coming up just short of 762. At age 33, even if Pujols played until age 40, and could keep up his career constant of 30 home runs a season, he would end his career with only 685 home runs. Still 77 back of Bonds.
Worth Watching: It’s still early into his career, but Giancarlo Stanton (age 23) is a player worth watching in the coming years, as he continues to add to his current total of 93 career home runs. I found it interesting when I discovered that Albert Pujols (71), Hank Aaron (63), Barry Bonds (41) nor Babe Ruth (9) had as many home runs as Stanton, going into their age 23 season. That’s impressive. While I’m by no means comparing Stanton to Babe Ruth (just yet) I’m simply saying that if Stanton can go on a run of blasting 40+ homers a season, for the next few seasons, I could see him coming up extremely close to the record that Bonds currently holds, if he doesn’t in fact break it.
All-Time Record for career RBI’s: 2,297 (Hank Aaron)
Closest: Alex Rodriguez, with 1,950 RBI’s, is currently the closest active player to Hank Aaron’s mark of 2,297.
Best Chance: Alex Rodriguez is currently the closest player to the record for RBI’s, however, just as with career home runs, his health is going to bring him up just short of the record. Also as with the home run category, the next closest in line behind A-rod is Albert Pujols, who currently has 1,434 career RBI’s. While Pujols has been able to drive in no fewer than 100 runs in every one of his 12 career seasons thus far–with the exception being 2011, when he only drove in 99 runs–I don’t see him having enough 100 RBI seasons left to break the record. As it stands now, Pujols is 863 RBI’s back of Aaron, meaning it would take just over eight more seasons of 100+ RBI’s to pass him.
Worth Watching: Miguel Cabrera, currently with 1,123 career RBI’s, is a player worth watching moving forward, if you weren’t already. At age 29, Cabrera could have another 11 seasons ahead of him, and if he can accumulate around 100 RBI’s a season, he could end up passing Aaron for RBI’s, around a decade from now. Although 100+ RBI’s a season, for 11 season, will be difficult (if not impossible) to do, as he gets older, if anyone can do it, I imagine the 2012 Triple Crown winner can.
All-Time Record for career Strikeouts: 5,714 (Nolan Ryan)
Closest: Andy Pettitte, with 2,320 strikeouts, is currently the closest active player to Nolan Ryan’s mark of 5,714.
Best Chance: I’m not even going to waste time talking about this record. No active player–or future player for that matter–stands a chance at breaking Nolan Ryan’s all-time record of 5,714 strikeouts. While Andy Pettitte is the closest active player, he’s still 3,394 strikeouts away from Ryan; truly showing just how hard it is to do what Nolan Ryan was able to accomplish.
Worth Watching: Though it’s likely that no player will ever surpass Ryan for career strikeouts, the player most worth watching, in my mind, is Felix Hernandez. Hernandez is only 26 years old, and has already amassed 1,487 career strikeouts. If he can continue to pitch up until age 40–14 more seasons of 200+ strikeouts–he stands a good chance of ending his career with over 4,000 strikeouts. Still nearly 2,000 shy of Ryan’s record, but impressive nonetheless, as only four players in the history of baseball have been able to accumulate 4,000 strikeouts or more.
All-Time Record for career ERA: 1.82 (Ed Walsh)
Closest: Mariano Rivera, with an ERA of 2.21, is currently the closest active player to Ed Walsh’s mark of 1.82.
Best Chance: The way pitching works nowadays, I don’t think it’s possible for a pitcher to end with a career ERA below 2.00; at least for a starting pitcher, that is. Evidence of that being that Mariano Rivera is the only active player in all of Major League Baseball with a career ERA below 3.00; and thus falls into the category of ‘best chance’ of breaking the record. But not even Rivera, with his 2.21 ERA, has a chance at a career ERA below 2.00. As even if he doesn’t allow a single earned run in this his (more than likely) final season, his career ERA would still stand above 2.00, at 2.11.
Worth Watching: There really aren’t any pitchers worth watching. I’d say Walsh’s record is fairly safe. As stated, no current player in the majors has a career ERA below 3.00, so as it stands, no active player has a shot at a career ERA below 2.00.
