Tuesday, September 30, 2008

El Tiante's 2008 Posteason Awards

AL Cy Young: Cliff Lee, Indians 22-3, 2.54, 223 innings, all for a team that was never competitive. A WH/IP of 1.11. Lee may not have been 1972 vintage Steve Carlton, but he was close enough, don’t you think? Honorable mention: Francisco Rodriguez.

AL MVP: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox It helped that Carlos Quentin got hurt, and Josh Hamilton faded. Still, Pedroia was the little engine that could: he led the league in hits, doubles, multi-hit games, finished second in batting average, and by the way, was a gold-glove caliber 2B. He was Mister Spark Plug. Joe Morgan won the MVP in 1975 with an eerily similar resume. What team did Morgan’s Reds beat that year to win the World Series? Wait, it’s on the tip of my tongue.

AL Rookie of the Year: Evan Longoria, Rays He’s already close to the best 3B in the game. As Pedroia was for Boston, Longoria was for the Rays. It shouldn’t be a shock that Pedroia won this award last year. I sense a trend. Honorable Mention: Alexei Ramirez, White Sox

AL Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon, Rays Are you kidding? Is there even another candidate? I don’t think there’s ever been an easier Manager of the Year choice. If anyone else gets a vote, I’ll be very disappointed.

NL Cy Young: Tim Lincecum, Giants His 265 strikeouts led the league. Both of them. Second in the majors in ERA. And like Lee’s Indians and Carlton’s Phillies, the Giants y sucked. Honorable Mention: Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks.

NL MVP: Ryan Howard, Phillies Everyone else is telling you it will be Mr. Pujols of the Cardinals, but these are my awards. Howard’s great advantage was that he was a more critical force on a winning team. His 48 HR and 146 RBI both led the majors, and this year you know those numbers definitely didn’t come out of a needle. He’s 100%, certified clean. Without Howard, the Phillies finish behind the Marlins, and Charlie Manuel gets fired. Without Pujols, the Cardinals still finish in 4th place, and, well, nothing else very interesting happens, because Tony LaRussa will never get fired.

NL Rookie of the Year: Geovany Soto, Cubs He catches for the Cubs, and he started the All Star game. Can you believe he started 131 games? I mean seriously, he started more games than Varitek, and fewer than Joe Mauer, but Soto’s a ROOKIE. His leadership took a good pitching staff, and made them terrific. That’s good enough for me.

NL Manager of the Year: Lou Piniella, Cubs
Full disclosure: Lou Piniella’s my favorite ex-Yankee not named Gehrig. He also happens to be one of the best managers in the game. He kept this Cubs team focused and playing like a team all year, and they’ve now won the NL Central two years running. No Cubs fan has the nerve to admit this, as it would tempt the baseball gods, but thanks in large part to their rookie catcher and their outstanding manager, the Cubs are the best team in the National League. I’ll say that again: The Chicago Cubs are the best team in the National League.


Two guys who didn’t play an inning this year, and you didn’t miss either one of them:
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. See? If you don’t lie to the investigators, you get to play with the big boys. If you lie, you stay home and watch on TV.

How the mighty have fallen:
The Colorado Rockies, 2007’s darlings, finished this year 14 games under .500, 10 games behind the NL West champion Dodgers.

It’s all relative: As stated above, the Dodgers won the west, but their 84-78 record would have landed them in 5th place in the AL East, 10 games behind the Yankees. Of course, they’re not in the AL East, Joe Torre IS in the postseason, and there’s nothing Hank Steinbrenner or his $208 million can do about it.

El Tiante’s World Series prediction: Angels over the Cubs in 6 exciting, excruciatingly emotional games. Sorry, Cubs fans. 100 years still isn’t enough.

1 comment:

Amy G said...

How about El Tiante's Tributes?