I have a great passion for baseball, but I'm not an expert. If I want expert analysis, I go to Peter Gammons, Harold Reynolds, Karl Ravech or Joe Morgan, who do a fantastic job breaking down the game on "Baseball Tonight" and "Sunday Night Baseball."
I'm just a fan having fun going to the ballpark. I'll go to better than 45 games this year. So, from a fan's perspective, I want to share with you Dickie V's midseason awards:
|Ichiro is MVP and Rookie of the Year.|
AL MVP -- Ichiro Suzuki. With his speed, quickness and bat control, he has been a big-time spark for Seattle. Honorable mention: Manny Ramirez has had unbelievable stats and has been a big reason the Red Sox have been on top all season. And Juan Gonzalez has come back big-time with the Indians after a down year in Detroit.
NL MVP -- Barry Bonds. He has belted 39 home runs, knocked in a lot of runs and has an incredible on-base percentage, keeping the Giants in contention. Honorable mention: Todd Helton has better than 80 RBI, and Luis Gonzalez is having a phenomenal year with 32 home runs while hitting better than .350 for the Diamondbacks.
AL Manager of the Year -- Lou Piniella. He loses Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson, but he's having a great year, dominating the AL West. Honorable mention: Tom Kelly deserves mention with a payroll of about $24 million. His Twins have been superb all season long.
NL Manager of the Year -- Don Baylor. Cubs win! Cubs win! Cubs win! Honorable mention: Bob Brenly deserves some votes. He came out of the broadcasting booth and has the Diamondbacks in first place.
AL Cy Young -- Roger Clemens. Every time he goes on the field, the Yankees have a great shot to win.
NL Cy Young -- Curt Schilling. He has been sensational for the Diamondbacks, leading the league in wins (12).
NL Rookie -- The Cardinals' Albert Pujols has been phenomenal, driving in runs, slugging home runs and hitting for average. Honorable mention: Ben Sheets is really getting the job done on the mound for the Brewers.
AL Rookie -- Ichiro. He is a lock. Honorable mention: Alfonso Soriano has been starting with the Yankees, playing a new position and performing well in a pressure-cooker like New York.