Results tagged ‘ BBWAA ’
The Baseball Writers Association of America revealed their first two awards today. Mike Trout was the deservedly unanimous Rookie of the Year in the American League, but the NL MVP had a bit more intrigue with multiple worthy candidates.
Bryce Harper won it, but this isn’t a blog about the Washington Nationals. This is a blog for the Milwaukee Brewers so I want to discuss where the top rookies on the Milwaukee Brewers finished in the voting.
First of all, as I expected, Mike Fiers did not receive any consideration for the award. Look, there are only three slots on each ballot and while Fiers had a phenomenal first part to his year (and a solid campaign overall), there were more than three rookies better than he was in 2012 in my opinion.
Obviously the BBWAA members in NL chapters agreed with that assessment.
The assessment that we disagree on is Norichika Aoki.
Aoki came to MLB without much fanfare, significantly less than one might think given his accolades in NPB in Japan. All he did after being put into the daily lineup was produce, leading to several hitting streaks of at least 10 games. His defense was just fine in right field too.
His final numbers, mostly out of the lead off spot, were:
151 G, .288/.355/.433, 588 PA, 520 AB, 81 R, 150 H, 37 2B, 4 3B, 10 HR, 50 RBI, 30 SB, 43 BB, 55 K, 110 OPS+
Ultimately, Aoki finished in fifth place receiving two second-place votes and five third-place votes for a total of 11 points in the scoring system. In all, eight different players received votes for the award. Harper was first with 112 points, Wade Miley finished second with 105 points, Todd Frazier was third with 45 points, and Wilin Rosario of the Rockies finished with 12 points because of (in part) one first-place vote he somehow received.
Regardless of his final position, Aoki becomes just the 20th Milwaukee Brewers player in history to garner votes for Rookie of the Year and that is to be commended and applauded on its own merit.
For the record, Dennis Semrau of the Wisconsin State Journal (MIL Chapter) and Paul White of USA Today (WAS Chapter) gave Aoki his second-place votes. The third-place votes were cast for Aoki by Ken Davidoff of the New York Post (NY Chapter), Keith Law of ESPN.com (AZ Chapter), Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (HOU Chapter), Hideki Okuda of the Sports Nippon Newspaper (LA Chapter), and El Nuevo Herald’s Luis E. Rangel.
Wednesday evening, MLB Network aired a show which laid out the “finalists” for the major awards in baseball as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
(Click here for my pre-show rant.)
On the show they revealed the “finalists” for the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, and Most Valuable Player awards for each major league.
Five names were rattled off in alphabetical order by surname. Coming in with a “B” and first position was the reigning Most Valuable Player in the National League, Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun.
As I state in my aforementioned pre-show rant, it is assumed that the “finalists” for each award are simply the top vote-getters. If this is indeed the case, it means that some semblance of sanity has shown up in the pens of the baseball scribes of the National League. It means that Ryan Braun is in the top five.
On MLB Network’s broadcast, analyst Harold Reynolds (a former MLB player for the Seattle Mariners) stated that if you simply looked at the numbers that Ryan Braun should win the MVP for a second consecutive season. He also stated, however, that given Braun’s previous off-season along with everything that goes into voters deciding who to cast their vote for, the winner would be San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey.
I can understand that vote. What I wasn’t going to able to understand is if the collective somehow viewed Ryan Braun as outside of the Top 5, let alone the Top 10 (meaning that he received mention on every ballot cast).
Other than Braun and Posey, the “finalists” for NL MVP are: Chase Headley, Andrew McCutchen, and Yadier Molina.
Given that information, is there any doubt that Ryan Braun should finish outside the Top 2? Go ahead and leave a comment with your argument for anybody other than Posey finishing ahead of Braun and I’ll give you the staunch counterargument to your logic.
Bottom line is that while we may feel Braun deserves to win the award outright, that he is still assured a Top 5 finish is something of a surprise given the reasons I laid out in my rant piece.
But now? Now I’m greedy and I want Top 2.
For the sake of posterity, here are the finalists for the other awards including the Top 3in NL Rookie of the Year, which many of us hoped would include Norichika Aoki.
