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2011 MLB Award Picks


NJTank

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The MVP should clearly go to Jose Bautista. He led the league in HR, bWAR, OPS, and wRC+, was 4th in the league in BB/K, 2nd in wRC... clearly he was once again the scariest batter in baseball to opposing pitchers, and he put up these kinds of numbers on a weakened Jays offense (when compared to last year). His power was unmatched, making him a consistent threat on offense every night, and he created a lot of runs for his team. His defense also greatly improved from last year's -10.4 UZR disaster at third base, putting up a solid 19.0 UZR this year at that position.

The idea that an MVP must come from a playoff team is preposterous. There's already an award for "best player on a playoff team" - it's called the World Series MVP. Additionally, the world didn't end when A-Rod won MVP on the last-place Texas Rangers in '03. The Jays at least were .500 on the year and didn't finish in dead last.

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If Jose didn't have is long spells where he didn't do much of anything like most of September he'd be a lock. He should win, but he probably won't, hate to pull out the if he was a Yankee or Sawk theory, but it's true. Put me in the Verlander for MVP and Cy Young boat. Never one to buy the a "pitcher shouldn't win MVP" talk, Verlander has been amazing all year, and he won the Pitching triple crown so that should also count for something.

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I agree with mostly everything, save the AL MVP award. I'd love to give it to Bautista, and Granderson has a great case, but Verlander was the most dominant player in all of baseball this year, IMHO. The fact that he's a pitcher shouldn't stop him from winning it. Given that he led Detroit to a division title, I think he definetely is worthy of the MVP.

I also believe Ron Washington should be considered for AL MOY. He's doing a really, really great job with Texas.

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The problem is, should someone who plays in 20% of the games win the MVP?

I don't think so.

Sandy Koufax, Don Newcombe, Fernando Valenzuela and a few others would like to have a word with you :D

Naw, I do see your point. But nonetheless, 24-5 and 250 K's? That's incredibly valuable if you ask me. And dominant. He's a HUGE reason why the Tigers won the division.

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AL MVP: Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers. I take "Most Valuable Player" literally. Without Verlander, the Tigers would have been fighting it out with the Indians and White Sox for the division crown. The Yankees without Granderson still win the division (or at least the Wild Card) and the Blue Jays without Batista still don't make the playoffs. So Verlander wins.

NL MVP: Ryan Braun, LF, Milwaukee Brewers. Once again, without Braun, the Brewers are fighting it out with the Cardinals and Braves for the division/Wild Card. Although, Pujols deserves consideration, too (where would St. Louis be without him? Not the playoffs.)

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers. This needs no explanation.

NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers. Stats don't lie is all I have to say. However, Roy Halladay and Ian Kennedy also deserve consideration.

AL Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson, SP, Tampa Bay Rays. I made this prediction back in December, and I'm sticking with it. Without Hellickson, the Red Sox make the playoffs.

NL Rookie of the Year: Craig Kimbrel, CL, Atlanta Braves. I agree with Tank. 46 saves don't lie.

AL Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays: This guy is amazing. Beats the Red Sox with a team payroll of just $42M (the Yankees payroll is $204M). And knowing to start Moore against Texas in Game 1 of the ALDS? Brilliant.

NL Manager of the Year: Kirk Gibson, Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks were poised to lose 100 games, yet Kirk Gibson led his team past the defending World Series Champion Giants and supposed contender Rockies.

For Comeback Player and Hank Aaron Award, I agree with Tank.

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I agree with all your AL picks save for Comeback player of the year and RoY. I think Comeback player of the year is just that, a comeback, Ellsbury didn't make a comeback, he had a career year, comeback IMO belongs to Casey Kotchman. As for RoY, that belongs to Hellickson, he leads rookies in several categories.

