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Archive for the tag “Major League Baseball”

Today’s Topic: 12/6/2013

Baseball is in no shortage of ridiculous contracts.  The A-Rod debacle in New York, the Pujols and Hamilton gambles by the definitely not Anaheim Angels, and the Prince Fielder contract in Detroit all point to a common and overwhelming trend: players are not worth the money.  How often does a baseball player come around who truly changes the outlook and feel of a team single-glovedly?  Rarely if ever.  Griffey in Seattle?  Trout now in definitely not Anaheim?  Cabrera in Detroit?  Phenomenal players, but world altering?  Today’s Topic spotlights recent contracts and why baseball has gotten out of hand. What if I told you that a  below average hitting, recently injured centerfielder signed a 4-year $60 million dollar contract?  It might not make for a very compelling 30-for-30, but it’s something ESPN probably isn’t labeling “ridiculous”.  Curtis Granderson, the career .261 hitter (.245 the last 4 years in New York) just made such a deal with the crosstown New York Mets.  What should the Mets expect from their $60 million investment?  Nothing too special.  Granderson was an all-star in 2011 and 2012, okay, I get that…but he batted .261 and .231.  His power is likely to see a downturn and he strikes out way too much to be a leadoff bat.  What am I saying?  I’m saying getting an average player at Centerfield would likely have been a better return of investment.  Granderson doesn’t bring people to the ballpark.  He’s not a Micky Cabrera or Yu Darvish.  He’s one of the worst types in baseball: a high-K power hitter.  So what’s my point? If you look around baseball, you’ll notice a developing trend of enormous and long contracts.  Joey Votto 12-years $251.5 million.  Pujols 10-years $240 million.  Prince Fielder 9-years $214 million.  The heinous $275 million, 10-year debacle for A-Rod.  Even C.C. Sabathia’s 7-year $161 million contract in 2008.  C.C. was only 28 at the time, but pitchers wear faster than hitters.  I mean look at what happened to Justin Verlander’s stats this season…oh and for the record the Tigers’ “Ace” is on a 7-year $180 million contract at the moment.  I feel stupid saying it, but Joey Votto has been the best player of those ‘I just listed since his signing and it is difficult for me to say he’s a player that brings penultimate star power to a roster.  Perhaps the only player I just named who can bring fans to a stadium is, dear God, A-Rod.  He’s a ticking time bomb who has, without a doubt, becomes sports’ biggest villain and dynamo.  It’s his ignominy which attracts fans…and his ignominy is not worth $27.5 million a year. Large baseball contracts are, in a word, stupid.  Players in baseball are not players in the NBA.  They get tired of long seasons and the fleeting nature of a terrific baseball season is omnipresent in the league.  It’s hard for a player to reel off more than three or four great seasons in a row, especially after he hits his early thirties.  Pujols isn’t the same guy as the Cardinal great who was the fastest player to 400 homeruns.  He’s now a busted investment who has experienced injuries and freefalling production.  There is not just a trend in baseball, there is a fact: long term deals are not to be trusted.  Unless you’re locking up a 23 year-old Felix Hernandez for 10 years, that number shouldn’t even cross the imagination much less a piece of paper requiring you to pay the guy unimaginable coin.  Also, baseball players aren’t like the NBA because there isn’t star power.  Fans in baseball aren’t attracted by a player or a pitcher.  A player bats four or five times a game and a pitcher is only out there once every five days.  LeBron, KD, James Harden?  These guys are in the lineup every night and people will pay just to watch them play for 35 of 48 minutes.  I don’t want to buy my $30 baseball ticket just to watch Joey Votto bat four times.  I want to watch the entire Reds team play because they’re a winning franchise (or at least should be). So, why is this Today’s Topic?  It isn’t Curtis Granderson.  He’s a small fish compared to the other too big name signings this week: Jacoby Ellsbury and Robinson Cano.  The Cobes signed a 7-year $153 million deal with the Yankees…pocket change for the what the Bombers usually shell out.  Ellsbury is a very solid centerfielder…the best?  Probably not.  Worth roughly $22 million a year?  Once again, probably not.  I don’t know what the market value is for centerfielders is these days, but $22 million a year for a speedy leadoff hitter seems a little ludicrous.  I was praying my Redlegs might make a stab at Ellsbury, but giving him $22 million a year?  I’ll stick with the Billy Hamilton project.  He’s relatively young (30), so the 7-years isn’t obnoxious, but I don’t understand when baseball became such a absurd paying sport….they need a salary cap, right?  Cano’s deal might be the worst in league history…yeah, I just said that with the A-Rod nonsense fresh in both of our minds.  Cano’s initial hope was to get the Yankees to dish out $300,000,000 over 10 years.  I put the zeroes to make a point.  That would not only be the largest contract in history, Robinson Cano and his zero MVP’s, zero fan attraction, and extremely average defense would be making it.  At least when the Yankees signed A-Rod he was the best offensive player to ever play the game (obviously P.E.D.’s, but the signing was made without any knowledge of those…admit it, A-Rod was still in the midst of prodigy when the Yanks signed him).  Thankfully, the Yankees aren’t THAT idiotic and lead Cano down the road of negotiation…which leads to Seattle now’a’days?  Cano signed a 10-year $240 million deal today with the Mariners because fuck it they stole Ichiro from us in a trade we agreed to and we’re not in the least bit happy about it and we want our damn hero back so we’re stealing your overpriced second basemen because Jay-Z too.  That sentence was such a run-on and so terrible, it lost even me….anyway, Cano’s deal to me is the worst in Major League history…why?  Because he’s just not worth it.  The Giants won the World Series last year…their second baseman?  Marco Scutaro.  What else do we know about Scutaro?  He was the starting second baseman for the National League this year (over Brandon Phillips somehow) and his contract is a whooping 3-years $20.  If you go with the 162 game averages, Cano will spot you (BA/HR/RBI/R) .031/15/35/14 more than Scutaro.  Obviously Cano is a better offensive player, no one is saying otherwise, but is he worth the extra $17,000,000+ a year? Scutaro is 38, granted, but the point isn’t to pick up Marco Scutaro.  the point is that these large, long contracts aren’t worth their weight in gold or the players weight in gold.  Cano isn’t going to make the Mariners a World Series favorite.  The Angels locked up hundreds of millions in Pujols and Hamilton and finished third in the AL West.  What is the moral here, boys and girls?  Big baseball contracts are about as useful as Brick Tamland toasting mayonnaise.  The Mariners might not right now, but as the past dictates, they will one day rue the Robinson Cano contract.  It’s really a shame these suckers will only be getting bigger and worse as the years roll.

