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MLB Awards

Before I begin, I’d like to acknowledge my amazing ability to have been wrong so many times throughout the playoffs. But congratulations to the San Francisco Giants on an amazing run and a world championship. Hopefully we get to end our drought in Kansas City soon, too.

On to the awards for MLB. Though voting (by the people in my head) happened after the playoffs, the voting reflects only the regular season, so apologies in advance to Cody Ross for leaving him off my MVP ballot.

American League
MVP: I had a tough time deciding this one, but ultimately it came down to Josh Hamilton. He was just too amazing for the division winning Texas Rangers. Some will argue that you can’t win the MVP and miss most of September, but as others have argued, he simply had the inverse to Joe Mauer last year when Mauer missed all of April. By September, the division was wrapped up anyway for Texas. This will most likely end up as the best season of Josh Hamilton’s career, but the juxtaposition of him being on top of baseball’s mountain after being in the deepest of baseball’s ditches will provide a story that will permeate for years. Yes, we will get tired of it. I already am, but not enough to discount this man the award.
Apologies to Miguel Cabrera, Justin Morneau’s half season, Robinson Cano, Adrian Beltre and Jose Bautista

Cy Young: If last year’s awards showed a trend toward the BBWAA shying away from using wins as a deciding factor, this year should completely blow the cover of wins as the most important stat. Felix Hernandez should win this award in a walk. He is an absolute other breed a pitcher, and before you shout at me for a pitcher was 13-12, you have to look at his entire body of work. He had just under 250 innings, he struck out 232, allowed just 194 hits, had six complete games and was just an utterly dominant pitcher. That he pitched for one of the worst offensive teams of the last 40 years should not be held against him.
Apologies to David Price, C.C. Sabathia, Clay Buchholz, Jared Weaver, Jon Lester Cliff Lee, Justin Verlander and Francisco Liriano

Rookie of the Year: This was pretty much a two-headed race, but ultimately the best rookie in the American League was Neftali Feliz, the young closer for the Rangers. 40 saves, a solid ERA, lots of strikeouts and shutting the door for a division champion made him the solid choice. He was a starter through the minors, though the opinion is now split on where is talent is best utilized. A great closer with multiple pitches, I think Feliz would be great as a starter as well as a closer, so his future might depend on Cliff Lee’s decision, but either way the Rangers are in pretty good shape.
Apologies to Austin Jackson and Brennan Boesch

Manager of the Year: This was a very tough decision and I let Joe Posnanski influence me. I settled on Ron Gardenhire, who was able to win in spite of a season ending injury to his first baseman, no third baseman, a designated hitter who decided to hit like Mark Teahen, his center fielder regressing offensively and a power outage from his MVP catcher. All in all, Gardenhire had an extremely talented team, but had to muddle through a lot of issues and then was able to get his team to knock on the door of the best record in the American league. Many have his issues with him, but he did a nice job this season.
Apologies to Ron Washington, Joe Maddon, Ozzie Guillen and, yes, Buck Showalter

National League
MVP: This was one of the easiest to give out. Joey Votto is the obvious choice after leading the league in OBP and SLG and leading his team to a division title. The man can really hit. 2010 was just his third full year and he has gotten better every season. The best has yet to come which is truly scary for National League pitchers as he is set to terrorize them in that ballpark for years to come. At 26, Votto is on a collision course with the Hall of Fame if he can keep up his production into his 30s. If he can will remain to be seen, but for now he sure is fun to watch.
Apologies to Albert Pujols, Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Aubrey Huff and Ryan Zimmerman

Cy Young: This may have been the second easiest award to hand out. Roy Halladay is far and away the National League Cy Young winner, though he actually had some competition for much of the season before pulling away. What more can be said about the man who pitched a regular season perfect game and a postseason no-hitter? He’s brilliant and had one of his best seasons to date in his first year in the National League. Though he didn’t get his World Series ring this year, him leading that pitching staff will give him plenty more opportunities.
Apologies to Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Johnson and Adam Wainwright

Rookie of the Year: This will promise to be the most controversial award in the real voting, but people need to remember that voting was conducted prior to the postseason. That’s why Jason Heyward is the NL ROY. He came out of the gate on fire and finished as the number two hitter on a playoff team. He also played defense in addition to having an OBP of almost .400, which is just unheard of for a rookie. He’s also 20 years old. He’ll be haunting pitchers for a very long while. Heyward is about as complete a hitter as you’ll see out of the minors and it’ll be fun to watch him grow into something even more amazing than what he was in 2010.
Apologies to Buster Posey and Mike Stanton

Manager of the Year: Two candidates existed in my mind for this award. One is sentimental and one really deserved it. The one who really deserves the award is Bud Black after leading the Padres to the brink of the postseason in a year in which many believed they’d be lucky to win 75 games. The Padres were undermanned all year, but still were in it until the end. A truly impressive job.
Apologies to Bobby Cox

So that’s it. The 2010 season is in the books. The last two years have included Dayton Moore moves on the day after the World Series. I’ll keep an eye on things for you to see if he makes it three in a row.

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