Archive for the ‘ Baseball Bloggers Alliance ’ Category

Phillies Bloggers’ Opinions Varied

Recently, I and several other Philadelphia Phillies bloggers were recently interviewed by Daniel Shoptaw (founder of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance).  Daniel recently uploaded the results of his interview with these bloggers on his own blog.  You can read the interview at the following:

http://www.cardinal70.com/playing-pepper/playing-pepper-2011-philadelph.php

Upon reading my own answers and the others of my fellow bloggers, I found it quite interesting how varied our opinions can be on certain issues (the bullpen, for instance).  Nevertheless, I believe a strong and healthy pitching rotation will only enhance the effectiveness of the Phillies bullpen.

Enjoy reading the interview and each writer’s answers!

2010 BBA Day

Today is “BBA Day” in the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.  The organization started in April of 2009 and currently has well over 200 members.  Please click here to read an interview with BBA founder Daniel Shoptaw.

I joined the BBA during the 2010 MLB season.  I was unaware of the BBA’s existence at first.  I was playing in a fantasy baseball league with some colleagues who happened to invite me to join the BBA.  Upon joining the BBA, I was impressed with the detailed plans of the voting process for awards.

I like the mutual respect bloggers have for one another in the BBA.  We are all writers with a common interest:  our passion for baseball.  The quality of the written work varies from blog to blog.  There are some bloggers who may not have what one may define as a great understanding and knowledge of the intricacies of baseball, and some may not have polished writing skills; however, their passion for baseball is evident.  They voice their opinions proudly, and I respect them for it.  Please do not take this to mean that the BBA lacks great writers.  There are great writers in the BBA with a great understanding of the game.

When I first joined the BBA, it was my hope that the BBA’s existence would help my own blog get more hits.  Thankfully, it has received more hits.  I think the BBA is a great road for writers to get more exposure that may lead to writing opportunities in the future.  In fact, some members of the BBA collaborated together and created their own new sites/projects.  One such project which springs to mind is i70baseball.  I take joy in seeing the development of writers and their opportunities, as well as their mutual respect and teamwork.

I truly appreciate what the BBA has done for my blog.  I am proud to be a member of the BBA and I hope they are also proud to have me as a member.  Some writers may be more tech-savvy than I am, as they are quite adept at using “RSS”, “trackbacks”, “pingbacks” and other technological jargon I am not entirely familiar with.

The ever-growing membership of the BBA is somewhat of a blessing and a curse.  I am pleased to see membership growing and seeing more writers receive the exposure they deserve; however, the curse of such a large membership is that nobody has the time to read each and every blog.

Nevertheless, I like to believe I have a small hand in helping other blogs get readers when I post a BBA Press Release.  The Press Releases – especially those which announce the voting results – have links to each blog which registered a vote.  Many thanks to Daniel Shoptaw and others at the BBA who prepare the Press Releases and enclose the links.  Members such as myself are fortunate in that we only have to copy and paste the Press Release, and the links are already prepared for each voting blog.

I have enjoyed my time in the BBA thus far.  I wish Mr. Shoptaw well and hope his visions and dreams for the BBA come true.  He is a genuine and sincere person who is unafraid to extend a helping hand and answer what questions you may have.

I appreciate the BBA’s existence and what it has done for me.  The BBA helps give a voice to the voiceless.  It allows writers and fans everywhere to see how similar and how different our thoughts are in comparison to the BBWA and in comparison to other fans and writers alike.

After reading and learning more about the BBA, I hope you readers understand that the stereotypes of bloggers in general are as foolish as any other ill-conceived steroetype.  While it is true that the quality of the written work varies from blog to blog, there are some excellent writers with a great understanding of baseball in the BBA.

Frankly, I find the knowledgeable BBA writers tend to be more open-minded about a player’s performance than some BBWA writers.  Some members of the BBWA place too much emphasis on a hitter’s home run totals or a pitcher’s win totals in their postseason award voting and Hall of Fame voting.  I am not grandstanding against the BBWA’s writers and bashing them; I am merely pointing out my own observation that some bloggers show more common sense and less bias than some BBWA members.

