Baseball Awards, 2018, Part 2

This is the second of 2 articles to discuss baseball’s annual awards.  The Cy Young winners and best managers will be done today.  The MVPs and Rookies of the year were done last time.

Cy Young, AL:  A few pitchers deserve mention: Charlie Morton had an even better 2018 than his year previous (15 – 3, 201 strikeouts and a 3.13 ERA); Luis Severino weathered the media capital’s pressure ( 19 wins and 220 Ks); Gerrit Cole liked pitching in the AL ( 200 IP, 276 Ks, with a 15 – 5 record); and Corey Kluber had a fine year, as usual (215 IP, 222 Ks, and 20 wins).  But I think the award will be a 2-man race: Blake Snell and Justin Verlander (what a surprise, I know).  Snell’s resume includes: 31 starts, 180.2 IP, 221 Ks, a 21 – 5 record, ERA 1.89, WHIP o.97, and WAR of 7.5.  Verlander’s stats include: 34 starts, 214 IP, 290 Ks with only 37 walks, a 16 – 9 record, ERA 2.52, WHIP 0.90, and WAR of 6.2.  To put the debate succinctly: I choose Snell’s margins in Wins, ERA, and WAR over Verlander’s edges in IP, Ks, and WHIP.  For me, it’s Blake Snell’s (see below) stats slightly over Verlander’s stats and name recognition.



Cy Young, NL:  With apologies to Miles Mikolas, Kyle Freeland, and Mike Foltynewicz who had fine years, the award is a 3 man competition.  Jacob deGrom, Aaron Nola, and Max Scherzer (yes, another “surprise”).  All 3 had well over 200 IP, 200+ Ks, and great WHIPs. Two had 17-18 wins, and the other pitched for the Mets.  Scherzer is third in ERA and WAR.  Nola had the best WAR.  deGrom had (by far) the finest ERA.  My choice For winner is Jacob deGrom  (see below).  For anyone gasping for air at thar choice, remember 2010 and Felix Hernandez. He pitched for the Seattle Mariners, who had a record of 61 – 101.  His record was: 13 – 12, with over 200 IP and Ks, plus a league leading 2.27 ERA and won the Cy Yound Award.  Maybe history will repeat itself –a pitcher with few wins, but an outstanding season can win the Cy Young award.



Manager of the Year, AL:  In his first year as a Manager, Alex Cora (see below) led the Boston Red Sox to their winningest  season ever (108 games).  The old franchise record was 105 wins in 1912 when Tris Speaker blasted 10 home runs and Smoky Joe Wood won more games (34) than Walter Johnson.  It was a LONG time ago.  Mookie Betts and J. D. Martinez had wonderful years. Plus, while Chris Sale was limited to 158 IP, Rick Porcello won 17 instead of losing 17 (2017) and David Price won 16, not 6 (2017).  Bean town was happy.



Manager of the Year, NL:  For Craig Counsell (see below), it was his fourth year as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers .  His wins have gone from 61 to 73, then 86, and, in 2018, 96 including a Playoff victory.  He was successful in spite of having only one pitcher with 10 or more wins.  He got fine seasons from Jesus Aquilar and newcomers, Lorenzo Cain and Chritian Yelich.




As baseball completes its season and Winter approaches, I’ll leave you with the words of Rogers Hornsby: “People ask me what I do in Winter when there’s no baseball.  I’ll tell you what I do.  I stare out the window and wait for Spring.”  Ouch.  And Merry Christmas to you, too, Mr. Hornsby.













About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****
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