The Nationals and the Braves are meeting for the seventh time this season tonight. At this point in the season, the Braves have absolutely dominated the Nationals. Atlanta has won five of the six so far. However, that hasn’t seemed to define the Nationals’ season, as they sit in first place with a 1.5 game lead over Atlanta. Statistically, the Nationals have scored many more runs per game, have had better pitching, made more comebacks and have been just generally the better team. But as the Cardinals proved, some teams just have the Nationals’ number. So what can the Nationals do to win this series and take a definitive lead in the NL East?
It’s that time of year again – when teams without playoff hope go into despair, and put their attention on new managers and draft picks, and the contenders go into all-out win mode. Plus, the talk heats up about these small awards. So, without any further ado, my MLB award picks.
Mike Trout: 29 Homers. .321 BA. 47 stolen bases. 79 RBI. Quite a few wall catches. Have I said enough?
Bryce Harper: It’s not been a record batting average, but 21 homers, 95 runs and 58 RBIs(and counting) look pretty good for a teenager. This guy knows how to turn on a team’s excitement, energy, and play. Every game you watch him, he does something that you expect to be on SportsCenter’s top plays. If he’s 19 and doing this already – you have to give him the nod for Rookie of the Year.
This is tough. But unless Miguel Cabrera can get the triple crown, I have to give this guy the nod. Don’t get me wrong, there is tons of competition that is being overlooked because of a 21 year old who is one home run away from being a member of the 30/30 club. Robinson Cano has a .301 average, 30 homers and 83 ribbies. Josh Hamilton is the AL leader with 43 home runs and has 130 RBI. Adam Jones puts up a fight as well. But if you put together a for sure gold glover, member of the 30/30 club, a .321 BA, 47 stolen bases and 79 RBI, only one person is that well rounded and incredible, so you have to hand Mike Trout the AL MVP award.
NL MVP: Nobody noticed, and I’ll admit I didn’t notice them for a while either. But Ryan Braun, Buster Posey and Yadier Molina were all quietly having incredible seasons. However, the public’s loss of faith in Braun has brought the race down to these two. Which brings us to a question: Molina or Posey? So, with general play, attitude, team play and leadership, I had to go through the Moneyball approach. Who’s stats beat the others? They were both very close or the same in BA and Home runs. But the one category there was a real difference in – RBI. Posey is at 100, while Molina is 25 behind him at 75, and with every other category close, and adding on a NL West Division championship, I have to give the nod to Buster Posey as NL MVP.
AL Cy Young: David Price has been quietly dominant with his 2.56 ERA speaking for itself, as well as a 19-5 record. So give the nod to him – because in all honesty – there isn’t much competition – and while Verlander could get the award for the second time, he only has 16 wins, so you have to give the nod to price.
Manager of the year NL: You have to go with Davey Johnson. If you can bring a team from under .500 to the best record in baseball, especially in a division with the Braves and Phillies you have a vote in my book.
Manager of the year AL: Buck Showalter has basically done the same thing Davey Johnson has done, except without the Division Champs part, and only 45 minutes away, too! Just like Davey, he had to fight the competition in the division to do it too. In fact, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if there was a beltway battle for the world series.
NL Cy Young: This, by far is the hardest one for me. R.A Dickey’s E.R.A and knuckleball shine up in New York. Craig Kimbrel looks pretty good in Atlanta, and pretty unstoppable now that you mention it. Johnny Cueto, despite the no-hitter that wasn’t his looks pretty good at 19-9 with a 2.81 ERA. But none of them are both the ace and leading their team into the playoffs, which was the deciding factor for me in this. He stepped up big time when the limelight fell on him after number one was gone. He is the first, and so far the only pitcher with 21 wins, plus 207 strikeouts, and his 2.89 ERA seals the deal for me – so I give the nod to, you guessed it, Gio Gonzalez.
There are many other possibilities for all of these – and I’m not saying I should be right – but in my opinion, these guys deserve the awards.
This might be a short question. But it’s the one that has created the most conversation. Should the attention be on or off the field? Books and movies like moneyball might say yes. But when the score of the game is in your favor, this wasn’t the manager playing.
But even so, I might argue that the countless hours put in from the coaches to fine tune these players might be a key to success.
Right now, the Boston Red Sox are a sinking ship. At the bow of this ship is Bobby Valentine. The crew that once worked in harmony is rioting. But nothing can happen until an agreement can be made. Until then, the water will continue to fill the boat.
I don’t necessarily think that this can be blamed on anyone. This, honestly, is a thing where a team needs to be a team. The Red Sox are a prideful organization – with 7 world series to their name and (or were) the prime location for many free agents.
The mindseton the team may be hard to go through though. The team has shown large proportions of disrespect. They hadn’t really given Bobby a chance. And while things may look bleak, right now, there is no answer. Except for this; Win today, because yesterday is done.