The other day I commented on Mike Trout and Bryce Harper winning the AL and NL Rookie of the Year Awards. Now I will comment on the Manager of the Year, Cy Young and MVP winners in the AL and NL.
AL Manager of the Year - Bob Melvin, Oakland A’s
It was either going to be Melvin or Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter. I agree with Melvin’s selection. Nobody saw the A’s coming. Nobody. Melvin won NL Manager of the Year in 2007 when he led the Arizona Diamondbacks to the NL West title.
NL Manager of the Year - Davey Johnson, Washington Nationals
The Nats were expected to contend but nobody expected them to have the best record in MLB. I think you could have made the case for Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals or Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants but Johnson proved to be the steady hand the Nats needed. Johnson will manage the Nats in 2013 and then will retire.
AL Cy Young Award - David Price, Tampa Bay Rays
Price led the AL in wins (20) and ERA (2.56) striking out 205 batters in 211 innings pitched. He beat out 2011 AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander and Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jered Weaver. A case could be made that Price should be a two time AL Cy Young winner. Price was runner up for the AL Cy Young in 2010 when he was controversially edged by Seattle Mariners’ southpaw Felix Hernandez who won with a mediocre 13-12 record (though he led the AL in innings pitched and ERA). There’s a good chance this won’t be the 27-year old Price’s last Cy Young.
NL Cy Young Award - R.A. Dickey, New York Mets
This makes me happy. When you consider that Dickey spent seven seasons in Triple-A in the Texas Rangers organization and didn’t establish himself as a major leaguer at the age 35, winning the NL Cy Young is nothing short of vindication.
Dickey became an overnight sensation at the age of 37 winning 20 games, posted a 2.73 ERA, leading the NL in games started (33), innings pitched (233 and two thirds), strikeouts (230), complete games (5) and shutouts (3). He is the first knuckleballer to win a Cy Young in either league.
One could have made an argument for Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals or Johnny Cueto of the Cincinnati Reds. But they will likely contend for Cy Youngs for years to come. The same cannot be said for Dickey. Given that Dickey was passed over to start the All-Star Game, the BBWAA recognized that Dickey’s time had come.
AL MVP - Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
Cabrera became the first MLB player to win the Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski did it with the Impossible Dream Boston Red Sox in 1967. The Tigers third baseman beat out Angels rookie sensation Mike Trout who was a favorite of the sabermetrics crowd. Cabrera was not a lock for the MVP. After all, Ted Williams won two Triple Crowns and did not win the AL MVP on either occasion. Sure, Cabrera doesn’t have Trout’s speed or defense but Cabrera’s offensive prowess is impossible to ignore.
NL MVP - Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
The Giants were rudderless in 2011 after Posey broke his leg in a home plate collision. Despite only being 25, Posey is the Giants undisputed leader. He has the authority of a man twenty years his senior. Posey won the NL batting title with a .336 average, hit a career high 24 homeruns and 103 RBI. In three big league seasons, Posey has two World Series rings. Somehow I suspect this won’t be his last MVP award.