Best By Number, Baseball 56, 55

Numbers are everywhere in sports, in fact, one may argue there is nothing quite as memorable as a number.  A movie about Dale Earnhardt was simply titled “3“ and every sports fan can recognize the symbolism behind number 755 even if it doesn’t have the same titled as the past.  Athletes’ numbers on their backs are as much a part of themselves as the name’s arching above and no one can escape the number they wear or wore.  Kobe will always be #8 even when he’s #24 and no one can recall that Ken Griffey Junior was #3 during his final year in Cincinnati.  I have researched the best players in each sports to wear most of the numbers from 0-99.  This is the list for Major League Baseball.

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Buehrle has never finished higher than fifth in any Cy Young voting…and that 2005 season is the only year Buehrle has received a vote for the award.  So, how does this White Sox legend earn the right to being the finest to don the meanest number in Professional sports?  Well, this Mister Nice-Guy might not have the legendary status of a Lawrence Taylor, but he does have a World Series ring and perfect game while sporting fifty-six.  Buehrle’s career ERA is a modest 3.84; however, he anchored the 2005 World Champion White Sox in his fifth place year.  Perhaps Buehrle’s best feature is his durability.  He’s never made less than 30 starts in a season and has tossed 200+ each year as well.  He may benefit from a weak field of 56 in Baseball lore; however, Mark Buehrle is one of the game’s most dependable options on the mound…he ain’t nothin’ if no dependable.

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At least his parents had the decency to avoid an “A” for the third letter in his name, but this unfortunately phallic branded pitcher is quite possibly the finest without a plaque in Cooperstown and owns one of Baseball’s more unbreakable records: 59 consecutive scoreless innings pitched in 1988.  That year–1988, I mean–he won the National League Cy Young and tossed for 267.0 innings; a number thought imaginary by today’s pitchers.  The 1988 World Series?  Yes, the Dodgers won it and yes the Bulldog was MVP of that particular Fall Classic.  We can expect him never to be enshrined unless his broadcasting career becomes legend wait for it…….dary.  You can catch him on ESPN and he routinely works the Little League World Series.  So we’re not expecting H.O.F. status coming from broadcasting.

