BBA Awards Ballot: 2014’s Best in Baseball Voting, American League

American League Ballot

Connie Mack Award (Top Manager)

1. Buck Showalter

2. Joe Girardi

3. Mike Scioscia

Thanks to Buck Showalter’s steadying influence the Baltimore Orioles, for the first time since 1997, have won the AL East Division. This Orioles team suffered a handful of big time injuries which would have possibly left a lot of other teams floundering; however with the front office coming up aces on a few trades and claims, I see Showalter walking away with this award and the BBWWA award as well, later this winter.

Another dark horse in this category to be considered could be Yankee’s skipper Joe Girardi.  With what may be the worst over-all  line-up they’ve in a decade, Girardi managed to guide the Bronx Bombers to an 84-78 record. Finishing 12 games back in the Al East and several games out of a wild-card spot will hamper his candidacy, however it was a very respectable showing, all things considered.

Willie Mayes Award (Top Rookie)

1. Jose Abreu

2. Masahiro Tanaka

3. Marcus Stroman

There really is no other first year player in the either league that can measure up to what Chicago’s Jose Abreu did this year. The 27-year-old, Cuban, put up some monster numbers in his rookie season. Sporting a 317/383/581  slash line with 36HR and 107 RBI combined with AL leading OPS+ of 169 and .581 SLG, should make Abreu the run away winner.

Goose Gossage Award (Top Reliever)

1. Wade Davis

2. Dellin Betances

3. Sean Doolittle

Major League baseball was awash in dynamic young relievers in 2014. Many of whom are of the flame throwing type, which has proven to be a must have for any given teams bullpen.  Wade Davis emerged as a force within the stacked Royals bullpen sporting a 1.00 ERA and outstanding 1.19 FIP and a career high 13.6 K/9.

The other two candidates, Betances and Doolittle had excellent season in their own right. Betances finally put his monster talent together with his 6’8″ 260 lb frame for the Yankees to post incredible 1.40 ERA, 1.64 FIP and 13.5 K/9.

Walter Johnson Award (Top Pitcher)

1. Corey Kluber

2. Felix Hernandez

3. Chris Sale

4. David Price

5. John Lester

The race for the Cy Young award in the American League will be one of the closest in recent memory, in my honest opinion.  I do believe, however that Kluber’s season stands a little above everyone else in 2014.  When factoring in the respective ballparks and defenses of each team, what Kluber was able to accomplish with the Indians was just a little more impressive and should help his candidacy.  The BBWAA may see it differently, but there isn’t enough time or space on this page to go into what’s wrong with their collective thinking.

Stan Musial Award (Top Position Player)

1. Mike Trout

2. Jose Bautista

3. Michael Brantley

4. Victor Martinez

5. Jose Abreu

6. Josh Donaldson

7. Robinson Cano

8. Nelson Cruz

9. Alex Gordon

10. Adam Jones

Could 2014 finally be Mike Trout’s year to win the AL MVP? Despite leading the league in strikeouts, Trout put together the strongest season of anyone on my list.  Add in the fact that he’s not facing off against another ridiculous season by Miguel Cabrera and Trout should be a lock for the award.

 

 

Get the popcorn: more Biogenesis-connected players to be revealed.

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

T.J. Quinn of ESPN following up on all of the news about the DEA arresting Anthony Bosch and others connected with Biogenesis:

The fun part about this — other than the names themselves, which people pretty much consider the be-all, end-all of PED stories — is to see how MLB handles the suspensions. Last year, in what was clearly a p.r.-driven process, baseball gave what were essentially “until the end of the year” suspensions for everyone except Alex Rodriguez. I suppose if the names come out right now they could still do that.

But what if the names come out, say, in the first week of October? And the players are on playoff teams? What if they come out in mid-September? Will it last…

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Report: Andrew McCutchen has a broken rib, not an oblique strain

Every 5th Day:

What a shame. The game loses an MVP candidate due to Kirk Gibson’s misguided sense of justice.

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review just spoke to Andrew McCutchen who told him that he does not have an oblique strain. Rather, he has a broken rib. There is also some cartilage damage in the area.

It’s not at all clear if this changes his timetable. On the one hand, McCutchen tells Sawchik that he is not on the DL yet because he is hoping to see if he gets quick improvement. On the other hand, broken ribs often take as long as oblique strains to heal. Troy Tulowitzki missed about four weeks last year with a broken rib. Some guys are only out a short time. Others miss a ton of time. There’s a lot of variance. Mostly because there are a lot of ribs.