The stereotypical train of thought that fans are clueless in matters of baseball needs to end.  While I do agree that there are many fans who do not know what they are talking about, there are plenty in this day and age who do have knowledge.  Thanks to the rise of fantasy baseball, the rise of the internet and social media, fans in general are more knowledgeable about the game than ever before.

Christopher Wenrich is a fantasy baseball columnist for BaseballDigest.com.

Hamilton And Votto Win 2010 Stan Musial Award

HAMILTON, VOTTO TAKE HOME STAN MUSIAL AWARD

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance concluded their award season today by naming the best player in each league for 2010.  When all the votes were tallied, two men were comfortably ahead.

Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton, who hit 32 home runs and fashioned an OPS of 1.044 while leading the Rangers into the playoffs, won the award in the American League.  Hamilton received sixteen first place votes and 261 points overall, which put him ahead of his nearest competitor, Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera, by roughly 70 points.

In the National League, helping Cincinnati to an unexpected divisional title paid off for first baseman Joey Votto.  After a season where he cracked 37 home runs and posted a 1.024 OPS, Votto also received sixteen first-place votes toward his total of 252 points.  He also denied St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols the chance to win back-to-back BBA awards.  Pujols was selected as MVP by the BBA in 2009, but placed second with 197 points in this year’s voting.

Winners of other Alliance awards also received votes in the Musial balloting.  In the American League, Walter Johnson winner Felix Hernandez received 21 points, while Goose Gossage selection Rafael Soriano had a single mention.  On the senior circuit, Walter Johnson winner Roy Halladay placed fourth in the voting with 101 points.

The complete voting results are as follows (first place votes in parenthesis):

American League
Josh Hamilton, Texas (16) 261
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit (4) 188
Robinson Cano, New York 158
Jose Bautista, Toronto (1) 146
Adrian Beltre, Boston 107
Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay (1) 102
Paul Konerko, Chicago 65
Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay 56
Joe Mauer, Minnesota 50
Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland 44
Felix Hernandez, Seattle 21
Vladimir Guerrero, Texas 13
Justin Morneau, Minnesota 12
Delmon Young, Minnesota 10
Cliff Lee, Seattle/Texas 8
CC Sabathia, New York 8
Alex Rodriguez, New York 7
Clay Buchholz, Boston 4
Mark Teixeria, New York 3
Jon Lester, Boston 2
Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle 2
Nick Swisher, New York 2
Jim Thome, Minnesota 2
Kevin Youkilis, Boston 2
Brett Gardner, New York 1
David Ortiz, Boston 1
Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay 1

National League
Joey Votto, Cincinnati (16) 252
Albert Pujols, St. Louis (3) 197
Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado (1) 118
Roy Halladay, Philadelphia (1) 101
Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego 98
Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado 98
Ryan Zimmerman, Washington 93
Matt Holliday, St. Louis 84
Aubrey Huff, San Francisco 32
Adam Wainwright, St. Louis 17
Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado 16
Josh Johnson, Florida 16
Dan Uggla, Florida 16
Jayson Werth, Philadelphia 16
Ryan Braun, Milwaukee 13
Prince Fielder, Milwaukee 10
Ryan Howard, Philadelphia 9
Martin Prado, Atlanta 7
Jason Heyward, Atlanta 6
Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee 5
David Wright, New York 5
Adam Dunn, Washington 4
Kelly Johnson, Arizona 4
Andres Torres, San Francisco 1

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 233 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.

The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.

Chapters generally followed one of two methods when casting their ballot.  Either representatives of the chapter were given the ballots for voting or a “group ballot” was posted, accounting for both of their votes.