 

 

 

Best By Number, Baseball 58 and 57

Numbers are everywhere in sports, in fact, one may argue there is nothing quite as memorable as a number.  A movie about Dale Earnhardt was simply titled “3“ and every sports fan can recognize the symbolism behind number 755 even if it doesn’t have the same titled as the past.  Athletes’ numbers on their backs are as much a part of themselves as the name’s arching above and no one can escape the number they wear or wore.  Kobe will always be #8 even when he’s #24 and no one can recall that Ken Griffey Junior was #3 during his final year in Cincinnati.  I have researched the best players in each sports to wear most of the numbers from 0-99.  This is the list for Major League Baseball.

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Mired in what is the remnants of former Phillies World Series glory, Jonathon Papelbon is better remembered as the closer on a Boston World Series champion in 2008.  In his seven years in Boston, Papelbon claimed a 2.33 ERA and became known as one of the finest closers the game had to offer.  His best effort?  His 2006 rookie year out of the Sox pen where he tossed 68.1 innings giving up seven earned runs the entire season and capturing 35 saves en route penciling his name onto four straight all-star teams.  Today, he seems little more than Philadelphia trade bait as a rebuilding process looms in the City of Brotherly Love; however, many teams will be eager to try and capture one of baseball’s most fiery and popular relievers.

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You can say whatever you want about the New York Mets’ decision to trade for the south-paw, change-up expert in 2008 and the ensuing $137.5 million contract; there’s no ignoring the dominance displayed during eight years in the homer dome in Minneapolis.  Santana earned a pitcher’s Triple Crown in 2006 and claimed a pair of Cy Youngs during his time with the Twins.  The Venezuelan also threw the Mets franchise’s first no-hitter sporting his customary 57 in 2012 and earned a key to the city of New York for his efforts.  Why did this superstar pitcher continue to wear fifty-seven throughout his enduring twelve year career?  We can only assume it’s a Venezuelan thing he shares with compatriot and former Met teammate Francisco Rodriguez.  Either way, his career seems well on track at thirty-four so long as he can escape the Queens doldrums.

 

Notable 57’s:

Francisco Rodriguez: The record holder for most saves in a season, K-Rod made his 57 World Series christened in 2002.

Darryl Kile: The most recent player to die while active, Kile accumulated 133 wins wearing 57.

Best By Number, Baseball 66, 65, 63, 62, 61

Numbers are everywhere in sports, in fact, one may argue there is nothing quite as memorable as a number.  A movie about Dale Earnhardt was simply titled “3“ and every sports fan can recognize the symbolism number 755 even if it doesn’t have the same titled as the past.  Athletes numbers on their backs are as much as the name’s arching above them and no one can escape the number they wear or wore.  Kobe will always be #8 even when he’s #24 and no one can recall that Ken Griffey Junior was #3 during his final year in Cincinnati.  I have researched the best players in each sports to wear numbers from 0-99.  This is the list for Major League Baseball.

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Perhaps you’re wondering why the picture is so blurry?  Google didn’t provide a quality image and I wasn’t around in the 40’s and 50’s to get one myself.  Staley spent fifteen years in the Major Leagues and for six of those years he was sporting one six shy of the devil’s number on his back including a game in the 1959 World Series which the White Sox lost.  Staley’s career ERA was a pedestrian 3.70; however, with a 66 on his back in Chi Town, Staley’s ERA sunk to an impressive 2.61; surrendering only 189 runs during his six year tenure.  Also, two of his three career appearances were made with sixty-six sported.

 

 

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Expectations can be a little hard coming out of the minors for today’s starting pitchers.  Multiply the average expectations by tenfold and you may have an idea of what lights were shining on a young man sporting a 65 above the famous pinstripes of the New York Yankees.  Hughes, the Yankees first round pick in 2004, was baseball’s most anticipated prospect for years, but injuries have slowed his maturation.  Also, a random number switch caused a bit of havoc.  Hughes switched from 65 in his second year with the Yanks to the more believable 34…and struggled to an 0-4 record with a 6.62 ERA in eight starts before injury.  He switched back in 2009 and was greeted with an 8-3 record and a 3.03 earned run average.  Safe to say Hughes has stuck with his first Big League number since.

