2007 Major League Awards
Batter Up September 30th, 2007
The baseball season is like no other in sports.
The season begins during the beauty of spring then moves on through a summer dotted with rain, thunder and stifling heat finally concluding during the cool breezes of autumn.
The story unfolds every day. One never knows how the games will play out, but one thing is for sure: each season will have its distinct set of heroes, names forever immortalized in baseball history.
The following are my favorites for the 2007 post-season awards.
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AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez carried the Yankees until his teammates awoke in June. A Rod hit more home runs in 2007 than any right-handed hitter in this franchise’s glorious past. Not withstanding the outstanding work by Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, without A Rod this year the Yankees would be not be in the playoffs. That’s an MVP.
Honorable mention: Detroit’s Magglio Ordonez, AL batting champion. Los Angeles’s Vladimir Guerrero, he single handedly won the West.
AL Cy Young: Boston’s Josh Beckett, the AL’s only 20 game winner. With Curt Schilling, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Tim Wakefield faltering along the way, Beckett was the bell-cow on the league’s best pitching staff.
Honorable mention: Cleveland’s CC Sabathia, lived up to his enormous potential in ‘07. New York’s Chein-Ming Wang won 19 games after missing the first three weeks of the year with a muscle pull.
AL Rookie of the Year: Boston’s second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Little man showed he could play big time baseball in tough town.
Honorable mention: Tampa Bay right fielder Delmon Young. The comparison to former troubled star Albert Belle is now more on the field than off. This kid can hit and throw.
AL Manager of the Year: Yankees Joe Torre, his best managing performance in ‘07. The Yankee skipper kept the clubhouse together during the team’s early season slump. He didn’t panic. The hitters took over once the weather warmed up. He deserves a Nobel Prize too.
Honorable mention: Cleveland’s Eric Wedge handled a revolving ‘pen with expertise. Los Angeles’s Mike Scioscia never veered from the running game despite his top player’s numerous injuries.
NL MVP: No matter which teams finally make the postseason, Colorado’s Matt Holliday and Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins are neck and neck as the two top players in the league. Rollins was exceptional down the stretch. The shortstop is the spiritual leader of the Phils.
Honorable mention: Colorado’s Holliday had a season was for the ages. Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard can strike out 200 times and still be a force. Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder, his 50 home runs says it all.
NL Cy Young: Padres Jake Peavy, when you must win a big game in the NL, he’s your starter.
Honorable mention: Cincy’s Aaron Harang is a strike out pitcher who gets the job done without much fanfare.
NL Rookie of the Year: Colorado’s shortstop Troy Tulowitzki plays a key position on the field. Tulowitzki is a leader, hits with power, and is a future MVP.
Honorable mention: Brewers Ryan Braun, quick power stroke. Houston’s Hunter Pence, energetic player unfortunately injuries cut short his season.
Manager of the Year: Phils Charlie Manuel. There isn’t a manager in the baseball that had a better season than Charlie.
Honorable mention: Tie between Arizona’s Bob Melvin and Colorado’s Clint Hurdle.
AL Playoffs: Yanks over the Indians. Bombers are a patient team. They won’t chase starter Fausto Carmona’s sinkers. The Red Sox will knock out the Angels. John Lackey has struggled against the Sox in ‘07.
NL Playoffs: Cubs have the hitting stars and the deepest starting pitching. It will be the Cubs and Padres in the NLCS.
WS: Cubs and Red Sox.
Now that will be something to see.