Ballots are posted on the respective blogs and for this award, were tabulated on a 13-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 point scale for first through tenth place. In the interest of transparency, links are given below for the ballots. Chapter affiliation is in parenthesis.  Those chapters that decided on the group method are noted with an asterisk.

American League
Camden Crazies (Baltimore)*
The Bottom Line (Boston)*
The Tribe Daily (Cleveland)*
Motor City Bengals (Detroit)
Switch Hitting Pitchers (Detroit)
One Royal Way (Kansas City)*
Twinkie Talk (Minnesota)
Seth Speaks (Minnesota)
Bronx Baseball Daily (New York)*
Contract Year (Oakland)
Rise of the Rays (Tampa Bay)
Infield Fly (Toronto)
The Blue Jay Hunter (Toronto)
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)*
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)*
Misc. Baseball (History)*
Blogging From The Bleachers (General)*

National League
Blog Red Machine (Cincinnati)
Marlin Maniac (Florida)
Marlins Diehards (Florida)
Feeling Dodger Blue (Los Angeles)
The Eddie Kranepool Society (New York)*
Dugger’s Corner (Philadelphia)
Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke? (Pittsburgh)*
The Outfield Ivy (St. Louis)
Pitchers Hit Eighth (St. Louis)
Friar Forecast (San Diego)*
22gigantes (San Francisco)*
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)*
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)*
Misc. Baseball (History)*
Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf (Miscellaneous)*
Blogging From The Bleachers (General)*

Prior Winners:  2009: Joe Mauer, Minnesota; Albert Pujols, St. Louis

The official website of the BBA is located at www.baseballbloggersalliance.com.  The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba.  Members of the BBA may be heard at Blog Talk Radio every Tuesday night with their call-in show, BBA Baseball Talk, which may also be downloaded as a podcast from iTunes.  For more information, contact Daniel Shoptaw at founder@baseballbloggersalliance.com.

Halladay And Hernandez Win BBA 2010 Walter Johnson Award

HALLADAY, HERNANDEZ OVERWHELMING WINNERS OF WALTER JOHNSON AWARD
2010 was often referred to as “the year of the pitcher.”  However, not all pitchers are created equal.

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance announced today that Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay was the unanimous selection for the National League Walter Johnson Award, receiving all nineteen first place votes.  In the American League, Seattle’s Felix Hernandez was almost as dominant, garnering all but four of the first place selections from the BBA membership.

Halladay, who came over to Philadelphia in an off-season deal with Toronto, wasted no time getting comfortable in his new league, posting a 2.44 ERA, striking out 219 batters, winning 21 games, and throwing a perfect game to boot.  While only the regular season was considered for voting, he also became only the second player to throw a post-season no-hitter when he faced the Reds in the National League Divisional Series.  Halladay received 133 points, well ahead of the runner up, St. Louis’s Adam Wainwright, who received 66.

Hernandez’s win was statistically more impressive, due to more ballots being cast in the American League and a wider range of pitchers receiving votes.  His 2010 season, where he put up a sparkling 2.27 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, and struck out 232 in just under 250 innings pitched, led voters to bestow upon him 137 points, with second place being New York’s CC Sabathia, who received three first place votes and 62 points over all.

The complete voting results are as follows (first place votes in parenthesis):

American League
Felix Hernandez, Seattle (18) 137
CC Sabathia, New York (3) 62
David Price, Tampa Bay (1) 57
Cliff Lee, Seattle/Texas 41
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles 22
Jon Lester, Boston 18
Clay Buchholz, Boston 14
Francisco Liriano, Minnesota 13
Trevor Cahill, Oakland 5
Justin Verlander, Detroit 5

National League
Roy Halladay, Philadelphia (19) 133
Adam Wainwright, St. Louis 66
Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado 52
Josh Johnson, Florida 43
Tim Hudson, Atlanta 16
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco 7
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles 2
Mat Latos, San Diego 2
Heath Bell, San Diego 1
Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee 1

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 233 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.

The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.

