I filled out my season ending awards form for the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America and e-mailed it Saturday. I always find this post-season awards business difficult. I take this responsibility seriously and do my research–because I really don’t follow the National League carefully–and think it’s important to make a good choice. This is how I voted:
AL MVP: 1)Josh Donaldson, 2) Mike Trout, 3) Lorenzo Cain, 4) Miguel Cabrera, 5) Dallas Keuchel, 6) Nelson Cruz, 7) Prince Fielder, 8) Manny Machado, 9) Jose Bautista, 10) Wade Davis
NL MVP: 1) Bryce Harper, 2) Paul Goldschmidt, 3) Andrew McCutcheon, 4) Joey Votto, 5) Yoenis Cespedes, 6) Anthony Rizzo, 7) Jake Arrieta, 8) Buster Posey, 9) Jason Heyward, 10) Zach Greinke
AL Cy Young Award: 1) Dallas Keuchel, 2) David Price, 3) Sonny Gray, 4) Chris Archer, 5) Chris Sale
NL Cy Young Award: 1) Zach Greinke, 2) Jake Arrieta, 3) Clayton Kerhaw, 4) Max Scherzer, 5) John Lackey
AL Rookie of the Year: 1) Carlos Correia, 2) Francisco Lindor, 3) Billy Burns
NL Rookie of the Year: 1) Kris Bryant, 2) Matt Duffy, 3) Joey Syndergaard
AL Manager of the Year 1) A.J. Hinch, 2) Paul Molitor, 3) Joe Girardi
NL Manager of the Year 1) Joe Maddon, 2) Mike Matheny, 3) Terry Collins
AL Reliever of the Year 1) Wade Davis, 2) Dellin Betances, 3) Andrew Miller
NL Reliever of the Year 1) Mark Melancon, 2) Jeurys Familia, 3) Trevor Rosenthal
Clearly some picks were more difficult than others The NL Cy Young selection was super tough because Greinke, Arrieta, and Kershaw were all so amazing. Greinke’s historically low ERA and WHIP won me over. But it could have been a coin flip. I was also puzzled when choosing a reliever. For the AL, Davis was a no-brainer, but the other two both came from the Yankees. Betances was so freaking good, he had to be on the list saves or no. In the NL the choice was tough because Melancon’s overall numbers weren’t as good as Familia and Rosenthal. But it does take something not in the numbers to save 50+ games. If you think it doesn’t I would encourage you to rethink the litany of failed closers we see every year including our own bullpen. That’s 51 saves with two blown saves or a 96%, against a league average 69%. He can be my closer.
With the season behind us, I begin the long darkness of Mariner withdrawal. I am not enough of a baseball fanatic to make myself watch all the playoff games. I cop to being a Mariner fan first, last and always. Both wild card games are pretty interesting, and if I have favorites in the playoffs it’s probably Texas and Chicago. The Rangers and Cubs both overachieved and Texas overcame a bucket of early injuries to get where they are. I love underdogs. A shout out too for the Astros who did what they’ve done a year ahead of schedule. They are so young and good, with more reinforcements on the way, they should be a power in the AL West for years to come.
But don’t expect to see a continued litany of posts on Chatter From the Cheat Seats as the playoffs roll on. I’m happy to comment on any real news–manager status, major changes in management, and any trades or acquisitions. While the blog won’t go dark, it will be quiet. I won’t root in the playoffs, or spread rumors. And I won’t revert to Seahawks commentary. I’m a Mariners fan, and while I am happy for whatever the ‘Hawks can do, and after four games they clearly have their hands full, but I am a baseball person, and let’s just leave it at that.
In closing, I was just thinking over the season, the times that Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz or Cruz and Robbie Cano went back to back. The shot Cruz hit off the train in at Minute Maid Park. The exploits of Ketel Marte and the promise of a new kind of Mariner he represents. And I thought about how Dave Niehaus might have called all of it. It’s hard to accept he’s been gone five years. While I really like Aaron Goldsmith and Ricky, I enjoy Shannon Drayer and think she’s a great baseball writer and blogger, and I’ve even found a way to accept Blowers and Sims, it still hurts to know our Dave, our own Hall of Famer is gone. Some day Dave, we’ll all watch the Mariners in the World Series together. Wait ’til next year.