Awards arguments are somewhere between the Academy Awards and the shtick of the CMAs. By now, we all get the Miguel Cabrera-Mike Trout debate, and while I believed in the Trout candidacy last year and do not revere the notion of a Triple Crown, Cabrera had an even better season in 2013, a season that Jayson Stark put in a museum with Foxx and Ruth, Gehrig and Hack Wilson. We all get Trout’s WAR, and it could be that subconsciously we can’t ignore the Angels season-long irrelevancy, but it just seems impossible for one of the greatest hitters of my lifetime to not win the Most Valuable Player Award in the best season of his HOF career.
I see Chris Davis, Josh Donaldson, Dustin Pedroia, Evan Longoria, David Ortiz, Robinson Cano, Adrian Beltre and Manny Machado on most ballots, not to mention Koji Uehara and Max Scherzer.
Essentially, I feel the same way about the National League. There’s a legitimate argument to be made for Clayton Kershaw, one for Paul Goldschmidt, logic for Yadier Molina’s all-around game, and it’s hard not to admit the sentiment of Andrew McCutchen and the return of the Pittsburgh Pirates to October. But, in the end, McCutchen’s doubles and homers and steals and defense, WAR and OPS make him an easy winner, and we all beg the New York Baseball Writers to bring his mother to New York for her anthem before he receives the award.
With apologies to Joey Votto, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Carpenter, Carlos Gomez, Troy Tulowitzki…
The Cy Youngs are easy, Kershaw and Scherzer. By the way, when one pitches as Scherzer pitched, it’s OK to win.
Jose Fernandez over Yasiel Puig for rookie of the year, yes. An American League Rookie of the year when none qualified for the batting or ERA titles? Tyler Kepner gets the prize for creativity. He talked me into Cody Allen.
And, as is usually the case, I simply don’t believe in the Manager of the Year. No one is going to convince me that Clint Hurdle managed better than Don Mattingly; each had to deal with managing people and issues. No one is going to convince me there has to be a choice between John Farrell and Terry Francona, Bob Melvin and Buck Showalter. Every one of them had great years managing people and empowering coaches and synchronizing their organizations.
Last year, in arguing for Trout, I was called a sun-deprived nerd. This year, I’ll probably be called a sunflower seed spitter for my Cabrera lean. Hey, we all do it. Pedro Martinez was robbed.