All-Time Record for career Wins: 511 (Cy Young)
Closest: Andy Pettitte, with 245 wins, is currently the closest active player to Cy Young’s mark of 511 wins.
Best Chance: Andy Pettite is the closest of any player to Cy Young’s mark of 511 career wins, but even so, he sits 266 wins back. Thus, let’s face it: There is never going to be another 500-game winning pitcher, as pitching isn’t gone about the same way as it was back then. As such, I find it more of a fair comparison to match today’s players up against a guy like Greg Maddux, who ended his career with 355 wins. Of those, C.C. Sabathia, age 32, stands the best shot, in my mind, of reaching the 300 win plateau. Currently with 191 career wins, if Sabathia can pitch another 8 seasons, and rack up 14+ wins a season, he should get there without a problem; as keeping with my logic, he would end his career with at least 303 wins.
Worth Watching: While there are never going to be any more 500-game winning pitchers, the current pitcher (besides Sabathia) worth keeping an eye on, for the possibility of reaching 300 career wins, is Justin Verlander. Verlander, age 29, doesn’t stand an extremely good chance, in my opinion, of reaching 300 wins, as although he’s still fairly young, he only has 124 career wins. Therefore, it would take 11 straight seasons of 16+ wins to reach the 300 win mark. Not very likely, but then again, it’s Justin Verlander. I wouldn’t put anything past him.
What do you think? Does any (active or future) player stand a chance at breaking any of the six all-time records listed above? Leave a comment with your thoughts.
The 2012 Greatness In Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) award winners were announced yesterday afternoon. The GIBBY Awards are awarded for 21 different categories including Rookie of the Year, Play of the Year, etc. These awards are given to the winners based on votes by you the fans at MLB.com, media, front-office personnel and MLB alumni.
Although I’m a day late, I wanted to take the time to publish a post with a list of the winners along with my opinions:
MLB MVP OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Mike Trout
Winner: Miguel Cabrera
It wasn’t all that shocking that Miguel Cabrera beat out Mike Trout for MVP of the 2012 season. Although I had Trout as the MVP, since just after the All-Star break, the majority of baseball fans felt Cabrera was the most valuable. So, while I disagree, I’m not surprised with how the fans voted.
HITTER OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Miguel Cabrera
Winner: Miguel Cabrera
While I feel that Mike Trout was the most valuable player of the year, there’s no doubt in my mind that Miguel Cabrera was the best hitter of the year. Becoming the first player in 45 years to win the Triple Crown, it was really no contest. Thus, I fully agree with the outcome of the vote for this particular category.
STARTING PITCHER OF THE YEAR
My original pick: R.A. Dickey
Winner: R.A. Dickey
I’m not sure if R.A. Dickey was THE best starting pitcher of the 2012 season, but I picked him to win the award nonetheless. Dickey seemed to be able to produce a quality start every time out, so I suppose he truly was the best candidate for the award.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Mike Trout
Winner: Mike Trout
Leading every rookie in all of Major League Baseball in every conceivable statistical category, there was no other way this vote could’ve gone. Trout did things that no other rookie in the history of MLB has ever done, and thus is the correct choice for Rookie of the Year.
CLOSER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Fernando Rodney
This particular category wasn’t voted on by the fans, but I agree with the pick nonetheless. Fernando Rodney posted an ERA of 0.60 in 74.2 innings pitched, and was able to close out the game for the Rays nearly every time out; recording 48 saves. Truly remarkable.
SETUP MAN OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Sergio Romo
Winner: Sergio Romo
Sergio Romo had one of the best seasons of his career, and truly earned this award. Without Romo doing what he did all season long, and into the post season, it could be argued that the Giants don’t win the World Series. So I fully agree with Romo winning.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Mike Trout
Winner: Yadier Molina
I don’t necessarily disagree with Yadier Molina beating out Mike Trout for this award, but I still feel that Trout should’ve won. It seemed like every other night Trout was robbing a guy of a homer, or making a diving grab to take away a base hit. So I don’t fully agree with Molina winning this award.
BREAKOUT HITTER OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Chase Headley
Winner: Chase Headley
Chase Headley recorded a dismal 4 home runs and 44 RBI’s in the 2011 season, and going into the 2012 season no one really expected anything drastically different from Headley. Yet, he was able to have a career year, blasting 31 home runs and 115 RBI’s. Truly worthy of the breakout hitter of the 2012 season.
