Archive for the ‘ BBA Awards ’ Category

Way to go Joe! Maddon named MOY

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For the second time in the last three days, a Ray has won an MLB award. Just two days after Jeremy Hellickson became the 2011 Rookie of the Year, skipper Joe Maddon was awarded as the AL Manager of the Year . The exciting (and predictable) news was announced yesterday, when 133 voting points and 26 first-place votes gave Joe his second MOY award. Just like in 2008, Maddon proved to everyone that he was very deserving of the Top Manager title. Winning this revered award this year, was simply just another highlight in his legacy as an MLB manager. There are not many baseball personnel as talented as this man. His unconventional style of baseball, his people skills, and his ability to work with young players are all things that make Joe a one of a kind. No other big league skipper represents their team a well as Maddon does. Maddon’s uniqueness and leadership abilities are what make him one of the most successful coaches in the world of sport. It’s definitely safe to say that the Rays would not be the same team without Joe Maddon leaning on the dugout railings. Maybe only Rays fans can truly realize how special Maddon is, but the BWAA committee still seemed to agree that Maddon was the obvious choice for the award. Here are the official voting results below:

Manager Team 1st 2nd 3rd Points
Joe Maddon Rays 26 1 133
Jim Leyland Tigers 1 13 10 54
Ron Washington Rangers 1 7 5 31
Manny Acta Indians 3 7 16
Joe Girardi Yankees 3 5 14
Mike Scioscia Angels 1 1 4
The Connie Mack Award (which is part of the BBA Awards) results were similar to the official results. Here are the results below:
Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay (22) 113 (My 1st place vote)
Jim Leyland, Detroit 48 (My 3rd place vote)
Ron Washington, Texas (3) 37
Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles of Anaheim 13 (My 2nd place vote)
Joe Girardi, New York 9
Manny Acta, Cleveland 5
John Farrell, Toronto 1

Hellboy wins the ROY Award!

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After the many days of waiting and debating, Jeremy Hellickson has officially won the AL Rookie of the Year Award. Congratulations to Jeremy for winning this fantastic honor, and joining Evan Longoria in being the only Rays players to get this award. The Rays’ great young talent continues to be acknowledged and well-noticed throughout the baseball nation. Even with some impressive young players in the ROY running, Hellickson was clearly the most deserving to win the award. Jeremy’s had a great start to his career, which is now just a year and a half old. The 24 year-old posted terrific numbers leading AL rookie pitchers in five stats, including ERA and quality starts. He finished the season with a stellar 2.95 ERA, 189 IP, a .210 opponent average, and 13 wins. Not only did Hellickson’s terrific stats prove him to be the best AL rookie pitcher, but also probably the best #3 starter in baseball. Hellickson’s contribution to the team’s success is what I found the most amazing about his great rookie season. In the midst of the Rays great comeback, Hellboy won 5 consecutive starts against AL East opponents. His ability to perform in the clutch is what really separated him from his two main competitors in the voting; Mark Trumbo and Eric Hosmer. The Angels’ Trumbo and the Royals’ Hosmer both had excellent seasons for their respective teams. Still the BWAA were able to notice Hellickson as the deserving player for the award, as the voting results ended up as a landslide:

Player Team 1st 2nd 3rd Points
Jeremy Hellickson Rays 17 5 2 102
Mark Trumbo Angels 5 11 5 63
Eric Hosmer Royals 4 4 6 38
Ivan Nova Yankees 1 5 10 30
Michael Pineda Mariners 3 2 11
Dustin Ackley Mariners 1 1 6
Desmond Jennings Rays 1 1
Jordan Walden Angels 1 1
If you recall, a few months ago The Rays Rant participated in the BBA Awards (being a part of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance). The results were strikingly much different than the official, here they are again :

 

Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay (8) 67 (My 1st place vote)
Eric Hosmer, Kansas City (9) 67 (My second place vote)
Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles of Anaheim (3) 27
Michael Pineda, Seattle (3) 23
Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay 7
Ivan Nova, New York 7 (My 3rd place vote)
Brett Lawrie, Toronto (1) 5
Dustin Ackley, Seattle 4
Zach Britton, Baltimore 3
Alexi Ogando, Texas 3
Jordan Walden, Los Angeles of Anaheim 2
Chris Sale, Chicago 1

Hopefully there will be more Rays names to hit the MLB Award spotlight in the next couple of weeks. Maddon is the front runner for the AL Manager of the Year Award, which is announced on Thursday. Besides Maddon, it doesn’t look like there’ll be any more Rays (non-team) awards. But looking ahead to next year, it’s very possible that another Ray rookie will be named the 2012 ROY. Matt Moore and Desmond Jennings are two bright rookies who have already made a splash in the 2011 season. It’s always exciting for a Rays fan to know how much great things are awaiting in the next year.

2011 BBA Award Winners announced!

The BBA Award voting has just came to a conclusion and the results are out. If you want to know more about the BBA and its awards, read my earlier post. Here are the 5 American League BBA Awards:

The Connie Mack Award (Manager of the Year):

Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay (22) 113 (My 1st place vote)
Jim Leyland, Detroit 48 (My 3rd place vote)
Ron Washington, Texas (3) 37
Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles of Anaheim 13 (My 2nd place vote)
Joe Girardi, New York 9
Manny Acta, Cleveland 5
John Farrell, Toronto 1

This one was one of the three awards I thought was a no-brainer, along with the Walter Johnson Award and the Willie Mays Award. Joe Maddon had another unbelievable season as the Rays skipper, and lead the team to their historic comeback. He’s been talked about on sports sites everywhere including mine (article here and here), and most have agreed that he is the best manager in all of baseball. He was just awarded the top AL manager by Sporting News a few days ago. It’s nice to see Maddon get some good recognition here, and hopefully he will take home his second Manager of the Year Award in the coming weeks. For my Connie Mack Award article, click here.

 The Willie Mays Award (Rookie of the Year):

Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay (8) 67 (My 1st place vote) 
Eric Hosmer, Kansas City (9) 67 (My second place vote)
Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles of Anaheim (3) 27
Michael Pineda, Seattle (3) 23
Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay 7
Ivan Nova, New York 7 (My 3rd place vote)
Brett Lawrie, Toronto (1) 5
Dustin Ackley, Seattle 4
Zach Britton, Baltimore 3
Alexi Ogando, Texas 3
Jordan Walden, Los Angeles of Anaheim 2
Chris Sale, Chicago 1

Overall, I would have to say I am satisfied with the result of this voting. It was at least a sigh of relief to see the much deserving Hellickson tie for first. I was convinced the whole season that Hellickson was deserving of the ROY Award and was favoring Hosmer as the runner-up. Jeremy was recently acknowledged as Baseball America’s Rookie of the Year, rating him the best rookie in all of baseball. It wasn’t ideal to see Hellboy not the sole winner in this one, but it was still good to see him and Hosmer stand as the one-two in the voting. I was also very happy to see Desmond Jennings get recognition with 7 votes, after the boost he gave the Rays since his call-up. For my Willie Mays Award blog post, click here.

The Goose Gossage Award (Top Relief Pitcher):

Jose Valverde, Detroit (13) 74 (My 1st place vote)
Mariano Rivera, New York (4) 56 (My 2nd place vote)
David Robertson, New York (3) 39 (My 3rd place vote)
Jonathan Papelbon, Boston (1) 21
Koji Uehara, Texas (1) 6
Alfredo Aceves, Boston (1) 5
Neftali Feliz, Texas 2
Greg Holland, Kansas City 2
Chris Perez, Cleveland 2
Brandon League, Seattle 1
Vinnie Pestano, Cleveland 1

The 1-2-3 order was identical to my voting on the Goose Gossage Award. Valverde was the obvious choice for winner on this one after the incredible season he had. Not really much to be said on this award, click here for my Goose Gossage Award post.