 

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What’s not to like in this choice?  Rafael Betancourt and Justin Masterson could argue their cases, but neither of those to right handers numbers in the past or present measure up to LeCure’s or his mustache.  His current 2.13 Earned Run Average is just damn amazing and it’s due mostly to Sam’s ability to stare down any batter–whether an all-star or amateur–and throw strikes.  The greatest value on perhaps any team in the Majors this year–LeCure is making a modest 510K this year–LeCure may be on his way to the closer’s role for Cincinnati if they trade fireballer Aroldis Chapman.  This little known reliever is well on his way to becoming the most renowned sixty-three in the history of baseball…assuming he keeps his lofty digit on his back for the remainder of his career.

 

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It may seem trivial, but it is interesting to note at the time of his retirement, this number 62 was the final member of the cast which brought home the 2002 World Series crown. You may not remember him from that Fall Classic, as the rookie Shields pitched in only Giants’ Game 5 drubbing of the Halos.  Shields may not have the sex appeal of his former bullpen mate Francisco Rodriguez, but he was as important a piece to the Halos during his ten year stint in the team’s bullpen.  Shields’s career earned run average of 3.18 is far from lackluster and add that to his multiple years of striking out 100+ from the pen and you have one of the more dominant and unknown set-up men in baseball history.  Shields’ plays perhaps the most undervalued role in baseball and is one of the more underrated to fulfill it.

 

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If you remember Josh Beckett for his 2007 campaign in Boston where he finished second in the Cy Young race and led the American League with 20 wins, just stop.  This is your big brother’s Josh Beckett.  Before he stripped off his minor league number in favor of the 19 he attempted to make famous in Boston.  This is the Florida Marlins’ Josh Beckett who was on top of far more than his teammates shoulders after winning the World Series against the Evil Empire in 2003.  Beckett only made it to Boston because of what he accomplished with 61 on his back in Miami: 3.46 earned run average and a load of talent and expectations took the potential to Pesky’s Pole.  Boston went well for Josh and his number 19, but he was traded to Los Angeles in 2012 and the Dodgers have 19 retired in honor of Jim Gilliam…Beckett’s decision?  Return to his roots and bare 61 with honor once again.  His reward?  A sub-3.00 ERA for the Dodgers in 2012.

 

Best By Number, Baseball 75, 73, 72, 70

Numbers are everywhere in sports, in fact, one may argue there is nothing quite as memorable as a number.  A movie about Dale Earnhardt was simply titled “3“ and every sports fan can recognize the symbolism number 755 even if it doesn’t have the same titled as the past.  Athletes numbers on their backs are as much as the name’s arching above them and no one can escape the number they wear or wore.  Kobe will always be #8 even when he’s #24 and no one can recall that Ken Griffey Junior was #3 during his final year in Cincinnati.  I have researched the best players in each sports to wear numbers from 0-99.  This is the list for Major League Baseball.

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It was the unmatched 12-6 curveball, c’mon folks!  People may be left scratching their heads thinking of Barry Zito’s massive 7-year $126 million dollar deal which shipped him across the bay in 2007; however, Oakland fans remember seven fond years with the junk balling left-hander who posted a 102-63 record with the A’s and won the 2002 Cy Young award. His time in San Francisco hasn’t been quite as memorable and fans have called for his head on more than one occasion, but Zito was a key contributor to the Giants two World Series wins.  Zito might be considered one of the worst signings in Major League history–at the time his salary was the largest for a pitcher in ever–but the man’s career record, earned run average, and WHIP with the 75 on his back are 157-135, 3.99, and 1.3 with a Cy Young and 2 World Series rings to boot.  So why the 75?  Zito wanted the 34 he wore in college, but Oakland had it retired for Rollie Fingers and Zito decided on a number he could have his entire career, saying, “In case I go to another team, I’m pretty sure 75 will be available.”

