My picks for ROYs, MOYs, Cy Youngs and MVPs
It's time to hand out some hardware. Beginning today, with the AL and NL rookies of the year, and ending next Tuesday, with the AL most valuable player, the winners of baseball's major individual awards will be announced. Voting was done by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America -- and while Post policy prohibits me from voting for the actual awards, here's how I would have voted in each category, in the order in which the awards are handed out. (Reminder: The awards are based on regular-season performance only.)
AL rookie of the year (today, 2 p.m.): Neftali Feliz, Rangers. When a rookie closer puts up 40 saves, a 2.73 ERA and an 0.88 WHIP, and he does it in the heat of a pennant race, it's difficult to pick against him. And that's precisely what Feliz did. I can appreciate the argument for Detroit's Austin Jackson (.293 batting average, 27 stolen bases), who played an excellent brand of center field (and unlike Feliz, played virtually every day), but that isn't enough to vault him past Feliz. Runner up: Jackson, Tigers.
NL rookie of the year (today, 2 p.m.): Jason Heyward, Braves. This was an incredibly difficult call. Both Heyward and San Francisco's Buster Posey lifted their teams to the postseason, growing into prominent roles in their respective lineups. And Posey was brilliant in his additional role shepherding the Giants' ace-filled pitching staff. But in the end, one number swayed me: 180. That was how many more plate appearances Heyward accumulated than did Posey. Heyward did his thing all season; Posey for only four (and only three as the everyday catcher). Runner up: Posey, Giants.
NL Cy Young (Tuesday): Roy Halladay, Phillies. This was the easiest pick of them all. Halladay led the league in wins (21), innings (250 2/3), complete games (nine), shutouts (four), walks per nine innings (1.077) and strikeouts-to-walks ratio (7.3). And that's not to mention the perfect game he threw in May. Runner up: Adam Wainwright, Cardinals.
AL manager of the year (Wednesday): Ron Washington, Rangers. All Washington did was survive the revelation of a positive test for cocaine, steer his team through the franchise's stormy bankruptcy crisis and guide the Rangers to the AL West title. Runner up: Ron Gardenhire, Twins.
NL manager of the year (Wednesday): Bud Black, Padres. Yeah, I was tempted to go with Bobby Cox for largely sentimental reasons -- and Cox did do an amazing job with an overperforming Braves team. But what Black did -- winning 90 games and leading the NL West almost all season with a lineup that included only one good hitter (Adrian Gonzalez) -- was absolutely remarkable. Runner up: Cox, Braves.
AL Cy Young (Thursday): Felix Hernandez, Mariners. I'm no spokesman for the sabermetrics crowd, but they have a point here. If you eliminates wins -- which is the stat over which pitchers have the least control -- Hernandez was clearly the best. I'm willing to use wins (of which Hernandez had only 13) to break ties between closely matched pitchers, but this one wasn't even close. Runner up: CC Sabathia, Yankees.
NL most valuable player (Monday, Nov. 22): Joey Votto, Reds. His season was virtually indistinguishable from that of division rival and fellow first baseman Albert Pujols. But Votto did outperform Pujols in all three "slash-line" stats -- batting average (.324 to .312), on-base (.424 to .414) and slugging (.600 to .596) -- and also lifted the otherwise unremarkable Reds to the division title. Runner up: Pujols, Cardinals.
AL most valuable player (Tuesday, Nov. 23): Robinson Cano, Yankees. Many voters, I suspect, will overlook the fact Josh Hamilton missed the final month of the season. I just can't. Partly because of Hamilton's missed month, Cano had more total bases, more RBI and a higher WAR (wins above replacement) -- all while playing Gold Glove-quality defense at second base. Let's also not forget he picked up the slack on a Yankees team where many star players had off-years. Runner up: Hamilton, Rangers.
| November 15, 2010; 10:15 AM ET
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