SGE MLB Regular Season Awards
Since it takes Major League Baseball almost right up to spring training to hand out its regular season awards, I’ve decided to help speed up the process. With it being postseason time in baseball, that means it’s that time once again to hand out some awards on the baseball diamond here at Sports Grind Entertainment. Lets begin by starting off in the senior circuit with the National League MVP Award.
NL MVP Award: The Cincinnati Reds first baseman had some completion for this award but it was Joey Votto who had a .324 batting average and 37 home runs to go along with 113 RBI’s on a team that is headed to the postseason for the first time since 1995. For the Reds to reach their first postseason appearance in 15 years they counted on everything Votto did as he finished virtually near the top in all of the offensive categories. However it was when Votto delivered that matter most of all as he hit .374 with men on base and .357 from the seventh inning on pushed him ahead of the rest.
NL Cy Young Award: In the off-season the Philadlephia Phillies took part in a three team trade that included one of their top pitching prospects in Kyle Drabek to get the consistent 20 game winner of Roy Halladay. So far in his first regular season with his new team Halladay hasn’t disappointed the front office. Halladay is 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 33 starts, leader in all categories. He has gone the distance 9 times for Philadelphia, while putting in 250.2 innings of work. In that time has struck out 219 batters and lets not forget thrown a perfect game.
NL Rookie of the Year: The St. Louis Cardinals left hander entered the season a toss up of being on the roster to being a fifth starter. By seasons end he rose to a legit number three starter for the Cardinals behind Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. Jaime Garcia went 13-8 with a 2.70 ERA (which was his highest of the season) and 1.32 WHIP in 28 starts. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa only allowed him the chance to go the distance once and he delivered a shutout. The rookie struck out 132 batters while hitters where only able to hit .243 off him.
NL Manager of the Year: The San Diego Padres won 75 games and finished in 4th place in the NL West in 2009 but Bud Black was able to turn the club around in 2010. Black was forced to work with an opening day payroll of $37.7 million to win 90 games and fall short of the postseason by just one game. The 90 wins achieved by the Padres in 2010 was the most the franchise had seen since 1998, the year they made it to the World Series and lost to the New York Yankees.
AL MVP Award: This award came with just about the stiffest competition of them. Detriot Tigers Miguel Cabrera, New York Yankees Robinson Cano and Texas Rangers Josh Hamilton each made strong cases to be awarded however Cano had the luxury of hitting inside a lineup that saw a lot of protection since it has seven all-stars and a team that scored an American League high of 859 runs. Hamilton’s knock is that he missed perhaps the most important month of regular season baseball when he sat out all of September, with the exception of two games, due to a rib injury. Cabrera had misfortune of playing for a team that was not a factor in the postseason race. Though the Tigers weren’t in contention it wasn’t due to the Cabrera’s bat as he finished either number one or number two in a variety of offensive categories such as: on-base percentage, slugging, on-base plus slugging, runs scored, total bases, and extra bases hits. Cabrera even collected 126 RBIs, hit for a .328 batting average and 38 home runs to finish in the American League one, two, and three in those stats.
AL Cy Young Award: The Seattle Mariners right hander Felix Hernandez finished the season 13-12 and had the unfortunately to play for a team that could not hit the ball whether he was or wasn’t on the mound. The Mariners in fact finished dead last in the run department in the American League, scoring just 513 runs on the season. In fact Hernandez left seven of his last 14 starts in the seventh inning or later with zero runs on his side of the scoreboard. In areas Hernandez could control he finished number one with 2.27 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He did this while pitching a league high 249.2 innings pitched. Hernandez would have been the leagues strikeout leader but his season was shutdown on his final start causing him to come one strikeout short of Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim Jered Weaver at 232. Amazingly Hernandez also had to go the distance six times just to insure the bullpen wouldn’t screw up what he had accomplished.
AL Rookie of the Year: The Texas Rangers closer Neftali Feliz is a huge reason the team is making their first postseason appearance since 1999 as he registered 40 saves to finished third in the American League while blowing only 3 saves all year. He was dominant in allowing just 21 runs on 43 hits in 69 innings to compile a 2.73 ERA while hitters where still unable to hit .177 of him and reached base just 24 percent of the time.
AL Manager of the Year: To be a big league manager is already a hefty task but being the Texas Rangers skipper this year meant having to deal with a little extra pressure and it started before a meaningful game was played with the release of Ron Washington failing a drug test from last season. Washington entered the season already on the hot seat, had to deal with his own admission to cocaine use in spring training to the back in forth sale of the Rangers that went all the way to bankruptcy court, all this in conjunction to winning Major League Baseball games. The Rangers already known for being a team that could hit the ball, Washington guided a pitching staff to finish third with 3.93 ERA in the American League, while making the decision of handing over the ball to a rookie closer. That decision earned the Rangers 40 saves. Washington also guided his club to a 15-12 record in September, a month that saw the Rangers play without AL MVP candidate Josh Hamilton in the lineup. The Rangers collected 90 wins good enough to win their first AL West title since 1999, the last time they made it to the postseason.