BREAKOUT PITCHER OF THE YEAR
My original pick: R.A. Dickey
Winner: R.A. Dickey
Going 8-13 in 2011, with 134 strikeouts in 208.2 innings pitched, R.A. Dickey truly was the breakout pitcher of the 2012 season as he completely turned things around, going 20-6, with 230 strikeouts in 233.2 innings pitched. Being that his 2012 performance was good enough to earn Dickey the Cy Young award, I fully agree with him winning the GIBBY.
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Buster Posey
Winner: Buster Posey
After spending much of the 2011 season on the disabled list, Buster Posey made a major comeback in 2012 as he was able put together a fantastic year; which resulted in his 2nd World Series ring in just his 3rd career season. In addition to winning yet another Championship ring, Posey also took home the award for National League MVP, thus making him worthy of the GIBBy, in my mind.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Bob Melvin
Winner: Buck Showalter
This award could’ve gone either way for me. Although I picked Bob Melvin to win, I’m happy with Buck Showalter winning. Both managers were able to completely turn around their teams from the previous year and so I wouldn’t have been upset with either winning the award.
EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Mike Rizzo
Winner: Billy Beane
I thought Mike Rizzo did a fantastic job this year with the Nationals, but after thinking it over, I agree with the pick of Billy Beane for the award. Beane has always impressed me with the way he goes about his job in such a proficient way, and he did an absolutely incredible job in 2012. I couldn’t agree more with the pick of Beane for the award.
My original pick: Marco Scutaro
Winner: Pablo Sandoval
For me, this award came down to Marco Scutaro, Pablo Sandoval and Sergio Romo. You could make cases for each of them, as to why they were most deserving of the GIBBY, but in the end I picked Marco Scutaro. I felt Scutaro came through for the Giants time and time again throughout the entire post season, but I can’t really complain with Pablo Sandoval winning the award.
PLAY OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Davis tops Toronto’s tall wall
Winner: Mike Trout’s catch at the wall
Under the circumstances, I felt that the catch made by Gregor Blanco to preserve Matt Cain’s perfect game was the best play of the year, but I thought THE overall best play of 2012 was the catch made by Rajai Davis over the Rogers Centre’s 10 foot high left field wall. Apparently, the majority of the baseball world didn’t agree with me, as they voted Mike Trout’s catch at the wall as the best of the year. While Trout’s catch was incredible, in my opinion, no one made a better play than Davis, thus, I don’t agree with the voters’ pick.
STORYLINE OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Stars of tomorrow excel today
Winner: Tie- Orioles’ & Nationals’ Seasons
I’m a big prospect/rookie guy, so maybe that’s why I felt Mike Trout’s and Bryce Harper’s incredible rookie seasons were the best storyline of the year, but I enjoyed keeping up with the National’s and Oriole’s seasons as well. The fact that the Nat’s were able to go from an 80 win team in 2011 to a 98 win team in 2012, with the O’s going from a 69 win team in 2011 to a 93 win team in 2012, was interesting enough to make even the slightest of baseball fan pay attention. So, while it wasn’t my first choice, I suppose I agree with the O’s and Nat’s amazing seasons receiving the GIBBY.
HITTING PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Hamilton’s four-homer game
Winner: Hamilton’s four-homer game
There were a lot of great hitting performances this past season, but none were better than that of Josh Hamilton on May 8th against the Orioles. Going 5-5, with 4 home runs (the 16th player in MLB history to do so), Hamilton certainly put on quite the slugging performance, thus making him worthy of the GIBBY for hitting performance of the year.
PITCHING PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Praising Cain
Winner: Praising Cain
When trying to decide which performance to choose, it came down to Johan Santana’s no-hitter and Matt Cain’s perfect game. While both performances were franchise firsts, Cain’s perfect game was the most impressive of the two, as he recorded a total of 14 strikeouts. Cain no doubt had the best pitching performance of the 2012 season, and as such, deserved the award for this category.