The Walter Johnson Award (Cy Young Award):

Justin Verlander, Detroit (21) 147 (My 1st place vote)
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles of Anaheim 67 (My 2nd place vote)
CC Sabathia, New York 58
James Shields, Tampa Bay 40 (My 3rd place vote)
Dan Haren, Los Angeles of Anaheim 20
CJ Wilson, Texas 9
Josh Beckett, Boston 6
Ricky Romero, Toronto 5
Felix Hernandez, Seattle 2
Doug Fister, Detroit 1
Brandon McCarthy, Oakland 1
David Price, Tampa Bay 1

This result may have been the most disappointing out of all of them. Verlander was the obvious winner and Weaver was the sure runner-up, but I strongly disagree with Sabathia being in he top three. Apparently Shields’ better ERA and 11 CG (yes I meant 11) wasn’t good enough to get him front of C.C. I don’t want to take anything away from Sabathia, he had another great season, but Shields frankly just had a better year. To read a full argument, click here to see my Walter Johnson Award post.

The Stan Musial Award (MVP)

Jose Bautista, Toronto (11) 225 (My fifth vote)
Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston (5) 200
(My third vote)
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit (3) 183
(My FIRST vote)
Curtis Granderson, Detroit (1) 135
(My fourth vote)
Justin Verlander, Detroit (2) 126
Adrian Gonzalez, Boston 109
(My second vote)
Dustin Pedroia, Boston 68
Robinson Cano, New York 55
(My eighth vote)
Ian Kinsler, Texas 35
Michael Young, Texas 28
(My sixth vote)
Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay 25
(My tenth vote)
Alex Gordon, Kansas City 20
CC Sabathia, New York 13
Paul Konerko, Chicago 12
(My ninth vote)
Adrian Beltre, Texas 10
(My seventh vote)
Alex Avila, Detroit 8
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles of Anaheim 6
Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay 6
Mike Napoli, Texas 4
James Shields, Tampa Bay 3
Victor Martinez, Cleveland 2
David Oritz, Boston 2
Melky Cabrera, Kansas City 1

Even though the winner of the voting was ranked number 5 in my ballot, I’m still not disappointed to see Jose Bautista get the award. I was also relieved to see the top 3 as Bautista, Ellsbury, and Miguel Cabrera. There are some parts of the results I strongly disagree with though. For example, Ian Kinsler finishing ahead of teammates Adrian Beltre and Michael Young. Young had an average .58 points higher than Kinsler as well as more RBI’s. I also thought that Dustin Pedroia was overrated in this voting, finishing ahead of Cano and Young. Overall, these results could of been much worse and it will be interesting to see how similar this will be to the MVP results. Click here for my Stan Musial Award post.

BBA Awards: The Stan Musial Award

Last but definitely not least, the Stan Musial Award is the highest honor of all the BBA Awards. It acknowledges the the (AL) MVP of league. To learn more about BBA and the BBA Awards read my earlier post. Deciding the top players in the AL was a long thinking and research process, and ultimately an extremely tough choice. So many players put up terrific numbers in 2011, making it nearly impossible for me to order the top ten best. Here they are:

1.) Miguel Cabrera- Another great year to a great career for the slugging first baseman. Last year Cabrera finished second in the AL MVP voting, right behind Josh Hamilton. It looks like he will definitely be finishing in the top three again, as he has put out some terrific numbers. First off, Cabrera leads the MLB with a stellar .344 BA. He also has 30 homers, 105 RBI’s, and 111 runs. He leads the AL in doubles, OBP (by far), and games played (161 G). Incredible for a big guy like Miggy, to only miss 1 game, hit the most doubles, lead in OBP, and lead in average. The only part of his game that is not MVP- caliber, is his speed and defense. When I considered that all his competitors were good in at least one of those two things, it made the choice even tougher. But I decided to give it to him because he lead in the most stats, and quite frankly has hit the baseball better than anybody in the MLB. My last factor in this vote, was that his team went farther than any of the other candidates (besides Michael Young and Verlander). 