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One of my favorite players to pick up late in an MVP baseball 2005 Fantasy Draft, Rincon was a submarine throwing lefty who spent every year of his career with a 73 on his back.  His best years were probably spent wasting away as a member of those awful Pirate teams of the early 2000’s, but Rincon was named a member of the Cleveland Indians’ all-decade team for the 1990’s…and the tribe featured quite a good cast of characters during those old days.  His modest 3.59 earned run average is the best we’ve featured thus far.  The Mexico native was a part of the last no-hitter for the Pirates–in which he pitched a perfect 10th inning and garnered the win–and received his fair share of mentions during the Brad Pitt baseball flick “Mondeyball”.

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You probably remember Fisk for his prancing while begging his home run to stay fair during his time as a Boston Red Sox catcher during the 1975 World Series.  Do you recall the number he sported was not 72, but 27?  Fisk wanted the digit back when he joined Chicago as a 33-year old catcher, but it was claimed by pitcher Ken Kravec.  Fisk settled on the year of his son’s birth, 1972, and would play 13 years in the south side of Chicago with the number.  The Commander played 24 seasons and endured the most games caught in history, 2,226, until Ivan Rodriguez broke the record in 2009.  He may have never won the World Series, but the 72 hanging at U.S. Cellular Field, his statue outside the stadium, and Hall of Fame plaque help assuage that pain.

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Ever since Joe and his franchise expelled the Devil, he’s been one of the most visible and respected managers in baseball.  After leaving the Angels to manage what was baseball’s perennial doormat, Maddon kept the 70 he’d been wearing in Anaheim and brought the winning ways of the 2002 Angels World Series winners he was a coach for to Tampa.  Since 2008 when the Rays officially became the Rays, Maddon is 517-393 (.598) with an American League pennant and two manager of the year awards under his belt.  The thick-rimmed glasses have created more than a little history in Tampa, taking the Rays to their first playoff appearance, first AL East championship, the franchise’s first playoff win, first World Series appearance, and Maddon is the only manager ejected from a perfect game when he argued balls/strikes in Felix Heranndez’s effort on August 15th, 2012.

Best By Number, Baseball 88

Numbers are everywhere in sports, in fact, one may argue there is nothing quite as memorable as a number.  A movie about Dale Earnhardt was simply titled “3“ and every sports fan can recognize the symbolism number 755 even if it doesn’t have the same titled as the past.  Athletes numbers on their backs are as much as the name’s arching above them and no one can escape the number they wear or wore.  Kobe will always be #8 even when he’s #24 and no one can recall that Ken Griffey Junior was #3 during his final year in Cincinnati.  I have researched the best players in each sports to wear numbers from 0-99.  This is the list for Major League Baseball.

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One of Major League Baseball’s short wicks, Albert Belle should be remembered more for his ability than his temper.  A man who recorded nine consecutive years of 100+ RBI’s, an honor he shares with only six other major league players, Joey Belle’s monstrous career was cut short because of degenerative hip osteoarthritis which forced an early retirement at age 34.  Belle, whose contract he signed with the Orioles in 1998 made him the game’s highest paid player, compiled a .295 career average whilst averaging 37 homers and 120 RBI’s a year from 1991-2000.  It seems a farce Belle never won an MVP award, including 1995 where he become the only 50-50 man for doubles and homeruns while batting .317.  As for the 88 on his back?  Belle averaged .289/30/110 with the double eights gracing his back.

 

 

 

Best By Number, Baseball 97-90

Numbers are everywhere in sports, in fact, one may argue there is nothing quite as memorable as a number.  A movie about Dale Earnhardt was simply titled “3“ and every sports fan can recognize the symbolism number 755 even if it doesn’t have the same titled as the past.  Athletes numbers on their backs are as much as the name’s arching above them and no one can escape the number they wear or wore.  Kobe will always be #8 even when he’s #24 and no one can recall that Ken Griffey Junior was #3 during his final year in Cincinnati.  I have researched the best players in each sports to wear numbers from 0-99.  This is the list for Major League Baseball.

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Props to Major League Baseball for having zero players wear the number 98; therefore, we skip to #97 and the only player to ever grace a Major League diamond sporting where a Mat Latos fastball ranges.  Joe Beimel played eleven years and 97 was his number for 7 of those seasons.  He racked up a pedestrian 4.21 ERA over his career, but more importantly, his earned run average was a far more respectable 3.22 after abandoning the 50 he had been wearing during his first five seasons in Pittsburgh and Minnesota.  Beimel was clearly always destined to wear 97 and will forever hold his place as Major League Baseball’s greatest 97; so long as a challenger doesn’t try to overthrow his uncontested title.