ODDITY OF THE YEAR
My original pick: What a relief
Winner: Michael Morse’s
My original pick for this particular category was Orioles’ first baseman Chris Davis picking up the win in the 17th inning of a 9-6 win versus the Red Sox–after going 0-8 at the plate, with 5 strikeouts. I really don’t see how Michael Morse beat out Davis by simply reenacting his home run swing after the umpires made him re-circle the bags, so I don’t agree with Morse winning the GIBBY.
WALK-OFF OF THE YEAR
My original pick: A legend’s last long ball
Winner: A legend’s last long ball
Chipper Jones’ walk-off ”yicketty” in the bottom of the ninth, of the Braves’ September 2nd win against the Phillies, was by-far THE best walk-off of the year. The entire 2012 season of Chipper Jones was absolutely incredible, and to end it with a walk-off bomb by Chipper is just a storybook ending to an amazing career. Chipper was certainly most deserving of the GIBBY.
CUT4 TOPIC OF THE YEAR
My original pick: Young fan scores special moment with dad
Winner: Bryce Harper
It seems Bryce Harper wins every possible award he gets nominated for, and while most of the time it makes sense, this time I don’t agree. I feel the young boy who got the surprise of seeing his dad who had just returned home from Afghanistan was the best Cut4 topic of the year in my mind. So, while Harper was the overall baseball topic of the 2012 season, I don’t agree with him taking home the GIBBY.
My original pick: Sandoval’s homer trifecta
Winner: Raul Ibanez
I don’t really see how Raul Ibaez could beat out Pablo Sandoval for postseason moment. I’ll admit, when Ibanez hit those home runs to come through for the Yankees when they needed him, I was up off my seat; stunned with what I had just seen. But Sandoval did something that had only been done by three other players before him: Hitting three home runs in a World Series game. How do you not vote for that? I’m truly baffled.
If you made it to this point, thanks for reading. I know a blog post without any pictures (not to mention nearly 2,000 words) can seem to drag on forever, but I just wanted to get my opinions out there on this year’s GIBBY awards.
The remaining blog schedule I have laid out for the rest of 2012 should be a lot more entertaining. So stay tuned….
I was extremely surprised with this year’s MVP voting. Not just with the winners of the award from the American League and National League, but also with the blowout fashion in which they won. I don’t feel it should’ve been such a major difference between first and second place in each league, but it is what it is.
In the end, it was Miguel Cabrera taking home the MVP award for the American League, with Buster Posey receiving the MVP award for the National Leauge; as voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA).
This was both Miguel Cabrera’s and Buster Posey’s first Most Valuable Player award.
AMERICAN LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: MIGUEL CABRERA
Original Pick: Mike Trout
Pick after finalists were revealed: Mike Trout
Thoughts On Miguel Cabrera Winning
I can’t believe how much of a landslide the vote for American League Most Valuable Player was. Although I was pulling for Mike Trout, I pretty much expected Miguel Cabrera to win. But to receive 22 of the 28 first place votes is absolutely ridiculous. Even if you think Cabrera was the more valuable player, you can’t honestly tell me that he was THAT much more valuable than Trout. It’s just not true.
So really, I’m not as upset about Miguel Cabrera winning the MVP award as much as I’m upset at how much of a blowout it was. In total, Cabrera beat out Trout by 81 points.
Truly incredible for an award that was supposedly going to be close.
The main reason Cabrera won the MVP award is the fact that he won the Triple Crown–posting a .330 average with 44 homeruns and 139 RBI’s.
While it’s amazing that he was able to accomplish something that hasn’t been done since 1967, I find it necessary to point out that Trout was able to accomplish things no player in the history of baseball has EVER been able to do. Besides, when it comes down to it, just because you posted better stats doesn’t mean you were the more valuable player to your team–which is what the award is all about.
So, while the Triple Crown is an amazing accomplishment for Cabrera, it’s not something you should base your vote on, in my opinion. Especially when Trout was able to one up Cabrera as far as historical occurences go.
Moving on to the second key aspect of Cabrera’s MVP win, I feel the voters’ pushed Trout out of the picture for the sole reason that he and his Angels didn’t make it to the playoffs, while Cabrera and the Tigers made it all the way to the World Series. I truly don’t understand why you would even consider using that as a reason for picking the most valuable player.