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Still don't get why people are stuck on this "if you remove Player X from Team Y, Team Y misses the playoffs" fallacy. Since when does one player bring a team to the playoffs by themselves? This isn't basketball. Baseball is a team effort, and teams make the playoffs. I really don't see how you can argue that since the Jays play in the most imbalanced division in baseball and their bullpen decided to blow 25 saves this season (leading the AL), that somehow diminishes Bautista's individual greatness as a player.

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The problem is, should someone who plays in 20% of the games win the MVP?

I don't think so.

Sandy Koufax, Don Newcombe, Fernando Valenzuela and a few others would like to have a word with you :D

Naw, I do see your point. But nonetheless, 24-5 and 250 K's? That's incredibly valuable if you ask me. And dominant. He's a HUGE reason why the Tigers won the division.

I agree some pitchers do deserve the MVP,

If a starting pitcher is truly the single most valuable player to his team, then yes. He should win it.

In my humble opinion, Verlander was the most valuable pitcher hands down, but Bautista, and Ellsbury were both more valuable to their teams.

Thats why there is a Cy Young and an MVP, in today's day and age IMO a pitcher would need 30 wins to win MVP. Which is almost an impossible task in 2011, unfortunately for Verlander I think the voters would agree.

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The name of the MVP award should be changed to something like "most outstanding" or "best player" etc. (Hell, call it the Willie Mays award.) Calling it the "most valuable" player award makes determining who truly deserves it all but impossible. Are the Tigers as good without Verlander? Probably not, but the same argument could be made for Cabrera. So which one of those players is "most valuable" to the Tigers? Beats the hell out of me. All I know is Verlander was probably the best pitcher in the AL and Cabrera would be in most discussions on who was the best every day player in the AL. Bautista put up huge numbers and he should be in any "best every day player" discussion. Is he the "most valuable" player in the AL? I'd say no. Toronto could probably go .500 just as easily without him as they did with him. My point I guess is that as long as it's called the MVP award, it's going to go to players on winning teams 90% of the time. Or something like that. All I'm sure of is that we're going to argue about it every season. B)

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They should just change MVP to like MVB or some Babe Ruth Award. Just to let the batters have their thing, and pitchers have their thing.

Not trying to be a homer but Hellickson for RoY and Kotchman for Comeback would be cool.

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AL MVP: Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers. I take "Most Valuable Player" literally. Without Verlander, the Tigers would have been fighting it out with the Indians and White Sox for the division crown. The Yankees without Granderson still win the division (or at least the Wild Card) and the Blue Jays without Batista still don't make the playoffs. So Verlander wins.

NL MVP: Ryan Braun, LF, Milwaukee Brewers. Once again, without Braun, the Brewers are fighting it out with the Cardinals and Braves for the division/Wild Card. Although, Pujols deserves consideration, too (where would St. Louis be without him? Not the playoffs.)

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers. This needs no explanation.

NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers. Stats don't lie is all I have to say. However, Roy Halladay and Ian Kennedy also deserve consideration.

AL Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson, SP, Tampa Bay Rays. I made this prediction back in December, and I'm sticking with it. Without Hellickson, the Red Sox make the playoffs.

NL Rookie of the Year: Craig Kimbrel, CL, Atlanta Braves. I agree with Tank. 46 saves don't lie.

AL Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays: This guy is amazing. Beats the Red Sox with a team payroll of just $42M (the Yankees payroll is $204M). And knowing to start Moore against Texas in Game 1 of the ALDS? Brilliant.

NL Manager of the Year: Kirk Gibson, Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks were poised to lose 100 games, yet Kirk Gibson led his team past the defending World Series Champion Giants and supposed contender Rockies.

For Comeback Player and Hank Aaron Award, I agree with Tank.

I wad just about to post the same selections (although Kitchman has an arguement for AL Comebacker), and your descriptions are spot on. No need to repeat, just a simple quote will do.

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Is he the "most valuable" player in the AL? I'd say no. Toronto could probably go .500 just as easily without him as they did with him.

