bill-swift - October 5, 2012
With the final out of the last game played Wednesday night, the regular season officially ended. Now, the 2012 post season will begin with the wild card teams from each league facing off in a one-game play-off to see who goes on to their respective division series.
With all of that excitement brewing around Major League Baseball, there will also be the talk of who deserves to win the various regular season awards. This season saw some really strong performances from a lot of players, but only a select few can win something for it. Will your favorite be one of them?
Rookie of the Year: This one is the easiest to call. There is not a single rookie in the American League that can hold a candle to the season that the Angels Mike Trout has had. The young phenom hit .324 with 30 home runs, 83 RBIs, scored 129 runs, and stole 49 bases.
Whoever doesn't vote for Trout should be taking out back and beaten with one of Trout's bats till he comes to his senses.
Cy Young: There are a few good candidates here. David Price of the Tampa Bay rays had a solid season (20-5, 2.56 ERA, 205 Ks, and 59 walks). Justin Verlander was as good as ever (17-8, 2.64 ERA, 239 Ks, and 60 walks). It's hard not to mention someone that pitched a perfect game like Felix Hernandez (13-9, 3.06 ERA, 223 Ks, and 56 walks) and Jered Weaver had a great year for the Angels (20-4, 2.73 ERA, 141 Ks, and 43 walks).
If Verlander hadn't done better in the past he would probably get the nod since his team is headed to the post season (making his work more valuable). Since he has done better many voters will overlook him and go with David Price instead. It's hard to argue with the statistics, and if the Rays had a little bit more offense and defense the Rays would be in the postseason.
MVP: If Miguel Cabrera had not won the Triple Crown Mike Trout would probably get the nod here, but since he did (and his Tigers are headed to the playoffs) it is kind of hard to argue with him as the lead candidate. Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre would draw serious consideration had the Rangers not folded down and limped into the playoffs.
Rookie of the Year: This one is a little close. Unlike the AL, the NL didn't have a breakout player that razzled and dazzled all season long. What they did have where a good number of quality performances. Bryce Harper of the Washington Nations will be the name everyone has heard of (.270, 22 home runs, 59 RBIs, scored 97 runs, and stole 18 bases).
Harper isn't going to win though. The honor will go to starting pitcher Wade Miley of the Arizona Diamondbacks. His stats aren't mind blowing (16-11, 3.33 ERA, 144 Ks, and 37 walks). With the kind of team he has around him in Arizona the fact that he did as well as he did is a miracle in itself.
Cy Young: Voters will have a hard time deciding this one too. There are a number of players that had quality seasons, but my likely candidates are the following: L.A.'s Clayton Kershaw (13-9, 2.58 ERA, 221 Ks, and 60 walks), New York's R.A. Dickey (20-6, 2.73 ERA, 230 Ks, and 54 walks) and my dark horse candidate—Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves (42 saves, 113 Ks, 14 walks, 1.02 ERA.
Dickey is likely to win it. For most of the season the knuckle ball pitcher has been unbelievable on the mound. However, I think that it should go to Kimbrel. It is not unprecedented for a closer to win it (Eric Gagne, 2003). After posting the numbers that he has and striking out half of the batters he faced I think it is safe to say he had a killer season that is award worthy.
MVP: I would love to say that the award was going to go to someone like San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey or Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCuthcheon, but sadly it will likely go to Ryan "I didn't get suspended for drug use because the guy took my sample home rather than mail it" Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers.
The numbers don't lie; the man was amazing (.320, 41 home runs, 112 RBIs, 107 runs scored, and 30 stolen bases). He is pretty much the man in Milwaukee and one of the best hitters baseball has seen in a while
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