Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Here's My Ballot for the BBA Awards

No, it's not for the upcoming presidential election, but for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, which I became a new member earlier this year. The BBA is a large group of baseball bloggers from around the United States and Canada, and every year they had out five major awards for both leagues.

This is my ballot for the American League awards. (I do only the AL since my blog centers around my Red Sox fandom.) There are five awards: Connie Mack Award (Manager of the Year), Willie Mays Award (Rookie of the Year), Goose Gossage Award (Top reliever), Walter Johnson Award (Cy Young Award), and Stan Musial Award (MVP Award).

Connie Mack Award: Bob Melvin. It was between two managers for most of the year, but Bob Melvin of the A's pulled away from the Orioles' Buck Showalter with the second half the A's put together. They not only took the AL West title from the Texas Rangers on the final day of the year, but came from 13 games down on July 1st to do it. I thought for sure the A's would lose 100 games in 2012 after trading away so many veterans in the offseason and Melvin would be looking for work right about now. The A's remind me of the 1969 New York Mets in so many ways.

Willie Mays Award: Mike Trout. A category that has a runaway winner. Mike Trout of the LA Angels exploded onto the scene and made an immediate impact upon the underachieving Angels. The catch he made in Baltimore has been replayed so many times and was one of the best plays of the year. Trout was second in batting at .327, with 30 home runs, 83 RBI and 49 stolen bases. Trout should finish second to Miguel Cabrera in the MVP vote.

Goose Gossage Award: Fernando Rodney. Rodney of the Rays had an unconscious year as the Tampa Bay closer. He converted 48 of 50 chances (only Jim Johnson saved more), held opponents to a .167 batting average, and struck out 76 hitters in just over 74 innings.

Walter Johnson Award: David Price. It was a great year for Tampa Bay pitchers, and Price became the first Rays pitcher to win 20 games, as he was 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA, which led the American League. He struck out 205 batters in 211 innings.It was another terrific year for Justin Verlander, who led the AL in strikeouts with 239, but Price gets the nod for winning 20 and just edging Verlander in ERA (his was 2.64).

Stan Musial Award: Miguel Cabrera. This is a no-brainer if there ever was one. Miguel Cabrera became the first player since the great Carl Yastrzemski to win the Triple Crown with the fabulous season he had in leading the Detroit Tigers to the AL Central title. Cabrera hit .330, with 44 home runs and 139 RBI, and would have won the Triple Crown for all of baseball if Buster Posey hadn't beaten him in batting average. (The last MLB player to win the Triple Crown for all of baseball was Mickey Mantle in 1956.)

The awards will be announced beginning next Monday, October 15, with one per day until October 19.

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