Awards Show

Mathnet

Back 15 or so years ago PBS ran a show that included a segment called “Mathnet”. The segment was fun and you actually learned some math while being entertained. One of their better plots involved the “Awards Show for Awards Shows”. Now that baseball’s Awards Show is over, I want to take a look at how they did.

Rookies: OK, why not? This was not a year of truly outstanding rookies so the choices of Hellickson and Kimbrel are as good as any. Baseball history is littered with promising rookie starters who ended up as busts, so maybe Hellickson will pan out, maybe he won’t. And Kimbrel set the record for saves among rookies and I guess that should get him the award. But as with starters, baseball is full of closers who had one or two good years and were then done. I realize the RoY is for a single year’s performance, not for longevity, but I still worry about how good these two will ultimately be ten or so years from now. So again, why not?

Managers: The choice of Gibson was expected. The team finished last a season ago and a new manager comes in. He whips the team into shape, it gets hot, it rolls to the playoffs, and the new guy is manager of the year. Happens a lot. As with rookies I respond, why not? It’s as good a reason to pick someone as manager of the year as any and Gibson certainly turned the Diamondbacks around. Now let’s see how long it lasts. Maddon is, to me, a better choice. His team was supposed to languish in third or fourth in a packed division where its underpayed players would do as well as they could, but couldn’t be expected to compete against the big boys in New York and Boston. And on the last day of the season, Maddon and the Rays win to clinch  a playoff slot. I think it’s a better story because Maddon has proved he can do this before (maybe it’s those One-A-Day Men’s vitamins he pushes on TV).

Cy Youngs: These may have been the most obvious and least anticipated awards of the season. Did anyone seriously think Verlander and Kershaw were going to lose? You win the pitching triple crown (which has actually been done much more frequently than the hitting triple crown–Koufax did it 3 times alone) and you get the Cy Young. And in both cases their newer Sabermetric numbers were good also.

MVP: Neither was a bad choice, and I have no problem with a pitcher winning the MVP. The argument there is a “Cy Young Award for pitchers so they shouldn’t win the MVP” is bogus to me. First, it downgrades the Hank Aaron Award for hitters (and baseball has done a terrible job promoting the Aaron Award), and second argues that no matter how well he pitches no hurler can ever be as valuable as a hitter. Having said that, I would have voted for Cabrera, but Verlander isn’t a bad choice.

So this year baseball did a fairly standard job in its Awards Show. Nothing spectacular, and only Verlander a bit inspired. Congratulations to all the winners and here’s hoping each has a stellar year next season.

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2 Responses to “Awards Show”

  1. William Miller Says:

    Pretty much agree with your analysis here. Most ROY’s never actually pan out in the long run. Not sure I’ve even heard of the Hank Aaron award, as pathetic as that sounds. So I guess you’re right. Not promoted very well.
    Have a great Turkey Day,
    Bill

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