American League: David Price, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver
National League: R.A. Dickey, Gio Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw
Manager of the Year:
American League: Bob Melvin (A’s), Buck Showalter (Orioles), Robin Ventura (White Sox)
National League: Dusty Baker (Reds), Bruce Bochy (Giants), Davey Johnson (Nationals)
Rookie of the Year:
American League: Yoenis Cespedes, Yu Darvish, Mike Trout
National League: Todd Frazier, Bryce Harper, Wade Miley
American League: Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Josh Hamilton, Mike Trout
For the first time in history, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) will be announcing “finalists” for each of their Major League Baseball awards.
Before I go any further, allow me to explain why I put “finalists” in quotes. This is because it is widely believed that the “finalists” will simply be the top X number of vote-getters for each of the awards in question.
For example, each voting member of the BBWAA can fill out a ballot with up to 10 names on it for the Most Valuable Player in the league for which said member can vote. Cy Young has five name ballots, while Managers and Rookies of the Year awards are limited to ballots of three names each.
As for how many “finalists” will be announced, X=5 for MVP, and X=3 for Cy Youngs, Managers, and Rookies.
Okay, moving along to the point of this column.
If you heard my appearance on Brewers Weekly last week Thursday on the Brewers flagship radio station AM 620 WTMJ, you’ll know my feelings about this already. (If you missed it, you can find it here: http://wp.me/p1wIvV-98Ka) Regardless, allow me to expound on those feelings a bit further.
There are two voters in each Major League city who vote on these awards. For the National League, this last time, that means that 32 voters can cast a ballot for NL MVP, NL Cy Young, NL Manager of the Year and NL Rookie of the Year.
As stated on the BBWAA’s own website, points are awarded based on votes in the following way:
For all awards, there is a point system that is weighted by the spot on the ballot. For the MVP, a first-place vote is worth 14 points. From second to 10th, the ballot spots are worth 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points, respectively. For the Cy Young, the points are 7-4-3-2-1. For the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year, the points are 5-3-1.
In other words, the highest point total that any player can receive for Most Valuable Player is 448.
I could summarize point totals for a while, but getting on with it…
If the assumptions are correct and the “finalists” for MVP are simply the five players who received the five-highest point totals, I’ll spit nails if Ryan Braun isn’t announced as one of them.
As stated on the BBWAA’s website, here is the criteria to be considered when casting ballots for Most Valuable Player:
There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. It is up to the individual voter to decide who was the Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.
The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931:
1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.
2. Number of games played.
3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.
4. Former winners are eligible.
5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.
You are also urged to give serious consideration to all your selections, from 1 to 10. A 10th-place vote can influence the outcome of an election. You must fill in all 10 places on your ballot. Only regular-season performances are to be taken into consideration.
Keep in mind that all players are eligible for MVP, including pitchers and designated hitters.
As simplistically as I can state the following words, allow me to share with you the following:
There were not five players in the National League more valuable to their 2012 teams in the regular season than Ryan Braun was to the 2012 regular season Milwaukee Brewers.
(I originally hadn’t included “regular season” in either position in the previous, but wanted to do so to remind us all that play in the post-season cannot be included when considering any balloting because ballots must be cast prior to the post-season.)
As I also said during my Brewers Weekly appearance, I can accept (even though disagree with) arguments supporting Buster Posey for MVP. You can even make reasoned arguments for players like Matt Holliday, or Andrew McCutchen for example. You cannot name five players more valuable than Braun, however.
Therefore, should Ryan Braun’s name not be listed among those called out as the five “finalists” for NL MVP this evening, I shall be, as gently as I can relate, put…out.
Furthermore, when full balloting is ultimately revealed we will learn how many votes in each position each player received. This will occur next week Thursday, November 15th when the award winners are revealed. At that time, if I can’t add up Braun’s votes to 32 regardless of where on a ballot he fell, I will be more than a little bit miffed.
Look, I’m not a fool nor am I some naive fanboy blinded by love. I understand that there are likely to be several pompous, arrogant, and oblivious windbags who feel that they are protecting some pristine award from the filth of dirty, dirty cheaters by penalizing Braun for leaked reports of a failed test which was overturned on appeal based on the sample tested being scientifically invalid.
But I would like to be able to believe that penalizing Braun won’t interfere in their own professionalism to their craft and their responsibility to vote results on the field and circumstances that certainly occurred instead of things based on fallible reports from a season ago.
Let’s wait and see together as we learn all about Braun’s fate over the next eight days.