Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Stankeye Award Picks

I was all ready with a big rant about how I really don't care at all about award voting in major league baseball, then I realized that I was about to follow up said rant with my own picks for who should win each postseason award, so I guess that means I care a little. Still, the BBWAA voting on these things is just amazingly idiotic. Only a boob would think that Ryan Howard belongs anywhere near the same conversation as Albert Pujols, but somehow he's a favorite.

But, wait! Howard had 146 RBIs! He's mad clutch! Yes, this is why I've stopped caring about who wins MVP and whatnot. If the majority of voters can't figure out that the reason Howard has so many RBIs is that he has three players who are better than he is getting on base for him all the time, the whole voting process is just worthless.

And don't even get me started on the whole MVP-should-be-from-a-winning-team bullshit. I love how the voters use the "if his team sucks, how valuable can he be?" moron-speak to justify not voting for a guy on a losing team who is clearly more valuable than their pet player. Newsflash: No matter how great a player is, he can't help it if the pitching sucks and the hitters around him are garbage. According to this logic, if you put Josh Hamilton on the White Sox instead of Carlos Quentin they would be a losing team and would miss the playoffs.

Ugh, see what this award voting stuff does to me? It gets me riled up, and I'm a laid-back, even-keeled guy! It's just that when I have to open the paper and see Bartolo Colon winning a Cy Young or Justin Morneau winning the MVP, it makes me turn green and go on an unstoppable rampage. Paulie smash! Any-hoo, here are my personal MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year picks, along with who I think will actually get the award.

Who Should Win: Albert Pujols

Pujols was ridiculous this season, leading the league in OPS, total bases, OPS+, VORP, and finishing second or close to the top in just about every other offensive category. His .357/.462./653 line is like something you'd see on the back of Barry Bonds' baseball card. He walked 104 times against just 54 strikeouts! Do you have any idea how crazy that is? Add all that to the fact that he's a tremendous fielder at his position and I think he's far and away the best player in the NL.

Who Will Win: Pujols

Maybe I'm giving the BBWAA too much credit here, but I can't believe even that collection of relics can screw this up. Even though Howard has the lead in homers and has the huge, shiny RBI total, I think enough voters will be put off by the low average and high strikeout totals that common sense will prevail and Pujols will win the award. The fact that the Cardinals were in playoff contention for most of the year will help Pujols's cause as well. Then again, never underestimate a sportswriter's lack of intelligent thought process.

Who Should Win: Joe Mauer

This is sort of a controversial vote, as there are a lot of viable candidates, but I think the hardware should go to Mauer. He plays the toughest position on the diamond at a Gold Glove caliber and led the AL in hitting while doing it. He's just one hell of a hitter, with a .328/.415/.453 line, and he led all catchers in VORP and OBP. Plus, my uncle says I look exactly like him, which gives him extra points in my book. His counting stats, though, probably won't be sexy enough in the voters' minds to give him the award, which is also what killed his MVP chances in 2006.

Who Will Win: Dustin Pedroia

I'd have chosen Morneau if the Twins had made the playoffs, but they didn't, so thankfully we'll most likely be spared that retarded pick. As for Pedroia, the media loves those small, scrappy white guys who supposedly play above their talent, so he'll probably win since he makes a good story. That's not to say he didn't have a great year. He was awesome, hitting .326/.376/.493 and playing a tough defensive position well. I think there are better candidates, but if Pedroia does win, I won't have any quibble.

NL Cy Young
Who Should Win: Tim Lincecum

Duh. He was second in ERA, first in strikeouts by a wide margin, and just an unhittable force all year long. Another point in his favor, as a poster on McCovey Chronicles pointed out, is that he didn't get to face the Giants' lineup at all.

Who Will Win: Lincecum

Again, perhaps I'm giving the writers too much credit, but I think even they can look past Brandon Webb's 22 wins and see that Lincecum was a much better pitcher. Then again, we did get Colon over Johan Santana because of this same stupid thinking in 2005, so maybe I shouldn't get my hopes up.

AL Cy Young
Who Should Win: Roy Halladay

Who Will Win: Cliff Lee

I was going to give my vote to Lee, but upon further review, Halladay was a monster this season. He faced tougher competition than Lee, pitched more innings, and had a lower WHIP, which is a better indicator of individual performance than ERA. I was also all ready to fawn over Lee's K/BB ratio, but Halladay's is even better. Still, Lee has that eye-popping 22-3 record and that should get him the Cy.

Side note: If Francisco Rodriguez wins the AL Cy Young or, even worse, the MVP, which is a very real possibility, I'm denouncing baseball and moving to Nepal to become one of those monks who protect Yeti scalps.

NL Rookie of the Year
Who Should Win: Geovany Soto

Who Will Win: Soto

Just a no-brainer. The rookie catcher OPSed .868 and was a major reason the Cubs blew away the competition in the NL Central.

AL Rookie of the Year
Who Should Win: Evan Longoria

Who Will Win: Longoria

Another easy pick. Perhaps Alexei Ramirez will pick up some idiot votes and make it close, but Longoria's 27 homers and .874 OPS, coupled with his amazing glove, make him the clear winner.

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