2.) Adrian Gonzalez- Another terrific slugging first baseman, similar to Cabrera. With the second-best avg. (tied with Michael Young) in the Majors (.338), Gonzalez has probably had the best year of his career so far. Adrian has really made a bid for first in this award, knocking in 12 more RBI’s than Cabrera and playing much better defense. I still had to give it to Cabrera though, because he leads in everything else and they both aren’t good baserunners. Also, Gonzalez had more hits, but Cabrera’s less K’s in more ABs definitely evened that out. 

3.) Jacoby Ellsbury- At number 3, Ellsbury was almost good enough for me to put him at #1. It was really hard for me to put the young center fielder at #3, after the amazing season he had this year. Every part of his game was MVP- caliber, but the most surprising was the power numbers. Incredibly, Ellsbury has more homers that Gonzalez and Cabrera with 32. Also, he knocked in 105 runs which is tied with Cabrera. He finished the season ranking top 5 in every offensive stat; including runs, hits, and stolen bases. His 39 thefts are much better than any other MVP candidate (including Granderson). Also, his Gold Glove worthy defense in CF is definitely not something I overlooked. Really, the only thing that kept out of #1 or #2 in the voting was his average. A .321 average is terrific, but it’s just not as good as Gonzalez’s or Cabrera’s. Considering the lack of speed of those two big guys, having a higher average than Ellsbury means that they hit a lot more solid line-drives.

4.) Curtis Granderson- The only thing that got in the way of a #1 vote, was Granderson’s .262 average. Average is something that I weigh heavily in these votes, and .262 is not an MVP number. Besides that, everything else Granderson does on the baseball field is MVP- caliber. His run-producing numbers are ridiculous, and he’s also an impressive outfielder and baserunner.

5.) Jose Bautista- It’s really hard for me to put a player like Bautista 5th in this voting. Out of all these candidates, Jose may mean the most to his team. He leads the league in WAR and is the MLB home run champion. His fielding is also above average. The average is really what brought him down.

6.) Michael Young- Let me just start with this: the Rangers would not be in the World Series if it wasn’t for Young. A true ballplayer, Young was moved to SS this year and still performed. His .338 average is second-best in baseball and his 106 RBIs are also remarkable. 

7.) Adrian Beltre- Another great Ranger infielder. Beltre struggled through hamstring injuries throughout the year, and still amazingly was able to rack up 105. RBIs.  In addition to that, his stellar defense and high average were also impressive.

8.) Robinson Cano- Cano’s ridiculous second half of the season is what puts him in the conversation. He ended the season with 118 RBIs (2nd in AL) and a .302 average. He also had another great year at second base.

9.) Paul Konerko- Now here’s a great baseball player that doesn’t get nearly enough credit. Once again, Pauly has posted terrific offensive numbers. He hit .300 with 105 RBIs and 31 dingers. 

10.) Evan Longoria- Well this one may be a little bit bias. Longoria saved his season by ending it on fire. After recovering from an early-season injury, Longo still ended the season with 99 RBIs and 31 homers. His defense was terrific once again, and it looks like he will get his 3rd Gold Glove Award this year. His .244 average is what hurt him though.

Honorable mentions- Some other players with great seasons include:  Justin Verlander (pitching Triple Crown champ), Mark Teixeira (111 RBIs, Gold Glove- caliber season), Victor Martinez (.330 average, 103 RBIs), and Josh Hamilton (.298, 94 RBIs, great defense)

If you are a member of the BBA and have posted your Willie Mays Award (or any other award) votes, I’d really like to see what you think. Comment the link of your post below. I would also love to see anyone else’s opinions. You also can rate the post from 1-5 stars, evaluating my voting. If you’re a blogger interested and joining the BBA, click here.

And remember to check out the previous 4 BBA Awards: The Connie Mack Award, The Willie Mays Award, The Goose Gossage Award, and The Walter Johnson Award.