If you look at the facts, Cabrera’s Tigers actually had a worse record than the Angels. The reason they made it to the playoffs, while the Angels fell short, is because they played in an easier division. Should Trout be penalized because he played in the difficult AL West, and wasn’t able lead his team to the playoffs? Absolutely not. Making it to the playoffs takes a team effort; Trout could only do so much.
He was still extremely valuable to his team, even though it didn’t result in a playoff run.
So, while Miguel Cabrera received the award, and will go down in the record books as the 2012 AL MVP, when I look back on this season decades from now I’ll always find myself thinking about what should’ve been.
The BBWAA’s vote had Mike Trout finishing second, with Adrian Beltre coming in third.
NATIONAL LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: BUSTER POSEY
Original Pick: Ryan Braun
Pick after finalists were revealed: Ryan Braun
Thoughts On Buster Posey Winning
While I don’t feel as strongly about the National League portion of the MVP award as I do about the American League side, I still think Ryan Braun should’ve won the award; but at the same time, I’m not upset that Buster Posey won.
What it comes down to for me is what the voters’ (once again) decided to base their decision on. I feel like just as with the AL award, the National League MVP didn’t go to the “most valuable” player, but rather the player that was on the more successful team.
Just because Braun’s Brewers didn’t make the playoffs, he was pretty much pushed aside by the voters’ who historically love to see players from playoff teams win the award. (Since 1995, only 6 MVP winners have come from teams that didn’t make the post season.)
So I feel Braun wasn’t given a fair chance in that regard.
The only real complaint I have with the National League MVP award is the fact that Posey beat out Braun by an astounding 137 points. I don’t feel the voting results truly show how close it really was statistically between Braun and Posey. Yet another example of how much stock the BBWAA takes in whether or not a player’s team made the playoffs.
I’m really getting tired of it.
The BBWAA’s vote had Ryan Braun finishing second, with Andrew McCutchen coming in third.
The 2012 Cy Young award candidates were some of the closest ranked in the history of the award. None more so than the American League portion of the award, where it came down to a mere 4-point difference between first and second place. It was truly THAT close.
While it was too close to call going in to Wednesday night’s Cy Young award announcement, in the end, it was David Price taking home the award for the American League, while R.A. Dickey received the award for the National League; as voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA).
This is both David Price’s and R.A. Dickey’s first career Cy Young award.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CY YOUNG: DAVID PRICE
Original Pick: Jered Weaver
Pick after finalists were revealed: Jered Weaver
Thoughts On David Price Winning
My original pick for the American League Cy Young award was Jered Weaver, and it remained the same after the finalists were revealed last week. With that said, I’m thrilled that David Price won the award.
As stated in a previous blog post, while I was still rooting for Weaver to win, I wouldn’t have been upset with any of the three candidates winning the award. They were all so close statistically that it was hard to pick a winner, because no one candidate really stood above the rest.
The voters seemed to agree, as David Price pulled out the win by a mere 4 points–the closest AL Cy Young vote since 1969.
David Price becomes the first pitcher in Rays’ franchise history to win the Cy Young award, and is certainly deserving of the honor.
Going 20-5 with 205 strikeouts in 211 innings pitched, to go along with a 2.56 ERA, Price had the best year of his career thus far, and is quickly making a case as one of the most dominant pitchers in all of Major League Baseball.
And if this year is any indication, Price (age 27) could be in the running for Cy Young for many years to come.
The BBWAA’s vote had Justin Verlander finishing second, with Jered Weaver coming in third.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CY YOUNG: R.A. DICKEY
Original Pick: Clayton Kershaw
Pick after finalists were revealed: Clayton Kershaw
Thoughts On R.A. Dickey Winning
I had Clayton Kershaw winning the award, but as with the American League portion, I would’ve been happy with any of the three candidates winning; so I’m happy for R.A. Dickey. He was extremely deserving, and it couldn’t have happened to a better guy.
Going 20-6 with 230 strikeouts in 233.2 innings pitched, to go along with a 2.73 ERA, Dickey had the best year of his career, in 2012.
Unlike with the AL Cy Young–which had a 4-point difference between the 1st and 2nd place winners–the National League Cy Young voting wasn’t even close, as Dickey beat out Clayton Kershaw by a staggering 113 points; pulling in 27 of the 32 first place votes–finishing no lower than second on every voters’ ballot.
