MLB Mid-Season Awards
by Robert Ferringo - 07/04/2008
We are at the statistical mid-point for just about every team in Major League Baseball. I thought it was time to hand out some hardware. Here are my MLB Mid-Season Awards:
Most Valuable Player Award
American League: Josh Hamilton
National League: Chase Utley
Comments: You would think that a team with three MVPs on it would have a case full of World Series trophies. Yet, if Utley can continue performing at his pre-All Star rate and lock up the MVP that would make three different top players from a team that hasn't advanced out of the first round of the playoffs in 15 years. Hamilton's MVP celebration might just be a big enough bash that it gets him back off the wagon.
Cy Young Award
American League: Francisco Rodriquez
National League: Tim Lincecum
Comments: I know, I know - a stunner going with Lince. But he has more Ks than Ed Volquez, a better ERA than Brandon Webb, and he plays on the worst team of the three. Right now he is 10-1 and may be the best young arm in the game. I'm going with K-Rod in the American League because he has been steady all year, is a huge reason the Angels are in first place, and he's been untouchable over the last month. In fact, since April 23 (28 appearances) he's given up just three runs and 12 hits while going 25-for-26 with save chances.
Rookie of the Year Award
American League: Evan Longoria
National League: Geovany Soto
Joe Lohan Manager of the Year Award
American League: Joe Maddon
National League: (tie) Tony LaRussa and Freddy Gonzalez
Comments: I'm kind of torn on Freddy Gonzalez. On the one hand, no one saw the Marlins in the thick of the N.L. East race in July. On the other hand, he really hasn't posted any managerial masterpieces this year. He just kind of hangs out and waits for Hanley Ramirez or Cody Ross to hit a come-from-behind homer in the eighth or ninth inning.
Jose Cuervo Hangover Team Award
American League: Cleveland
National League: Colorado
Comments: Last year the Indians were one win away from meeting the Rockies in the World Series and they were two of the most profitable bets in the business. This year they are both well below .500, are two of the three worst bets in the Majors, and have combined to lose dime bettors $42,000.
Christian Siriano Fashionably Late Team Award
American League: Detroit
National League: Milwaukee
Comments: Despite slow starts from both clubs, the Tigers and Brewers have been on a tear recently. The Brew Crew is 26-13 since May 20 and Detroit is 18-6 since June 7. Both teams have a lot of work to do in their division to make up for their slow start, but each club is hoping the momentum carries over through the All Star Break.
Keyser Soze Out of Nowhere Team Award
American League: Tampa Bay
National League: Florida
Comments: If anyone is still playing the Are These Guys For Real card they just haven't been paying attention. The Rays are a steamroller at Tropicana and the Marlins just keep finding ways to gut out victories. Both clubs will keep winning and both will keep earning all season long.
The OPEC Human Gas Can Award
American League: Justin Verlander
National League: (tie) Barry Zito, Brett Myers
Comments: This award is given to the starter that has cost his backers the most money this year. These three "aces" have a combined record of 14-38 in their starts and have cost dime bettors a whopping $31,000!
Dr. Detroit Off The Scrap Heap Arm
American League: (tie) Vincente Padilla, Troy Percival
National League: Ryan Dempster, Kyle Lohse
Comments: And then there are these three fine gents. Percival is the closer on the most profitable team in baseball, Padilla is the No. 3 profit pitcher of the first half of the year, and Lohse and Dempster are a combined 19-4 and may both be All Stars.
Briana Banks Biggest Bust (Free Agent)
American League: Torii Hunter
National League: Andruw Jones
Comments: Both the Dodgers and the Angels overpaid for centerfielders, yet both moves were hailed as the signings that would get their respective teams "over the top". Hasn't happened. Although both Cali clubs have stayed in the race, with the Angels cruising toward another division title.
Heidi Klum Most Underrated Free Agent Move
American League: (tie) Milton Bradley, Troy Percival
National League: Mike Cameron
M. Night Shyamalan Contract Year Flop
American League: Ichiro Suzuki
National League: (tie) Oliver Perez, Jeff Franceour
Briana Banks Biggest Bust (Trade)
American League: Dontrelle Willis
National League: Johan Santana
Comments: Willis is serving hot dogs in a Class-A stadium near you. Johan has been solid, but he hasn't been the Almighty Savior that everyone tabbed him for when the Mets emptied the farm system to get him.
NAFTA Most Underrated Trade Pick-Up
American League: (tie) Carlos Gomez, George Sherrill, Carlos Quentin
National League: (tie) Jair Jurrjens, Edison Volquez
"Cavemen" Award (Worst Comedy)
American League: Seattle
National League: New York Mets
Comments: These two clubs both just missed the playoffs last year and were expected to compete for the postseason again in 2008. Both have been a farce for most of the first half, including the ridiculous circumstances surrounding the firing of their managers.
Jacob From "Lost" Award (Most Annoying Subplot)
American League: Instant replay on home runs.
National League: Willie Randolph's firing.
Comments: One of these annoying subplots is dead…for the moment. Now we just need to work on the other two.
Barry Bonds "I Wasn't On Steroids, Honest" Award
American League: Travis Hafner
National League: Jason Schmidt
Gene Simmons Award (Pathetic HOF Hanger On)
American League: Frank Thomas
National League: (tie) Trevor Hoffman, Randy Johnson, Omar Vizquel
Comments: Thomas was bounced from Toronto mid-week. The Unit has dumped eight straight starts in his feeble quest for 300 wins. It's just embarrassing watching Trevor Hoffman enter to Hell's Bells, only to throw a 72-mph fastball, and Vizquel hasn't had a hit since 2004. Time to hang 'em up boys.
Halliburton Award (Player Stealing Money)
American League: Carl Pavano
National League: (tie) Mike Hampton, Jason Schmidt, Barry Zito
Comments: That is $334 million worth of arms right there. As Yakov Smirnoff would say, "What a country!"