Chapters generally followed one of two methods when casting their ballot.  Either representatives of the chapter were given the ballots for voting or a “group ballot” was posted, accounting for both of their votes.

Ballots are posted on the respective blogs and for this award, were tabulated on a 7-4-3-2-1 point scale for first through fifth place. In the interest of transparency, links are given below for the ballots. Chapter affiliation is in parenthesis.  Those chapters that decided on the group method are noted with an asterisk.

American League
Camden Crazies (Baltimore)*
Boston Red Thoughts (Boston)*
The Tribe Daily (Cleveland)*
Motor City Bengals (Detroit)
Detroit Tigers Scorecard Blog (Detroit)
One Royal Way (Kansas City)*
Twins Target (Minnesota)
Bronx Baseball Daily (New York)*
Contract Year (Oakland)
Sodo Mojo (Seattle)
Tampa Bay Rays News (Tampa Bay)
1 Blue Jays Way (Toronto)
Infield Fly (Toronto)
Misc. Baseball (History)*
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)*
Blogging From The Bleachers (General)*
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)*

National League
Marlin Maniac (Florida)
Marlins Diehards (Florida)
Feeling Dodger Blue (Los Angeles)
The Eddie Kranepool Society (New York)*
Dugger’s Corner (Philadelphia)
Phighting On (Philadelphia)
Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke? (Pittsburgh)*
Stan Musial’s Stance (St. Louis)
C70 At The Bat (St. Louis)
Friar Forecast (San Diego)*
22gigantes (San Francisco)*
Misc. Baseball (History)*
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)*
Blogging From The Bleachers (General)*
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)*

Prior Winners:  2009: Zach Greinke, Kansas City; Tim Lincecum, San Francisco

The official website of the BBA is located at www.baseballbloggersalliance.com.  The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba.  Members of the BBA may be heard at Blog Talk Radio every Tuesday night with their call-in show, BBA Baseball Talk, which may also be downloaded as a podcast from iTunes.  For more information, contact Daniel Shoptaw at founder@baseballbloggersalliance.com.

2010 Connie Mack Award Winners Announced

Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers and Bud Black of the San Diego Padres were named winners of the Connie Mack Award by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, noting them as the best managers in their respective leagues for 2010.

Ron Washington led the Rangers to a 90-72 record and AL Central title.

Washington, who weathered a drug controversy in spring training, led Texas to their fifth divisional title since 1994 and their first since 1999.  While the voting was based on his regular season accomplishments, Washington also guided his team to their first ever postseason series victory when they eliminated the Tampa Bay Rays in five games in the American League Divisional Series.

Washington received ten first place votes in route to accumulating 74 total points.  He edged out Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who received 67 points.

Bud Black led the Padres to a 90-72 record, falling two games short of the NL West title and one game short of the Wild Card.

In the National League, Black’s guidance of a Padres team almost universally expected to finish last to first place most of the summer helped him edge Dusty Baker of the Cincinnati Reds by the slimmest of margins.

The fact that the Padres fell just short of the playoffs while the Reds won the NL Central helped lead to the tight race.  Black garnered nine first place selections and 53 total points to Baker’s seven first place nods and 51 total points.

The complete voting results are as follows (first place votes in parenthesis):

American League

Ron Washington, Texas (10) 74
Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota (7) 67
Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay (4) 35
Terry Francona, Boston (3) 20
Cito Gaston, Toronto 9
Buck Showalter, Baltimore 9
Joe Girardi, New York 2

National League

Bud Black, San Diego (9) 53
Dusty Baker, Cincinnati (7) 51
Bobby Cox, Atlanta (2) 33
Bruce Bochy, San Francisco (3) 29
Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia (1) 27
Brad Mills, Houston 3
Mike Quade, Chicago 2

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally.  As of this writing, the organization consists of 224 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.

The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted.  The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.

