Mike Trout vs Miguel Cabrera: The AL MVP?

mike-trout-miguel-cabreraAs the baseball season finally winds down, the last week and a half of the season should be quite exciting. There are teams battling for playoff spots and playoff positioning, and both MVP awards are still up in the air. The final 10 games or so will play a major part in deciding the 10 playoff teams and both MVPs, so despite the NFL being a lot more fun to watch, don’t forget about baseball. This is the time of the year it’s the best.

Anyway, the biggest debate seems to be about Mike Trout vs Miguel Cabrera for the AL MVP. First, I need to make a point. To me, how your team does over the course of the season should mean basically nothing in the MVP voting. Baseball is more of a team game than any sport there is. In basketball, a player like LeBron James could potentially turn the league’s worst team into a playoff team all by himself, or turn one of the league’s best teams into the league’s worst team simply by leaving. (Sorry Cleveland) Basketball is an individual sport at the NBA level; players work together at times but generally the best player on the team takes the majority of the shots, and therefore has the greatest outcome on the game. The only player in baseball that can possibly impact the game in that same way is a dominating starting pitcher; but even guys like Justin Verlander and King Felix only play, at best, about 20% of the team’s games.
If you were to place baseball’s best player in any given season onto the league’s worst team in the same season, not one of those teams would make the playoffs. Think about that for a moment: sports writers, the ones who vote for the MVP, have basically decided that the team you play for matters a great deal in post-season awards. That is ridiculous in a sport that relies so much on so many different teammates succeeding. Joe Mauer, Trevor Plouffe and Josh Willingham are all having great seasons this year. The Twins are one of the worst teams in baseball, because the team is full of junk in other places. Read more…

Top 10 mid-season MLB awards

As we get ready for the second half of the MLB season to begin, we want to present our Top Ten Furnace Awards (TTFA) for random accomplishments.

And the winners are:

 1. N.L. MVP- Andrew McCutchen-Pirates; .362-18 HR-60 RBI-58 Runs-14 SB. Joey Votto-Reds came in a close second; .348 14 HR 50 runs 48 RBI 8SB. Neither team wins without them.

2. A.L. MVP- Mike Trout- .341-12 HR-40 RBI-57 Runs-26 SB

3. Most improved player N.L.- R.A. Dickey; 12-1- 2.40 ERA- 0.93 WHIP-123 K’s- 26 BB.

4. Most improved player A.L.- Melky Cabrera-119 hits leads the majors!

5. Most intersting Team Stat- N.Y. Mets have a bonafide MVP and Cy Young award candidate in Wright and Dickey.

Read all of them here…

MLB 6 pack: American League mid-season award winners

Rookie of the Half-season Award: OF Mike Trout, Angels

Runner-Up: P Yu Darvish, Rangers

After a bad start to the 2012 season, the Angels have been revived and are playing up to their preseason expectations, thanks in large part to the energy boost from rookie sensation Mike Trout. Through Sunday, Trout is batting .339 (1st in A.L.), has hit 9 home runs, accumulated 33 RBI, has 80 hits, has scored 51 runs (t-8th), and has stolen 22 bases (1st). What makes these statistics even better? Trout started the 2012 season in Triple-A, as Trout wasn’t called up until the third week of the season. Trout has nearly everything wanted in a potential baseball star, and even scarier? He is only a ROOKIE.

Manager of the Half-season Award: Buck Showalter, Orioles

Showalter (above) has turned around the losing culture in Baltimore

Runner-Up: Robin Ventura, Chicago White Sox

In a loaded A.L. East division, who would have thought that the Baltimore Orioles would have been in half-season post-season contention? The A.L. East, loaded with teams such as the Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, and Blue Jays, the Orioles has no business being where they currently are. Through Sunday, the Orioles were in second place behind the Yankees. The Orioles aren’t scoring a lot of runs (11th in A.L.), but good pitching (4.03 team ERA) by career mediocre talent Jason Hammel and diamond-in-the-rough closer Jim Johnson has kept the Orioles in the hunt at the half-season mark. Showalter doesn’t have a whole lot to work with, but he is getting the job done in unappealing (yet winning) fashion.

Rolaids Relief Man Award: P Fernando Rodney, Rays

Runner-Up: P Jim Johnson, Orioles

Even though Orioles closer Jim Johnson has been one of the best stories in baseball this season, an argument could be made for the outstanding play of Rays’ closer Fernando Rodney. Through Sunday, Rodney has converted on 22 of 23 save opportunities (3rd in A.L.), has only given up four earned runs, 22 hits, and has struck out 35 batters while accumulating a 1.01 ERA. In comparison, Johnson has given up only 18 hits, but has allowed five earned runs, struck out 22 batters, and has accumulated a 1.30 ERA. Rodney has been the most underrated pitcher in baseball this season, as the Rays have struck gold once again with a veteran reliever-turned-closer.