MVP, Cy Young, ROY, Etc, Awards

Who do you think will / should win the NL MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and every other individual achievement award?

(Since the American League doesn’t play baseball, but some distorted version of it using substitute hitters and other such anomalies, we won’t discuss their individual achievements here.)

Comeback Player of the Year: Brad Lidge

Lidge already won the award, and deservedly so. I saw Ryan Ludwick garner significant votes, but I’m not sure what he was coming back from — he was NEVER any good, was he? Maybe there should be an award for “Late Bloomer of the Year”.
Mets CPOTY: Fernando Tatis

NL Rookie of the Year: Geovany Soto

Jair Jurrjens is up there too, as is Jay Bruce, but Soto put up the best numbers for a rookie catcher in a long time. Edinson Volquez would be tied with Soto, but he pitched just enough in the junior circuit to remove his rookie status.
Mets ROY: Daniel Murphy. Tough luck for Danny Boy, as he exceeded rookie status by one at-bat — so no chance to vie for this award in 2009.

Manager of the Year: Lou Piniella

This was a really tough one, as it was a neck-and-neck decision between Piniella and Charlie Manuel — and I had to give Dale Sveum consideration as well. Laugh all you want, but Sveum found a way to manage a team that appeared to be dead and buried, and was 2 1/2 games out of the wild card with six games to play, into the postseason.

I chose Piniella over Manuel because he managed around several key injuries during the season and still led the Cubs to the best record in the NL. At various points, the Cubs lost Alfonso Soriano, closer Kerry Wood, and ace Carlos Zambrano for significant periods. Further, Piniella inserted Wood into the closer role, and moved previous closer Ryan Dempster to the rotation — two moves that made a huge impact on the team’s success. Piniella also gets props for his ability to mix and match his middle infielders and center fielders for maximum performance. Finally, Piniella did an excellent job of bullpen management, an area where Charlie Manuel also did very well.
Mets MOY: Jerry Manuel (runner up: Willie Randolph)

NL Cy Young Award: Brandon Webb

The National League has not seen a 20-game winner since 2005, and that benchmark gets more and more difficult to reach as today’s game continues to degenerate by relying heavily on bullpens. The award is named for Cy Young because he won more games than anyone else in history — not because he was necessarily the best all-around or most-skilled pitcher. In the spirit of that, Webb gets the award by a landslide.
Mets CY: Johan Santana

NL MVP: Manny Ramirez

Scream all you want about Manny only playing half a season (actually, less than that). Bottom line is this: without Manny, the Dodgers don’t come close to the playoffs, much less win the NL West. There are strong arguments for Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, and C.C. Sabathia, and if you said I can’t pick Manny because he played in only 53 games, then I’d go with Howard. If the Mets made the playoffs, Carlos Delgado and David Wright would easily be in this conversation.
Mets MVP: tie, Carlos Delgado and David Wright

Post your choices below.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. upson October 5, 2008 at 12:42 am
    having just finished watching the Dodgers-Cubs game (yes, there actually still is some baseball on TV), I am not quite sure about Piniella’s MOY… Call me crazy, but I was in disbelief when I saw Harden not being pinch-hit with runners in corners in the top of the 4th. With Cubs strong bullpen and so many everyday starters there available, I thought they should have gone for it.
  2. joe October 5, 2008 at 1:20 am
    well … I based it on the regular season performance, not the postseason. If Lou had Manny he’d look a lot smarter! LOL!
  3. isuzudude October 6, 2008 at 10:23 am
    I agree with Piniella and Soto.
    As much as it pains me, I gotta go with Ryan Howard as MVP. There’s no doubting how valuable Manny is to the Dodgers, but LA still finished with a worse record than the Phillies, and were only 30-24 after obtaining Manny, while the Phillies were 33-21 over that same span. Howard’s 2nd half was monsterous, and his September was out of this world. He certainly struck out his fair share and his .251 average is not impressive at all, but he did lead the majors in homers and RBI by wide margins. Did playing at Citizens Bank Park help those matters? Probably…but his offensive numbers down the stretch are so gaudy and clutch he appears to me to be the most ‘valuable’ player to his team. With Utley and Rollins having down seasons and Burrell an awful 2nd half, Howard carried the Phillies into the postseason. He wins in my book.

    Also, I’m going with Johan as Cy Young. Wins are nice, but they are by no means an indication of the best pitcher in the league. All it tells you is that Webb got better run support and better bullpen support than Johan. Because all of the key pitching stats (ERA, WHIP, IP, strikeouts, opponents batting average) Johan had the better numbers. So I’m not awarding Webb with the Cy Young simply because his team did a better job of winning when he was on the mound. If you put Johan in place of Webb during his starts with the D’backs this year, Johan probably wins 30 games. I’m much more about the stats that put a pitcher in position to win a game than the win total itself. Good for Webb for winning 22 games, but that doesn’t tell me he’s the best pitcher in the NL.

    And I would have given the comeback award to Jorge Cantu. Lidge is deserving, but his phenominal 2008 season was preceeded by a pretty good 2007. So what did he really “come back” from? He went from good to great. Cantu went from getting released by Tampa last year and hitting just 1 HR to 29 homers in 628 AB with Florida this year.

  4. joe October 6, 2008 at 1:55 pm
    Dude, good points on Howard and Cantu.

    As for your Cy Young choice, if you’re going to talk about teams who didn’t fully support their ace, what about Edinson Volquez? His numbers are strikingly similar to Johan’s, and his team was just as inept when it came to providing run support and competent relief.

  5. isuzudude October 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm
    Johan was 16-7 with 3 CG, 2 SO, 234.1 IP, 206 K, 2.53 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, .232 opp avg.
    Volquez was 17-6 with 0 CG, 0 SO, 196 IP, 206 K, 3.21 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, .232 opp avg.

    Those numbers tell me that the only stat Volquez was better than Johan in was K per IP. Johan had close to a point better ERA, a pretty significant WHIP edge, and pitched deeper into games as evidenced by the innings pitched difference. So my vote would still go to Johan.

    In order, my voting would have gone 1) Johan, 2) Lincecum, 3) Webb, 4) Lidge, 5) Sabathia. Just one man’s opinion, I suppose.

  6. joe October 6, 2008 at 2:28 pm
    Oh forgot about Lincecum …. and you like Johan over Lincecum because of Lincecum’s slightly higher WHIP, slightly higher ERA, one less shutout, and 7 less innings pitched?
  7. isuzudude October 6, 2008 at 3:12 pm
    The gap between Johan and Lincecum is extremely narrow, that I’ll oblige. I’d cast my vote for Johan on the premise that Johan pitched better down the stretch in a playoff race coming up big in high-pressure situations, whereas Lincecum was pitching with nothing on the line aside from pride. To me, there’s more value in putting up great numbers when the stakes are higher.