Chapters generally followed one of two methods when casting their ballot.  Either representatives of the chapter were given the ballots for voting or a “group ballot” was posted, accounting for both of their votes.  Ballots are posted on the respective blogs and tabulated on a 5-3-1 point scale for first, second and third.

My 2010 BBA Awards Votes

In order to bring the prestige that should be associated with an award, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) recently named its awards after legends of baseball.  These awards are as follows:

Connie Mack Award (manager of the year)
Willie Mays Award (rookie of the year)
Goose Gossage Award (top reliever)
Walter Johnson Award (Cy Young)
Stan Musial Award (MVP)

The names are the same in both the American League and National League.  In fact, Goose Gossage himself gave the BBA permission to use his name for their top reliever award.  We at the BBA appreciate it and thank him for it.

For my BBA Awards votes, I will vote for the top three in each award.  The reason I vote for only three players is because I would not want my seventh place vote for a player to aid him in possibly leapfrogging over other more deserving players because some other writers may have placed my seventh vote as a third or second vote on their own ballots.  In my eyes, if a player is not good enough to be in the top three, then he is not good enough to have a chance to win.

As a member of the BBA, here are my votes for the 2010 season:

Connie Mack Award (AL)

1.  Ron Gardenhire (Minnesota Twins)
2.  Ron Washington (Texas Rangers)
3.  Joe Maddon (Tampa Bay Rays)

Gardenhire and the Twins won 94 games in 2010

During the preseason, opinions were divided on who would win the AL Central.

Some thought the Minnesota Twins would win it; others (such as myself) thought the Chicago White Sox would win it.

There were others who thought the Detroit Tigers would win the division.

Gardenhire did not have the star-studded lineup the Yankees, Rays or Red Sox have.  He did not have $20 million pitchers to make wins come easier.  Nevertheless, Gardenhire and the Twins managed to win the AL Central and 94 games (one short of the Yankees).

Connie Mack Award (NL)

1.  Charlie Manuel (Philadelphia Phillies)
2.  Dusty Baker (Cincinnati Reds)
3.  Bobby Cox (Atlanta Braves)

Despite injuries to key players, Charlie Manuel and the Phillies finished with the best record in baseball

The Phillies were expected to win the NL East and represent the NL in the World Series again in 2010.

The Phillies started out red-hot, then they cooled off terribly.

Star players such as Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins suffered long-term injuries and their bats started to disappear.

At one point, many began to wonder if the Phillies could reach the postseason at all.  Eventually, the Phillies snapped out of it and got hot again.  They overtook the Braves for first place in the NL East and finished the season with the best record in baseball.  Surely, the manager played a part in the players’ resilience.

Willie Mays Award (AL)

1.  Neftali Feliz (Texas Rangers)
2.  Austin Jackson (Detroit Tigers)
3.  Brennan Boesch (Detroit Tigers)

The votes for Feliz should be as automatic as the outs are when he pitches

Feliz was one of the top relievers in the AL this season with 40 saves (a new rookie record), a 2.73 ERA and 0.88 WHIP.

Quite simply, anytime a player breaks a rookie record and plays a large role in his team reaching the postseason, he should win the Rookie of the Year by default.

Jackson proved to be a consistent hitter (.294 AVG) for the Tigers this season.  Jackson was great for the Tigers at the top of the order, scoring 103 runs while hitting 34 doubles, 10 triples and stealing 27 bases.

Boesch had a solid rookie season for the Tigers, hitting .256 with 14 home runs and 67 RBIs.  Frankly, his hot first half of the season is the only reason I’m giving him a third place vote.  Prior to the All-Star Break, Boesch hit .342 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs in 65 games.  Since the break, Boesch hit only .163 with two home runs and 18 RBIs in 68 games.

Willie Mays Award (NL)

1.  Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants)
2.  Jaime Garcia (St. Louis Cardinals)
3.  Starlin Castro (Chicago Cubs)

Posey hit .305 with 18 home runs in only 107 games

Despite only appearing in 107 games, Posey posted a .305 AVG, 18 home runs and 67 RBIs.