 

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No one should think it an accident when Big Bill finally slid into his 96 as a member of the 1947 Boston Braves.  Sure, Big Bill’s best years might have been spent as a 17 with the New York Giants, but as a member of the “Spahn and Sain and Pray for Rain” staff of the 1948 Braves pennant team, Voiselle was 97.  Why should a number worn only one other season (by a Mariner Suzuki…Mac Suzuki) not be a surprise pick?  Well, Totsie grew up in a town in South Carolina.  A town named Ninety Six which gave inspiration to his choice as the most obscurely numbered World Series starter of all time.  Voiselle started and lost Game 6 of the Fall Classic during his stint with the 1948 Braves.

 

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So, you just pitched three seasons for the Yankees.  You’re Earned Run Average was a stellar 3.21 over that period.  What’s next to do but go pitch for the Boston Red Sox?  Current Boston reliever Aceves made that exact career move and chucked a the rawhide for a sub-3 ERA for he second time in his career during his first stint with the Red Sox.   In 2012, he closed a few games, racking up 25 saves, but watched that role go by the wayside after his ERA ballooned to a hefty 5.36.  Still, Alfredo is a World Series champ (posting two scoreless innings during the 2009 Fall Classic with the Yankees) who blessed us with a person worthy of putting on this list.  Thank you, Alfredo!  Good luck in your future!

 

Joe

Best By Number, Baseball 99

Numbers are everywhere in sports, in fact, one may argue there is nothing quite as memorable as a number.  A movie about Dale Earnhardt was simply titled “3” and every sports fan can recognize the symbolism number 755 even if it doesn’t have the same titled as the past.  Athletes numbers on their backs are as much as the name’s arching above them and no one can escape the number they wear or wore.  Kobe will always be #8 even when he’s #24 and no one can recall that Ken Griffey Junior was #3 during his final year in Cincinnati.  I have researched the best players in each sports to wear numbers from 0-99.  This is the list for Major League Baseball.

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A middle reliever who never showed enough bite to become a closer in the Big Leagues leads us off?  It’s true folks.  Few have worn The Great One’s number in the Majors: only 13 total players.  The most familiar name might be Manny being Manny, but the Man-Ram totaled only 3 seasons in the high nineties and those were far from being as memorable or stat-filled as his dozens of years sporting #24.  The only player to wear the number longer than Turk was Cardinals lightweight So Taguchi and all apologies to the World Series winner, but Wendell’s journeyman 3.93 earned run average is enough to make him the most talented #99 in baseball history.  Wendell’s most memorable moments might be due to his outspoken nature rather than his mediocre stat sheet; such as saying Barry Bonds “obviously” took steroids in 2004 and said the same of teammate Sammy Sosa in 2006.  He may not be the most popular player in history, but I don’t think he mights as he relaxes on his 200-acre ranch in Colorado.

 

Who will and who should win this year’s awards in Major League Baseball:

The “MLB Delivery Man/Rolaids Relief Man” awards:

These awards are separate, but both are presented to the “best relief pitcher in the MLB”.  The RRM is presented to a player in each league whilst the MLB DM award is given to only one player.  Just to show they are actually connected, the Tigers’ Jose Valverde was the recipient of both awards.  John Axford won the RRM award in the National League….

Who will win:

Rolaids Relief Man: Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds (National League) and Fernando Rodney, Tampa Rays (The other one)

Who should win:

Those two guys above.  no exciting disagreement yet.  Chapman and Rodney have been disgustingly dominant.  Chapman has given up 1 run in months not named June and Rondey’s E.R.A. has sunk below .80 in recent days.  These two guys have been mauling hapless batters all year.  Watching Chapman pitch makes one feel sorry for the man in the batter’s box.

Comeback Player of the Year Award:

I always wonder want qualifies one to be making a comeback?  Does having a shitty year and then returning to form qualify?  Or should one have to be coming back from a tragic incident and then have a pretty good year?  I guess I’ll just try to go with a weird hybrid of the two…tough award to call.

Who will win:

Ryan Ludwick OF, Cincinnati Reds (NL) Adam Dunn DH, Chicago White Sox (The one with the obnoxiously good batting stats).

