Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Winners At Half-Way Point Of The Season

Batter Up July 1st, 2007
With the season reaching the half–way mark this weekend let’s look at the top performers for the first half.
AL MVP: The Tigers, Angels, and Red Sox are the league’s best teams. Detroit’s Magglio Ordonez has been hitting homers and driving in key runs all year. As Vladimir Guerrero goes, so go the Angels. When the Red Sox flip the batting order, managers always look to see who’s on base when number-three hitter David Ortiz is coming up. A Rod has done everything but sell programs for the Yankees. He’s a lock for 55 homers and 145 RBI’s. Unfortunately, his team has been awful the first half. My pick is Ordonez.

Click below for the rest of the awards.

AL Cy Young: A’s starter Dan Haren gives manager Bob Geren seven solid innings and three runs or less virtually every game. Not easy to do in the offensive minded AL. Boston’s Josh Beckett has rediscovered the stuff that made him one of the NL’s most feared starters. Cleveland’s CC Sabathia doesn’t walk many and is having his best big league season. The Tigers Justin Verlander is the most complete starter in the league. Minnesota’s Johan Santana didn’t hit his stride until June. This might change over the next three months, but based on his first half, I’ll take Haren.

AL Rookie of the Year: The Angels took charge of the AL West when lead-off hitter Reggie Willits joined the outfield in late April. Tampa’s outfielder Delmon Young’s has two hitting streaks of ten games or more. Baltimore’s starter Jeremy Guthrie has the second best ERA in the league. Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka is under incredible scrutiny every time he takes the mound. Even though Matsuzaka is the most polished of the group, I’ll take Willits.
AL Manager of the Year: Mike Hargrove was dead and buried as the Mariners struggled in April. Hargrove’s fortunes have changed dramatically with his team in the thick of both the division and wild card races. Eric Wedge has the Indians near the top even without a consistent ‘pen. That’s managing. The Angels Mike Scioscia has remained steady with his two-man ‘pen and aggressive offensive style. Oakland’s Bob Geren has not panicked despite his team losing its number three and four hitters, two starters from the rotation, and last year’s ‘pen. My pick is Hargrove who was everyone’s preseason choice to be the first manager fired in ’07.
NL MVP: New York’s shortstop Jose Reyes has remained a force while teammates Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, and David Wright disappeared for long stretches during the first half. Milwaukee first baseman Prince Fielder’s power is the main reason Milwaukee is leading the NL Central. Brewers’ shortstop JJ Hardy has fielded the ball extremely well while hitting with power. Padres’ first baseman Adrian Gonzalez seems to get a big hit every day. My pick is Reyes.
NL Cy Young: LA’s Brad Penny is lights out once again during the first half. San Diego’s Chris Young has been tougher to hit than teammate Jake Peavy and that’s saying something. I’ll take Penny who should be the NL’s starting pitcher in the all star game.
NL Rookie of the Year: Houston’s outfielder Hunter Pence can hit, run, and throw. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is already a leader on the Rockies. Cincy’s Josh Hamilton’s comeback from serious drug addiction is the story of the year. I’ll take the inspiring Hamilton who has shown he is a five-tool player.

NL manager of the Year: Somehow Charlie Manuel keeps the Phillies in the hunt without any pitching. Bud Black is a rookie skipper leading the division with San Diego. Ned Yost is keeping the doubters at bay in Milwaukee. I’ll take Yost in a close call.

— Martin Lurie
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