Monday, November 11, 2013
Hey, it's awards season!
By David Schoenfield
Awards season runs all week, with the rookies announced today, followed by managers on Tuesday, the Cy Young winners on Wednesday and MVPs on Thursday.
Of course, those are the BBWAA awards -- the Baseball Writers Association of America awards.
The BBWAA awards get all the attention simply because they are the ones that have been around since 1931 (MVP), 1947 (Rookie of the Year), 1956 (Cy Young) and 1983 (Manager). In the early years, The Sporting News Player of the Year was actually the more prestigious honor but the BBWAA winner eventually became the one everyone recognizes and writes angry Twitter posts about. The Sporting News still names a Player of the Year (Miguel Cabrera won for the second straight season) but nobody really pays attention. MLB hands out the Hank Aaron Award for the best hitter in each league but nobody argues about who got shafted (Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt won this year).
So we're basically stuck with the BBWAA awards. But we don't have to be. For instance, Howard Cole of the LA Weekly started the IBWAA in 2009 -- the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America. I've voted on the IBWAA awards the past two seasons and the IBWAA handed out its first honors last week to the best relief pitcher in each league. The voting results:
AL Rollie Fingers Award
1. Greg Holland, Royals
2. Koji Uehara, Red Sox
3. Joe Nathan, Rangers
NL Hoyt Wilhelm Award
1. Craig Kimbrel, Braves
2. Aroldis Chapman, Reds
3. Kenley Jansen, Dodgers
I had Uehara over Holland on my ballot but Holland did have a terrific season and spent the entire year as a closer, unlike Uehara. Kimbrel was an easy choice in the NL.
Anyway, I'll be posting the IBWAA results all week. I'm not sure we'll see much difference from the BBWAA winners this year since most of the awards are pretty cut-and-dried, but it will be interesting to see if some of the down-the-ballot results are different.
(If you're interested in joining the IBWAA, go to the IBWAA web site.