BBA Awards: The Walter Johnson Award

My fourth BBA Award is the Walter Johnson Award, which acknowledges the best pitcher in the league (AL for my voting). Read my earlier post to learn more about the BBA and its awards. Out of all the BBA Awards, this one was by far the easiest to chose. It was a simple order for the first 3 and I really didn’t have to think much at all in voting. Usually when it comes to Cy Young voting, the stats say it all. Here are the top 5 AL pitchers:

1.) Justin Verlander- With all the great AL pitchers this year, Verlander is still the no-brainer for the Cy Young Award. A season to remember, as Verlander has put up some of the best pitching numbers I’ve seen in years. Not only is he the pitching Triple Crown champ, but he also leads the league in IP. I don’t think I have to say more…

2.) Jered Weaver- Weaver, who is the obvious #2 for the Cy Young voting, trails Verlander in ERA by just .01. 2011 was another terrific season for Weaver, with a 18 W, a 2.41, and 198 K’s. With all the great seasons he’s had, this one is probably the best of his career. 

3.) James Shields- Another pitcher with a breakout year, and this one much more surprising. Shields worked hard during the offseason, and it really paid dividends. After an underachieving 2010, Shields put himself at the top of the great Rays rotation. He posted the third-best ERA in the AL, and was a work-horse as well with his nearly 250 IP (2nd in AL). Although many people fail to realize this, Shields leads the MLB in a very important (and underrated) pitching stat. That stat is Complete Games, which Shields has a stunning 11 of. The closest pitcher to this amazing feat, is Roy Halladay with 8. The closest AL pitcher to Shields in CGs, is Felix Hernandez with 5! Even Justin Verlander has 4 CGs, which is incredibly 7 less than Shields! There’s definitely a reason why “Big Game” James is now nicknamed “Complete-Game” James. If it wasn’t for a few horrific starts against Oakland and Seattle, Shields would be the definite #2 right behind Verlander. Hopefully the Rays can keep this guy for next year, as he was the probably the team MVP in 2011.

4.) C.C. Sabathia- Although his good ERA of 3.00 was not amongst the best in the league, Sabathia was the ace of the Yankees. He racked up 19 wins in 33 starts and was also a work-horse, with his 230 strikeouts through 237.1 IP. Just another year of work for the big southpaw. 

5.) Rickey Romero- The young ace of the developing Blue Jays staff, really lead the team along with Jose Bautista this year. His 2.92 ERA is ranked 6th in the AL, and his 15-11 record was great considering the low run-support. 

If you are a member of the BBA and have posted your Walter Johnson Award (or any other award) votes, I’d really like to see what you think. Comment the link of your post below. I would also love to see anyone else’s opinions. You also can rate the post from 1-5 stars, evaluating my voting. If you’re a blogger interested and joining the BBA, click here

BBA Awards: The Goose Gossage Award

Here are the Goose Gossage Awards for my third voting in the BBA Awards. The Goose Gossage Award acknowledges the best relief pitchers in the league. Read my earlier post to learn more about the BBA and its awards. Here’s my top 3 AL relievers: 

1.) Jose Valverde- It has been a career year for Jose Valverde, going an incredible 49 saves in 49 opportunities in his 9th year in the big leagues. With the most saves and highest save percentage in the AL, the stats really say it all for Valverde. He’s been a big part of the Tigers postseason run and has made Detroit just about a sure victory with a 9th inning lead.     

2.) Mariano Rivera-  It’s just been another year at work for the best closer who ever played the game. Rivera also had 49 save opportunities in 2011, but blew 5 of them. Still his 44 saves are the second-best in the AL, and his 1.91 ERA is very impressive as well.

3.) David Robertson- Maybe the most underrated player in the AL this year, Robertson leads the AL in a very underrated stat. That stat is holds, which Robertson has 34 of. Besides holds, Robertson has posted a 1.08 ERA, .170 opponent batting average, and a stunning 4-0 record. Robertson’s ridiculous stats have proved that he is the best setup-man in the AL, and a necessity for the New York Yankees.

