As the 2011 season draws to a close, most playoff teams have staked claims on their postseason berth. Only the wildcard qualifications have yet to be determined and those will excitingly come down to the final games of the season. While I was opposed to the wildcard implementation in 1995, I now concede that it works. Wildcards promote exciting September baseball and affords the best non-division winner to overcome divisional deficiencies to still make the postseason. I do reserve the right to plead with the Commissioner and MLB to refrain from further expanding the wildcard and prevent fixing what isn’t broken.
Individual awards will not be officially announced until mid-November but they are predicated only upon regular season statistics. In March 2011 I made predictions on this very web portal regarding NL & AL Cy Young, MVP and Rookie of the Year. Six months and 160 games later we take a second look on the 2011 season that is about to close
We present now the leading candidates for National and American League Cy Young. Still to come will be Rookie of the Year candidates as well as Manager of the Year, GM of the Year and comeback player of the year.
|NL Cy Young||W||IP||ERA||K||WHIP|
|AL Cy Young||W||IP||ERA||K||WHIP|
NL-Clayton Kershaw, LAD is the en vogue pick because he has 21 wins for an abysmal Dodgers team. While I respect and admire that Kershaw and Arizona’s Ian Kennedy each have 21 victories… wins are not the only stat that matters. Cole Hamels WHIP (0.98) equals Kershaw. Roy Halladay has more IP. Cliff Lee has 7 SHO. Kershaw boasts more strikeouts (248) by 16, ties for best WHIP and leads all categories except total IP. Congratulations Clayton Kershaw.
AL-Justin Verlander, DET – Hands down leads every category and completely dominant both on the mound and according to the stats. This is a slam dunk, stone cold lead pipe lock if there ever was a certainty. Most dominant season since Sandy Koufax, Whitey Ford or Bob Gibson.
Voting will proceed through the final week of the regular season and postseason – though postseason stats and performance will not count for these regular season awards. More awards to come including MVP, Manager of the Year, Rookie of the Year!
MLB Wildcard Podcast Forum
Brenda Sepanek (Boston Red Sox), John Morgo (Atlanta Braves) and Matthew Hesse (Arizona Diamondbacks) join Adrian Fedkiw (Philadelphia Phillies) to discuss the AL & NL Wild Card.
About the Author
Written by Christopher Rowe
Contributing writer Comcast Sports, NY Times contributing stringer 1996-2000, Contributing writer Yahoo Sports (2001 World Series). Contributing writer Newsday Long Island (1992-1994, Jets Training Camp) and Newak Star Ledger. Freelance Copywriter, Editor/Founder Atlantic Times Weekly (1993-2003) fantasy football magazine, produced screenwriter and general humorist. Hofstra University grad, Marist College honorary alum, Salesian; Purveyor of the Value and Valor of Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL Championship; Adrent believer that Eagles could have won Super Bowl XV...and Super Bowl XXXIX...plus modern decade of Eagles 5 NFC Championships... Believer in the Broad Street Bullies and the 1983 Sixers... Witness to Philadelphia Phillies World Series championships 1980 & 2008, Suffered Phillies first pro sports team to reach 10,000 losses,witnessed "1980 Cardiac Kids," 1983 "Wheeze Kids," 1993 "Macho Row" and many, many, many not-so-memorable seasons in-between... until the Philadelphia Baseball Renaissance of 21st Century, Five NL East division titles 2007-2011, 3 NLCS appearances 2008-2010, 2 consecutive World Series berths 2008 & 2009. 2008 World Champions of baseball [miss ya Harry and Richie]; "collector" of MLB ballparks (42 stadiums including 15 which are gone); Fantasy Football & Baseball player since 1992. Always a sports fan... Tenui Nec Dimittam Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org