Who should win:

Buster Posey C, San Francisco Giants and then zee Dunna!  So Dunn earns the check from me as well, but Ludwick has been talked about as the favorite recently.  Posey, however, is more deserving.  While Ludwick has been relatively awful since his all-star season; Posey was slaughted at home plate last season.  His leg cracked and he was out for the year.  This season, Posey has made himself into somewhat of an MVP candidate and the best player on a playoff caliber team.

Hank Aaron Award:

It’s for the best hitter in the league…supposedly.  The way I look at it, since Jose Bautista was the recipient last year, all you gotta do is bust out a fuck load of home runs and you’ve got it locked up.

Who will win:

Ryan Braun OF, Milwaukee Brewers (NL), Josh Hamilton OF, Texas Rangers (catching on??)

Who should win:

Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates and Hamilton.  I can never pick Ryan Braun for anything because he’s a cheating bastard who deserves to be expelled from the MLB for being a douxhe and acting innocent because he got lucky steroid people cannot do their jobs.  Thus the .340+ batting, 20+ home run hitting and potential 100 RBI guy McCutchen gets my pick.  Hamilton is just too damn good and a grade A badass.

Manager of the Year:

Despite what it seems, this award is for the coaches.  You may not see them because the managers actually wear the uniforms like the players they coach which is absolutely ridiculous.  I mean really?  Imagine a football coach in full pads.  Well Sean Payton may not be totally opposed.

Who will win:

Davey Johnson, Washington Nationals (guess) and Buck Showalter, Baltimore Orioles (hmmm)

Who should win:

Davey and co-winners Showalter and Oakland Athletic’s manager Bob Melvin.  The Orioles and A’s were probably picked to combine for 200 losses this year.  Now, the teams are atop the wild cards standings in the American League.  It’s the craziest stuff ever….the Orioles also have a -35 run differential but have won 74 out of 133 games…The Red Sox are 13 games worse and have a +2 run differential.

Rookie of the Year:

This award is given to the best 1st year player.  It may seem like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are the only two rookies in their respective leagues this year, but there are other options, I swear.

Who will win:

Bryce Harper OF, Washington Nationals and Mike Trout OF, Los Angeles Angels

Who should win:

Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds and Trout.  Frazier is better than Harper in nearly every category.  Harper only wins because he is apparently a goddamn celebrity.  He made the all-star team?  That was a laugh riot.  Frazier’s top three stats (batting average/home runs/RBI’s) are .292/18/62 at this point and Harper’s are /254/15/45…hmm.  Trout has been a freak and is a legitimate MVP candidate.

Cy Young Award:

While this award is given to the best pitcher in each league, notice there is no individual award for the best starting pitcher, but there is one for the best reliever..actually two.  Basically, this is given to each league’s best starting pitcher.

Who will win:

R.A. Dickey, New York Mets and David Price, Tampa Rays

Who should win:

Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds and Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners.  The American league is more of a toss up.  Price and Hernandez both have the stats to win the award, but King Felix tossed a perfect game so  he edges out Price here.  The writers and others pick Price because his team is better.  Cueto deserves the award more than the knuckling Dickey, but the fact is Dickey is getting the hype and that helps just as much as the stats sometimes.

MVP Award:

Please rename this award the “best position player award” before I vomit.  Justin Verlander won the AL edition last year as a pitcher, but the NL hasn’t seen a pitcher win since 1968 and the AL last saw one in 1982 before Verlander.

Who will win:

Ryan Braun OF, Milwaukee Brewers and Josh Hamilton OF, Texas Rangers

Who should win:

Johnny Cueto SP, Cincinnati Reds and Mike Trout OF, Los Angeles Angels.   The Reds are the best team in baseball at this moment and this has all been done without 2010 MVP Joey Votto and Cueto has been the best pitcher in the Majors since Votto went down.  He has the MLB’s lowest earned run average (ERA) and just keeps winning.  I could definitely see Hamilton taking his second award, but with my appreciation for a lead-off hitter, I’d like to see Trout win.  Batting in a “not-so-run-producing” spot in the lineup, Trout has knocked in 74 runs, has stolen 42 bases, and has scored 107 runs (16 more than the next guy).  His .333 average leads the AL at this point and his has also fired 25 homers so far.  Perhaps Mike Trout’s most impressive stat…he is second in OPS (on-base plus slugging) behind the powerful and very strong Miguel Cabrera.

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