Dickey becomes the Mets’ first 20-game winner since 1990, and the first knuckleball pitcher to EVER win the award. Not bad for a 37-year old pitcher who was considered a bust by many just a few years ago. What a difference a few seasons can make.
The BBWAA’s vote had Clayton Kershaw finishing second, with Gio Gonzalez coming in third.
Going into Monday night’s Rookie of the Year announcement, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper were the heavy favorites to win the award. But while nearly every baseball fan across the country agreed that Trout was most deserving of the American League portion of the award, there was great debate as to whether or not Harper was the right choice.
Many people felt the award should go to Wade Miley, with some pushing for Todd Frazier to win. They both posted great rookie numbers, but when the official voting results were revealed, it was Bryce Harper coming out on top; winning by a mere 7 points over Wade Miley, as voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA).
Mike Trout (age 21) becomes the youngest winner of the American League Rookie of the Year award, with Bryce Harper (age 20) being the youngest position player to ever win National League Rookie of the Year.
AMERICAN LEAGUE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: MIKE TROUT
Original Pick: Mike Trout
Pick after finalists were revealed: Mike Trout
Thoughts On Mike Trout Winning
Leading all AL rookies in every category there is, Trout rightfully received all 28 first-place votes, becoming only the 8th unanimous AL winner in history, and the first since Evan Longoria, in 2008.
Mike Trout put together one of the most incredible rookie seasons the game has ever seen.
Posting a .326 batting average, with 30 home runs and 83 RBI’s, combined with his 49 stolen bases and 129 runs scored, Trout is the only rookie to ever record a 30 home run, 40 stolen base season.
In addition, Trout is the only PLAYER in MLB history to ever put together a season of at least 45 stolen bases to go along with 125 runs and 30 homers.
The BBWAA’s vote had Yoenis Cespedes finishing second, with Yu Darvish coming in third.
NATIONAL LEAGUE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: BRYCE HARPER
Original Pick: Wilin Rosario
Pick after finalists were revealed: Bryce Harper
Thoughts On Bryce Harper Winning
Although Wilin Rosario was my original pick, I knew it was extremely unlikely that he’d win the award. Harper has been all the baseball world could talk about since appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 16 as baseballs’ ‘Chosen One’, so for him not to win would have been rather shocking.
So, despite a great year, Rosario ended up finishing fourth–a shame in my opinion–with Harper (as expected) receiving just enough votes to pick up the win for the National League Rookie of the Year award; just edging out Wade Miley, who received a mere 7 less points.
While I’ll admit the vote was closer than I thought it was going to be, I still don’t fully agree with Harper winning. Not because he didn’t post good enough numbers–.270 batting average, 22 HR’s and 57 RBI’s–but because I feel like many of the voters selected Harper for the award for two main reasons: a) he’s only 20 years old, and b) he’s the most popular of the three finalists.
While I feel that neither of those is a good enough reason to vote for Harper, it is what it is. I’m not upset that he won. I’m just upset at the reasoning.
The BBWAA’s vote had Wade Miley finishing second, with Todd Frazier coming in third.
Thursday night was the 32nd 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 2012 Silver Slugger Award winners. I’ve included my opinions as well as some facts that I found interesting:
Most Silver Slugger Awards: Barry Bonds holds the record for the most Silver Slugger Awards as an outfielder, with twelve.
NL Winners: Andrew McCutchen (1st S.S. award), Jay Bruce (1st S.S. award) and Ryan Braun (5th S.S. award).
AL Winners: Mike Trout (1st S.S. award), Josh Hamilton (3rd S.S. award) and Josh Willingham (1st S.S. award).
Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce, Mike Trout and Josh Willingham are all first time recipients of the Silver Slugger award. Putting up impressive stats throughout the 2012 season, they’re all worthy, thus I fully agree with the voters’ picks. I also agree with the selections of Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton for the award, as both had career best years in many categories. This is Braun’s 5th straight Silver Slugger, and Hamilton’s 3rd career award.
Most Silver Slugger Awards: Todd Helton is tied with Albert Pujols for the most Silver Slugger Awards as a first baseman, with four.