Honorable mentions- Kyle Farnsworth (25 sv, 2.18 ERA) and Alfredo Aceves (10 wins).

If you are a member of the BBA and have posted your Goose Gossage Award (or any other award) votes, I’d really like to see what you think. Comment the link of your post below. I would also love to see anyone else’s opinions. You also can rate the post from 1-5 stars, evaluating my voting. If you’re a blogger interested and joining the BBA, click here

BBA Awards: The Willie Mays Award

This is my second award voting in the BBA Awards. To learn more about BBA Awards read my earlier post. The Willie Mays Award is one I’ve been looking forward to all year. The award acknowledges the best rookie (AL in my case). Like the Connie Mack Award, you all know who my winner is for this award. I’ve debated with many people this season about why Jeremy Hellickson is the no-brainer to win the AL ROY Award. Here’s my top three:

1.) Jeremy Hellickson- Jeremy has unarguably put up the best numbers out of all American League pitchers. Check out the stats. Read this article for a full explanation.

2.) Eric Hosmer- The Royals’ Hosmer is amongst the three best offensive AL rookies, with Jemile Weeks and Mark Trumbo. What made me pick Hosmer over these two guys was his balance of skills. Hosmer showed everyone that he could hit for power (like Trumbo) and hit for average (like Weeks), but still manage to hit about .40 points higher than Trumbo and much more RBI’s than Weeks. Although Trumbo’s power numbers are a bit better, Hosmer has him beat average wise and even defensively. Both Jemile Weeks and Trumbo do not field as well him, and that’s a very important stat to look at when it comes to ROY.

3.) Ivan Nova- Probably the Yankees’ second best starter, after his terrific second half of the season. His best statistic by far is wins, which he has 16 of and an impressive perfect record post-All Star break. It was a hard choice wether to put him in the top 3 or not, but I decided to because of how much he means to his ball club.          

If you are a member of the BBA and have posted your Willie Mays Award (or any other award) votes, I’d really like to see what you think. Comment the link of your post below. I would also love to see anyone else’s opinions. You also can rate the post from 1-5 stars, evaluating my voting. If you’re a blogger interested and joining the BBA, click here.

BBA Awards: The Connie Mack Award

As you may already know, The Rays Rant is part of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA). The BBA is a group of bloggers that connect to promote baseball blogging, as well as their blog. You can find it as an image link on the bottom of the right-hand sidebar. Every October, the BBA has awards voting on the following:

Connie Mack Award (top manager): Released October 10
    Willie Mays Award (top rookie): Released October 13
    Goose Gossage Award (top reliever): Released October 17
    Walter Johnson Award (top pitcher): Released October 20
    Stan Musial Award (top player): Released October 24
As part of the Tampa Bay chapter, I will be posting my top 3 votes on each of these awards for the AL. I’ll start today will the Connie Mack Award, for the best manager. If you’ve been reading my blog for the last month, it’s pretty obvious who I’m picking for this. Here’s my top three:
1.) Joe Maddon- Read my two articles for my long explanations: ‘Not your average Joe’ and ‘The X-Factor’.
2.) Mike Scioscia- Maybe a surprise to some; many baseball fans have forgot what a quality skipper Mike Scioscia. The mentor of Joe Maddon, Scioscia has been one of the best in the business for years and is still a great coach. He deserves a lot of credit for the Angels late September run, and I believe he is underrated. 
3.) Jim Leyland- Another veteran manager who has had a great career. His team, the Detroit Tigers, have made an incredible turnaround this year after an underachieving 2010. Jim Leyland has been with the team for a while, but has probably got the most credit this year than any other year. Many voters are having him second in the voting, and I would be surprised if he wouldn’t end up in the top three of the AL Manager of the Year voting.
If you are a member of the BBA and have posted your Connie Mack Award (or any other award) votes, I’d really like to see what you think. Comment the link of your post below. I would also love to see anyone else’s opinions. You also can rate the post from 1-5 stars, evaluating my voting. If you’re a blogger interested and joining the BBA, click here.
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