As the 2011 season draws to a close, most of the playoff teams have staked their claim on a postseason berth. Only the wildcard qualifications have yet to be determined and those will excitingly come down to the final games of the season. Exciting September baseball affords the best non-division winner to overcome divisional deficiencies and still make the postseason. Despite wildcard debates, I do reserve the right to plead with the Commissioner and MLB to refrain from further expanding the wildcard to prevent fixing what isn’t broken.
Individual awards will not be announced until mid-November but they are only predicated 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.
|Ryan Braun||0.333 (4)||33||110||107 (5)||333|
|Matt Kemp||0.324||37 (3)||120||112||342|
|Miguel Cabrera||.341 (1)||29||103||107 (5)||323|
|Adrian Gonzalez||0.338 (2)||27||117||107 (5)||342|
|Jacoby Ellsbury||0.322 (8)||31||103||117 (3)||356|
|Curtis Granderson||0.266||41 (2)||119||135 (1)||321|
|Jose Bautista||0.304||43 (1)||103||105 (8)||310|
|Robinson Cano||0.304||27||116||103 (10)||327|
My MVP picks:
NL-Ryan Braun, MIL – Some say Matt Kemp being close to a Triple Crown (HR, RBI, runs scored) should eclipse this race. I disagree. Braun is the most feared hitter in the National League and has forced opposing pitchers to walk him in favor of facing Prince Fielder! That makes as much sense as walking Ruth to get to Gehrig with the bases loaded. Braun leads the NL in BA (.333) but ranks fourth in HR (33), third in RBI (110), second in runs scored (107) and total bases (333).
AL-Miguel Cabrera, DET – As many different opinions exist here as players on the ballot. While this race features a different player leading nearly every statistical category, MVP is about the most effective, most feared, most productive overall player. Jose Bautista (43 HR) and Jacoby Ellsbury (356 TB) may not seem to be in the same league but they along with Curtis Granderson (119 RBI, 135 runs scored), Robinson Cano and Adrian Gonzalez can each throw their hat into the proverbial ring.
Any and all of these players coul be considered a viable candidate and Bautista is a tempting pick from a mediocre team. Cabrera is hitting .341 (leads AL) with 29 HR and 103 RBI but put any pitcher in the game on the mound to face Miguel to decide a game. Cabrera and his Detroit Tigers are headed into the playoffs meaning they have played more meaningful games. Cabrera is the right choice for AL MVP. Even his teammate Justin Verlander says he would vote for Cabrera.
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. You’ve seen Cy Young Award and MVP candidates.
Voting will proceed through November 15 – though postseason stats and performance will not count for these regular season awards.
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