NL Winner- Adam LaRoche (1st S.S. award)
AL Winner- Prince Fielder (3rd S.S. award)
Adam LaRoche earned his first career Silver Slugger award by posting a .271 batting average with 33 home runs and 100 RBI’s this past season. While LaRoche was impressive, Prince Fielder was even more impressive, as he batted .313 with 30 homers and 108 RBI’s. The thing that really jumps out at me about Fielder is that he was able to compile 108 RBI’s while spending the year batting behind the Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera (who recorded 139 RBI’s of his own). That’s absolutely mind boggling, and so I fully agree with him winning his second straight Slugger.
Most Silver Slugger Awards: Ryne Sandberg holds the record for the most Silver Slugger Awards as a second baseman, with seven.
NL Winner- Aaron Hill (2nd S.S. award)
AL Winner- Robinson Cano (4th S.S. award)
Aaron Hill took home his 2nd career Silver Slugger award, batting .302 with 26 home runs and 85 RBI’s this season. There were a few other National League candidates I felt were just as worthy of the award, but I can’t say I disagree with the selection of Hill. As far as Cano goes, he once again led all American League second basemen in the major categories, and as a result, won his third straight Slugger award.
Most Silver Slugger Awards: Wade Boggs holds the record for the most Silver Slugger Awards as a third baseman, with eight.
NL Winner- Chase Headley (1st S.S. award)
AL Winner- Miguel Cabrera (4th S.S. award)
Chase Headley was the shock of this years awards for me. It wasn’t that he didn’t deserve it–I mean, he put up great stats–but I didn’t expect him to beat out the other candidates. But hey, congratulations to him. As far as Miguel Cabrera goes, he was a no brainer to win. Cabrera led all American League batters in home runs, RBI’s and batting average, so it was no surprise when he received his 4th career Silver Slugger award.
Most Silver Slugger Awards: Barry Larkin holds the record for the most Silver Slugger Awards as a short stop, with nine.
NL Winner- Ian Desmond (1st S.S. award)
AL Winner- Derek Jeter (5th S.S. award)
Ian Desmond posted some impressive numbers this season, earning him his 1st career Silver Slugger award. He came through in the clutch a lot for the Nationals, and proved to be one of the best hitting short stops of the 2012 season. The American League portion saw Derek Jeter taking home his 5th career Slugger, which was no shock. Jeter led all of baseball in hits (the 3rd oldest to ever do so), and most deserved the award.
Most Silver Slugger Awards: Mike Piazza holds the record for the most Silver Slugger Awards as a catcher, with ten.
NL Winner- Buster Posey (1st S.S. award)
AL Winner- A.J. Pierzynski (1st S.S. award)
If Chase Headley was the shock of this year’s awards, A.J. Pierzynski was the second greatest surprise. Many had Joe Mauer winning the award (myself included) but it was Pierzynski winning his first career Silver Slugger. While the AL winner was somewhat of a surprise, the National League winner Buster Posey was just the opposite. Posey put up MVP caliber numbers, and thus was able to win his first career Slugger award.
Most Silver Slugger Awards: Mike Hampton holds the record for the most Silver Slugger Awards as a pitcher, with five.
Winner- Stephen Strasburg (1st S.S. award)
Pitchers aren’t really known for their offense, but there are a few who can actually hit. None more so in 2012 than Stephen Strasburg who was able to record 13 hits in 47 at-bats, which comes out to a .277 batting average. In addition, Strasburg amassed 7 RBI’s, including his first career homer, making him the most deserving of the Slugger award among pitchers.
Most Silver Slugger Awards: David Ortiz holds the record for the most Silver Slugger Awards as a Designated Hitter, with five.
Winner- Billy Butler (1st S.S. award)
Posting a batting average of .313 with 29 home runs and 107 RBI’s, Billy Butler proved to be the most consistent Designated Hitter of the 2012 season, earning him his first career Silver Slugger award. Comparing Butler’s stats to the other DH’s throughout baseball, he was the most deserving of them all, so I agree with the voters.
2012 SILVER SLUGGER AWARDS FAST FACTS
There were 11 first time Silver Slugger winners.
Robinson Cano, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun were the only winners who also won a Silver Slugger last year.
The Nationals had the most winners of any team, with three.
There were four Silver Slugger winners who also won Gold Glove awards this year.
- Derek Jeter received a 1.5 million dollar bonus for winning the award.