Updates when we get them.

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Blue Jays closer Janssen speaks out

Originally posted on North of the Border:

On the deadline…
“For us not to do anything, most of us had some ideas that we were going to
improve this club a little bit. It’s unfortunate we didn’t. At the same time, we just have to do what we have to do to win games and try to find ways to get into the playoffs. Yes, it was frustrating but we have to play tonight and (inaubible)…”

Beside the big names, are missing out on Martin Prado and guys like that even more frustrating?
“I just think from an overall perspective of all these teams getting better, we know it’s going to be a tough time for us. One that isn’t impossible but we’re going to have to do everything right. Obviously, we value our prospects, we value our players, I’m sure the other teams do as well. Maybe they just value the player or the opportunity to…

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Giants Sign Dan Uggla To a Minor League Contract

The San Francisco Giants have taken a flyer with a minor league deal on former Atlanta Braves slugging second baseman Dan Uggla.  The Giants who are currently battling the Dodgers for the NL West Division lead have been looking to fill the offensive hole at second base most of the season ever since incumbent Marco Scutaro ended up on the disabled list for an extended period.  Scutaro has been playing as of late but has not been close to 100% which was an obvious concern.

Uggla will be reporting the Giants’ AAA affiliate Fresno Grizzlies to start;  however there is an August 1st opt-out clause built in that allows Uggla to leave should his contract not be purchased, reports Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.  This deal is a low risk signing which can only have an upside for the big club.  Either the veteran produces and he helps the Giants or he doesn’t and leaves on his own accord.

The Braves released the Uggla on July 18th after he has lost his starting job to rookie Tommy La Stella.  Whether the suspension Uggla received for showing up late to the ballpark before the All-Star break had precipitated the release is unknown, however the sharp decline in his numbers more than likely played a larger factor.  Atlanta is still obligated to pay Uggla $18.2 million through next season and the Giants will owe him the prorated minimum salary.

Below are Uggla’s numbers since being brought over to the Braves. As you can see his 2013-14 performance has seen a sharp decline resulting in a combined WAR of -2.3.   His inability to make contact combined with the declining base-on-ball rate made it hard for the Braves to leave him in the lineup on an every day basis.

Year Age Tm PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ WAR
2011 31 ATL 672 600 88 140 22 1 36 82 62 156 .233 .311 .453 .764 107  1.8
2012 ★ 32 ATL 630 523 86 115 29 0 19 78 94 168 .220 .348 .384 .732 98 2.9
2013 33 ATL 537 448 60 80 10 3 22 55 77 171 .179 .309 .362 .671 84  -1.3
2014 34 ATL 145 130 13 21 3 0 2 10 10 40 .162 .241 .231 .472 33  -1.0
ATL (4 yrs) 1984 1701 247 356 64 4 79 225 243 535 .209 .317 .391 .708 93
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/21/2014.

The 2014 All Star Game “In Memoriam” MLB Should Have Done

Photo: Sports Illustrated
Photo: Sports Illustrated

 

As a result of the backlash received from fans across the country regarding the lack of tribute to the recently deceased Tony Gwynn during this years All-Star Game, MLB issued the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, an extraordinary individual whose memory we have honored in numerous ways in recent weeks. The Baseball family has sadly lost a number of people this year – including Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner, Frank Cashen, and former All-Stars Jerry Coleman, Jim Fregosi and Don Zimmer – and did not want to slight anyone by singling out one individual”

When one sits and thinks about this statement it becomes more and more laughable by the moment.  From our friends over at Sully Baseball here is the “in memoriam” video for those players/coaches who were lost over the past year that both MLB and Fox Sports failed to produce for this years All-Star game in Minnesota.  It is a simple well-crafted video that makes sure not to “single out one individual” which was the issue for MLB, apparently.

 

 

The fact that a local blogger could produce something so heart-warming with little to no assistance while Major League Baseball with all of  its resources failed to mention Gwynn and others, should be felt as a huge failure and embarrassment for the Commissioner’s Office.  After the backlash received over the past few days,  I am willing to bet we will see more of these types of tribute videos in the future, which would be great.  It’s just a shame it took an outcry from fans and media alike for MLB to clue in, however I suppose it shouldn’t be all that shocking.