In the month of July, Posey greatly helped the Giants’ chances of winning the NL West as he hit .417 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs in 27 games.

Like fellow teammate Chris Carpenter, Garcia is proof that a pitcher can have Tommy John surgery and find success after it.  Although the Cardinals failed to reach the postseason, it was not from a lack of effort on the pitchers’ part.  Their offense was anemic and inconsistent for much of the season.  Garcia had excellent numbers with 13 wins and a 2.70 ERA.

Castro gets my third place vote because he was the Cubs’ most consistent hitter this season.  Castro hit .300 and demonstrated good power to the gaps, hitting 31 doubles and five triples.

Goose Gossage Award (AL)

1.  Rafael Soriano (Tampa Bay Rays)
2.  Mariano Rivera (New York Yankees)
3.  Joakim Soria (Kansas City Royals)

Soriano was the AL's most unhittable closer in 2010

Soriano led the AL with 45 saves, followed by Soria’s 43.  Soriano carried a 1.73 ERA and Soria carried a 1.78 ERA.

While Soria’s 71 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings is greater than Soriano’s 57 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings, Soriano gets my first place vote because his 0.80 WHIP is significantly better than Soria’s 1.05 WHIP.

A closer who allows fewer baserunners gives his manager fewer headaches.

Although several other pitchers had more saves than Rivera, Rivera gets the second place vote on my ballot.  Rivera’s 1.80 ERA and 0.83 WHIP make his 33 saves more valuable than Soria’s 43 saves (1.78 ERA and 1.05 WHIP).  Save opportunities are the byproduct of the team one pitches for; the ERA and WHIP are testaments to a closer’s dominance.

Goose Gossage Award (NL)

1.  Brian Wilson (San Francisco Giants)
2.  Heath Bell (San Diego Padres)
3.  Carlos Marmol (Chicago Cubs)

Wilson's numbers give him the edge over Bell in voting

It was a proverbial coin toss between Wilson and Bell for this award.  Wilson had 48 saves; Bell had 47 saves.

Wilson had 93 strikeouts in 74 2/3 innings; Bell had 86 strikeouts in 70 innings.  Wilson had a 1.18 WHIP; Bell had a 1.20 WHIP.

Because Wilson is ahead – albeit slightly – in these statistics, he gets the nod over Bell.

If not for his 2.55 ERA, Marmol would have an excellent chance of getting my top vote.  Despite playing for the woeful Cubs, Marmol picked up 38 saves.  More impressively, Marmol struck out 138 batters in only 77 2/3 innings.  This amounts to a mind-blowing 16 strikeouts per nine innings!  If Marmol had a greater ERA that was on par with Bell and/or Wilson, he would then get my top vote.  His overpowering strikeout rate is also why he gets the nod over other closers with a better ERA and/or WHIP, such as the Atlanta Braves’ Billy Wagner.

Walter Johnson Award (AL)

1.  Felix Hernandez (Seattle Mariners)
2.  Jered Weaver (Los Angeles Angels)
3.  David Price (Tampa Bay Rays)
4.  C.C. Sabathia (New York Yankees)
5.  Justin Verlander (Detroit Tigers)

Hernandez was baseball's most dominating pitcher this season

You might look at Hernandez’s 13 wins and ask why I vote for him.

I vote for him because he has been the most dominating starting pitcher in all of baseball this season.  Frankly, I consider it a miracle he even approached 14 or 15 wins with the pathetic Seattle Mariners.

Hernandez had a 2.27 ERA and 1.06 WHIP; he was also the only pitcher in Major League Baseball to pitch 30 quality starts this season.  His 232 strikeouts were second in the AL (Weaver led with 233).  His six complete games were third in the AL (Carl Pavano and Cliff Lee each had seven).  Hernandez is virtually atop all pitchers in nearly every category (with the exception of wins).

