Everybody knows I am a big baseball fan! They know I have my season tickets for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and I just love the game.
Now I will play the role of Peter Gammons, the guru of baseball at ESPN. Fans have opinions as well, even though they may not be considered experts like a Gammons, a Harold Reynolds or a Bobby Valentine from "Baseball Tonight."
I love baseball, and it's midseason. It is time to honor those who have performed in the first half. Here they are, the Dickie V midseason baseball awards:
AL MVP: Carlos Delgado, Toronto Blue Jays -- What a monster first half, leading the AL in home runs and RBI. Think about it ... 97 runs batted in. That is awesome with a capital A! Only two players have had more at the break in major league history -- Hank Greenberg and Juan Gonzalez.
|Carlos Delgado leads the majors with 97 RBI and leads the AL in homers (28) and runs scored (76).|
NL MVP: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals -- I know some people are talking triple crown for this young man, in just his third season in the majors. He is something special the way he swings the bat, hitting for average and power while also working on improving his defense.
AL CY YOUNG: Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays -- He has been so consistent in winning 13 games for the Blue Jays. This was not an easy call since Esteban Loaiza, Jamie Moyer and several others enjoyed solid showings in the first half.
NL CY YOUNG: John Smoltz, Atlanta Braves -- The Braves have been dominant and Smoltz has been virtually unbeatable out of the pen.
AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Hideki Matsui, New York Yankees -- I know some felt that he would have more power, but he has been an impressive all-around player. Joe Torre loves the smarts he shows, hitting to all fields, playing better than average defense. Rocco Baldelli of Devil Rays, a player I love to watch, will get better as he gets stronger in the future and is another candidate for the honor.
NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Dontrelle Willis, Florida Marlins -- What charisma, personality and great pitching ability. He came up earlier in the season and what a difference he has made for the Marlins. I am glad he was added to the NL All-Star team.
AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Tony Pena, Kansas City Royals -- Come on, how many people thought the Royals would be a contender in the AL Central, let along easily in first at the break? Pena has gotten the most out of his talent and Kansas City is one of the best stories in baseball.
NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Bobby Cox, Atlanta Braves -- I know there are some who would say Arizona Diamondbacks's Bob Brenly for staying close despite injuries to Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, and Dusty Baker's Chicago Cubs have stayed close. The bottom line is Bobby Cox has done a great job. Remember, Greg Maddux has struggled and there isn't a Tom Glavine or Kevin Millwood any more. Cox has adjusted and his players have responded yet again. This guy deserves more credit than he gets.