Firstly, I strongly doubt that... not with the rest of that offense (which was less threatening than last year's) and especially not with that awful bullpen. Secondly, why does it matter? We'd all save ourselves a lot of time and controversy if we dumped the sentimentality and defined "most valuable player" as "best player" and left it at that. I don't doubt that the crochety, stubborn BBWAA voters will vote for Cano or Ellsbury because "their teams won because of them" or "tougher media pressure" or garbage like that. But that doesn't make it right.

Joe Posnanski has written a great article about the typical fallacies involved in BBWAA voting.

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Is he the "most valuable" player in the AL? I'd say no. Toronto could probably go .500 just as easily without him as they did with him.

Firstly, I strongly doubt that... not with the rest of that offense (which was less threatening than last year's) and especially not with that awful bullpen. Secondly, why does it matter? We'd all save ourselves a lot of time and controversy if we dumped the sentimentality and defined "most valuable player" as "best player" and left it at that. I don't doubt that the crochety, stubborn BBWAA voters will vote for Cano or Ellsbury because "their teams won because of them" or "tougher media pressure" or garbage like that. But that doesn't make it right.

Joe Posnanski has written a great article about the typical fallacies involved in BBWAA voting.

I disagree completely I am one who believes games under pressure make a player more valuable.

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Is he the "most valuable" player in the AL? I'd say no. Toronto could probably go .500 just as easily without him as they did with him.

Firstly, I strongly doubt that... not with the rest of that offense (which was less threatening than last year's) and especially not with that awful bullpen. Secondly, why does it matter? We'd all save ourselves a lot of time and controversy if we dumped the sentimentality and defined "most valuable player" as "best player" and left it at that. I don't doubt that the crochety, stubborn BBWAA voters will vote for Cano or Ellsbury because "their teams won" or "tougher media pressure" or garbage like that. But that doesn't make it right.

Joe Posnanski has written a great article about the typical fallacies involved in BBWAA voting.

Yeah, I sort of said that already. B) I have no problem with Bautista winning the award. I also don't have a problem with Verlander getting it. I think we both agree that the issue here isn't the "worthiness" of the players. The issue is with the ambiguity (I guess that's a good word for it) of the award. No one seems to be quite sure just what it is that we're rewarding here. That's because there's really no way to determine who's "most valuable."

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Is he the "most valuable" player in the AL? I'd say no. Toronto could probably go .500 just as easily without him as they did with him.

Firstly, I strongly doubt that... not with the rest of that offense (which was less threatening than last year's) and especially not with that awful bullpen. Secondly, why does it matter? We'd all save ourselves a lot of time and controversy if we dumped the sentimentality and defined "most valuable player" as "best player" and left it at that. I don't doubt that the crochety, stubborn BBWAA voters will vote for Cano or Ellsbury because "their teams won because of them" or "tougher media pressure" or garbage like that. But that doesn't make it right.

Joe Posnanski has written a great article about the typical fallacies involved in BBWAA voting.

I disagree completely I am one who believes games under pressure make a player more valuable.

How? Playing for a winning team is easier because, despite the expectations of winning, there's less negativity, everybody's in a good mood, and you're more motivated to just get out there and play. You're looser, happier, and playing at your best, and that can cancel out the pressure of higher expectations (unless you're the Boston Red Sox). When you play for a losing team, the media and fans are intensely negative and hypercritical, there's often clubhouse hostility, and you start to wonder why you're trying so hard when the losses keep piling up regardless. When a player can put up eye-popping numbers in that kind of environment, it's more amazing than if you put that player on the Yankees with the rest of their all-star lineup. That's the point that Posnanski is making in the article. If you're only going to vote for players under "pressure" (which is a pretty nebulous thing to begin with) then players on winning teams shouldn't even be in the running.

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NL MVP is clearly Matt Kemp.

I'm crossing my fingers that Matty gets it. I personally think the voters might lean Braun, but if I had a vote it'd be for Kemp. Leader in 2 of 3 Triple Crown categories, that's tough to dismiss.

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