Weaver was second in the AL in quality starts and first in the AL in strikeouts.  Although his 3.01 ERA is not on par with Price’s 2.72 ERA, Weaver walked far fewer batters (54 in 224 1/3 innings) than Price (79 in 208 2/3 innings).  His 1.07 WHIP gives him a slight edge over Price and his 1.19 WHIP.

Walter Johnson Award (NL)

1.  Roy Halladay (Philadelphia Phillies)
2.  Adam Wainwright (St. Louis Cardinals)
3.  Tim Hudson (Atlanta Braves)
4.  Josh Johnson (Florida Marlins)
5.  Ubaldo Jimenez (Colorado Rockies)

Halladay led the NL in innings pitched, wins, quality starts, shutouts and pitched a perfect game

At 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA, Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in the NL (if not all of baseball).

Halladay led the NL with 21 wins.  If not for a lack of run support in quite a handful of games this season, Halladay could have reached 23-25 wins with ease.

Halladay had seven quality starts in which he received a loss or a no-decision; he had four starts in which he conceded two earned runs or less and received a loss or no-decision.

Halladay pitched the Phillies through their struggles and brought them back into the NL East division race when their bats were disappearing and star players were getting injured.  He pitched a perfect game in a thrilling 1-0 victory against the Florida Marlins.

Halladay led the NL with 250 2/3 innings pitched, nine complete games, four shutouts and 25 quality starts.  With 219 strikeouts and 30 walks in 250 2/3 innings, Halladay’s 7.30 K/BB ratio is tops in the NL.  No other NL pitcher achieved a K/BB ratio of at least 4.00 in 2010.

To win a division title, a team must beat its division rivals.  Against NL East rivals, Halladay was 14-1 with a 1.61 ERA, five complete games and four shutouts.

Also a 20-game winner, Wainwright was second in the NL in innings pitched, complete games and shutouts.  Wainwright’s 2.42 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 25 quality starts are Halladay-like numbers.  His 3.80 K/BB ratio is third in the NL behind Halladay (7.30) and Josh Johnson (3.88).

Some might be confused by my placing Tim Hudson higher than Josh Johnson (11-6, 2.30 ERA).  Hudson had pitched well with Johnson-like numbers all season.  Hudson’s numbers were on par with Wainwright until a very rough outing at the end of the season ballooned his ERA.  Hudson’s 25 quality starts tie him with Halladay and Wainwright and his 17 wins and 2.83 ERA are fantastic.  Unlike Johnson, Hudson was durable enough to pitch 200 innings (228 2/3 innings pitched).

Ubaldo Jimenez gets my fifth vote.  My fifth vote was a proverbial coin toss between Jimenez and Mat Latos (San Diego Padres).  Jimenez’s 2.88 ERA and 221 2/3 innings tops Latos’ 2.92 ERA and 184 2/3 innings.

Stan Musial Award (AL)

1.  Josh Hamilton (Texas Rangers)
2.  Robinson Cano (New York Yankees)
3.  Carl Crawford (Tampa Bay Rays)
4.  Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers)
5.  Paul Konerko (Chicago White Sox)
6.  Delmon Young (Minnsota Twins)
7.  Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay Rays)
8.  Vladimir Guerrero (Texas Rangers)
9.  Jose Bautista (Toronto Blue Jays)
10.  Mark Teixeira (New York Yankees)

Injuries robbed Hamilton of a chance to win the triple crown in his amazing season

Hamilton won the AL batting title with a .359 AVG.

His 40 doubles, 32 home runs, 100 RBIs, .411 OBP, .633 slugging percentage and 1.044 OPS are amazing, especially when one factors in that Hamilton missed 29 games this season.  If not for injuries, Hamilton could have been an AL triple crown candidate this season.

