The Major League Baseball season is coming to a close and the postseason is right around the corner. Of course, if you're a Pirates fan, the season pretty much ended in June for you. So here are my awards for the season. Some are your typical awards like MVP and Cy Young, some are my own awards. Feel free to come up with awards you want to give out.
NL MVP - Albert Pujols: Do I need to justify this?
NL LVP - Brad Lidge: Despite all of Lidge's best efforts, the Philadelphia Phillies are going to win their division. Lidge is 0-8 with 11 blown saves, a 7.38 ERA and 1.85 WHIP. What the heck happened? He was perfect last year. I'm thinking Pujols starting writing him letters and sending pictures of that massive homer he hit off Lidge in the NLCS a few years back.
AL MVP - Joe Mauer: Usually I think a league MVP needs to be on a playoff team, but not here. I know the Minnesota Twins still have a chance, but I think the Detroit Tigers will hold them off. Mauer is batting .367, has a .441 on-base percentage, is slugging .597 and has 28 homers. He is doing all this as a catcher, who missed a month of the season with a hip injury. The 28 homers really stands out considering he's never hit more than 13. If that doesn't do it for you, remember Kevin Slowey and Justin Morneau had their seasons end early and Mauer kept the Twins alive.
AL LVP - Josh Hamilton: More proof that drugs are bad. Hamilton's body broke down this year. He went from 32 homers and 130 RBIs to 10 homers and 56 RBIs. His average also dropped almost 40 points. If he were the Hamilton of last season, the Texas Rangers would still be in the Wild Card chase. Instead we get the Red Sox, who I hate more than swine flu.
NL Cy Young - Chris Carpenter: Back in March, I decided that Carpenter was a bigger injury risk than Erik Bedard and went with the lefty for my fantasy team. Oops. Carpenter is 16-4 with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP on the Central Division champion St. Louis Cardinals. This is after making a combined five starts the two previous seasons. I thought he would be OK, but not back to being great. He'll beat out Tim Lincecum and also take home the NL Comeback Player of the Year.
AL Cy Young - Zack Greinke: He's awesome. On a 64-94 team, Greinke is 16-8 with a 2.06 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 237 strikeouts. If he got any kind of run support, he would be flirting with 25 wins. There were 12 games this year where Greinke gave up three earned runs or less and did not get the win.
NL and AL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year - Who cares?: I don't even know if they give this award out anymore, I just know they did in MLB: The Show 07'. This award is always given to closers, who I think are the most overrated players in baseball. They pitch one inning, don't give up three run leads, and they command huge salaries. Saves might be the most overrated stat in baseball. Look at the Phillies. Their closers are terrible, yet they are going to win their division. All I know is that Matt Capps and Brad Lidge will not win this one.
AL Comeback Player of the Year - Justin Verlander: He was so much better this year than last year. He ERA dipped a a point and a half, he struck out 100 more batters and won seven more games.
NL Rookie of the Year - J.A. Happ: Stupid Happ. If it weren't for him, the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen or Garrett Jones would be taking this home. If it weren't for Happ, and the addition of Cliff Lee, the Phillies might have blown the East this year. But Happ was outstanding with 12-4 record, 2.85 ERA and 1.22 WHIP.
AL Rookie of the Year - Elvis Andrus: OK, so he wasn't amazing, but he had a nice season at short for the Rangers. A .268 average with little power wasn't much, but he played solid defense and stole 32 bases playing just about everyday. I was thinking of giving it to Gordon Beckham, he has better numbers, but his team wasn't in contention and he had 100 less at bats. Some might say that is reason to take him over Beckham, but I think The Rangers depended on Andrus more than the White Sox depended on Beckham.
NL Old and Busted Veteran of the Year - Gary Sheffield: This is not a good award. I strongly dislike Gary Sheffield and would be happy if he never played again.
AL Old and Busted Veteran of the Year - Jason Giambi: I know he is now with the Colorado Rockies, but he was terrible with the Oakland A's this year. Terrible was an understatement.
Team That Made Me Happiest Award - New York Mets: How great was it seeing them and their $135,773,988 payroll go down with injury after injury en route to a 90+ loss season? Beautiful.
Team That Made Me Saddest - Toronto Blue Jays: I love the Jays. And when they jumped out to the best record in baseball through mid-May, I was pumped. Then they went on to suck down the stretch and give me nothing to like about baseball from June on. Except the downfall of the Mets. That never got old.
NL Manager of the Year - Jim Tracy: I hate this man. He was so terrible for the Pirates, but there is no doubting the Rockies responded in a big way when he took over. They were a joke under Clint Hurdle, then Tracy took over and they will probably grab the Wild Card. Damn you, Tracy.
AL Manager of the Year - Mike Scioscia: OK, so Joe Girardi will probably win this, but I really like the job Scioscia did out in LA. The Angels dealt with injuries to John Lackey, Vlad Guerrero and Tori Hunter to name a few this year, and never missed a step. They play in a relatively deep division, but it is still impressive that they maintained their advantage all season. I think I could manage a lineup of Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira, A-Rod, Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada and Melky Cabrera to at least a Wild Card.
Player I dislike the most - Johnathan Papelbon: He just gets on my nerves. And the way broadcasters think the mean face he puts on intimidates batters bothers me. If they are intimidated by anything, it's the fact he could throw a 96-mph fastball at their heads, not that he looks like he's constipated.
Favorite player - Andrew McCutchen: He is the only player I saw this season that sprinted down to first no matter where he hit the ball. Nothing annoys me more than a batter grounding a ball to third or short, and they lightly jog down the baseline. McCutchen, on the other hand, puts his head down and bolts down the line every time. That's the way the game is supposed to be played.
Team no one would miss - Seattle Mariners: I'm sure a lot of you want to put the Pirates here, but who would the national media tease on a daily basis if the Pirates were gone? But the Mariners have nothing to offer but Ichiro and King Felix. Let's auction those two off, get rid of the Mariners and move a team from the NL Central to the AL West.
The Fixer - Pearl Jam