While nobody should be surprised to see the Yankees reach the postseason again, they should not overlook Cano’s value to the team.  Cano’s .319 AVG, .381 OBP, 29 home runs and 109 RBIs were very important to the Yankees’ success.  Derek Jeter was not Jeter-like, as he struggled with a .270 AVG this season.  Alex Rodriguez slumped at times and had injuries.  The Yankees needed the offensive numbers produced by Cano and Nick Swisher this season.

Carl Crawford gets my third place vote.  It is not often you see a man batting second in the order and producing 90 RBIs.  Crawford hit leadoff for one game, second for 101 games, third for 49 games, fourth for two games and eighth for one game.  His .307 AVG, 19 home runs, 90 RBIs, 110 runs, 47 steals, 30 doubles and 13 triples are superb numbers across the board.

Stan Musial Award (NL)

1.  Joey Votto (Cincinnati Reds)
2.  Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals)
3.  Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies)
4.  Roy Halladay (Philadelphia Phillies)
5.  Adam Wainwright (St. Louis Cardinals)
6.  Ryan Howard (Philadelphia Phillies)
7.  Adrian Gonzalez (San Diego Padres)
8.  Dan Uggla (Florida Marlins)
9.  Troy Tulowitzki (Colorado Rockies)
10.  Ryan Braun (Milwaukee Brewers)

Votto topped Pujols in AVG and OBP and was more consistent while leading the Reds to a postseason berth.

Votto and Pujols have very similar numbers across the board.

Votto gets my first place vote for the following reasons:  his AVG tops Pujols (.324 to .312), his OBP tops Pujols (.424 to .414) and he led the Reds to the postseason.

If the Cardinals had reached the postseason and if Pujols had been more consistent on a monthly basis, then Pujols would have received my first place vote.

Gonzalez had excellent numbers across the board with a .336 AVG, 34 home runs, 117 RBIs, 111 runs, 26 steals, 34 doubles and nine triples.  For much of the second half of the season, Gonzalez was in a three-man race with Pujols and Votto for not only the MVP vote, but the NL triple crown (nobody won the triple crown this year).

Some might feel compelled to vote for Gonzalez (he does have incredible numbers).  I found one glaring reason NOT to vote for Gonzalez:  his .336 AVG is aided by Coors Field as he hit .380 at home and .289 on the road.

BBA Announces New Award Names

Baseball Bloggers Alliance Announces New Award Names
Changes reflect appreciation for history of the game

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) recently announced the renaming of their annual postseason awards to comply with the wishes of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA), thereby avoiding confusion between the two organizations.  This allowed the BBA an opportunity to recognize some of the legendary greats of the game, naming their highest honors after them.

“Earlier in the year, the BBA reached an agreement with former Yankee reliever Goose Gossage to name our newest award, recognizing the best relief pitcher in each league, after him,” said Daniel Shoptaw, founder and president of the Alliance.  “It only seemed fitting, then, that we rename the rest of our awards after other legends of the game.”

The five awards are given to a player in each league:  The Connie Mack Award, given to the top manager; the Willie Mays Award, for the top rookie; the Goose Gossage award, mentioned above; the Walter Johnson Award, which would be analogous to the BBWAA’s Cy Young Award; and the Stan Musial Award, awarded to the most valuable player in each league.

According to Shoptaw, “These names are synonymous with quality, achievement, and dedication.  These names have not only stood the test of time, but have been strengthened by it.”

The schedule for the announcement of these awards is as follows:

Connie Mack Award:  October 14
Willie Mays Award:  October 18
Goose Gossage Award:  October 21
Walter Johnson Award:  October 25
Stan Musial Award:  October 28

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was founded in 2009 and numbers 222 blogs covering all major league teams and various other aspects of baseball, as well as blogs and sites that are affiliated as Friends of the BBA.  The official website of the BBA is located at www.baseballbloggersalliance.com.  The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba.  Members of the BBA may be heard at Blog Talk Radio every Tuesday night with their call-in show, BBA Baseball Talk, which may also be downloaded as a podcast from iTunes.

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