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AJC informal poll shows Willis, Jones as post season award winners

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  • AJC informal poll shows Willis, Jones as post season award winners

    5 Questions: Willis Should Win NL Cy Young

    By Les Carpenter
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, September 30, 2005; 11:06 AM



    1. Who should win the Cy Young in the National League?

    What seemed like a great battle between two pitchers who kept getting better and better, has turned into a great battle at the end of the year -- for the wrong reasons. Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter and the Marlins' Dontrelle Willis seem to be trying to pitch themselves out of the Cy Young award.

    Carpenter has been blasted in three of his last four starts and has seen his ERA leap from 2.21 to 2.83 since Sept. 8. He has also allowed 36 hits and 25 runs in that time. But he will finish 21-5.

    Willis, on the other hand, was hammered by the Nationals on Tuesday but also finished 22-10 with a 2.59 ERA.

    In the end, the best choice is still Willis. His rotation fell around him, leaving him to have to carry the Marlins much of the way toward the postseason. Carpenter's sudden decline could be a mental fatigue left from pitching so well earlier in the year. But he has been surrounded by a good team and a good staff. Plus his bullpen has been far more dependable than Florida's.

    One stat to keep in mind: Willis had 12 wins after a Marlins loss this year.

    2. Will the Braves sweep MVP, Manager of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards?

    It could very easily happen. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution interviewed one voter in each of the National League's 16 cities to come to get an idea of which way the elections were heading. The poll had Atlanta's Andruw Jones beating the Cardinals' Albert Pujols, 11-5, for MVP. It had Bobby Cox getting all but one vote for Manager of the Year and the Braves Jeff Francoeur (whose average has dropped to .306) just edging past Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard for the rookie award.

    As an aside, the poll showed Willis was beating Carpenter, 11-4, for the Cy Young.
    Remember, this is very informal but seems to be tracking the way a lot of baseball writers seem to feel. They see Jones as having to do more to carry Atlanta rather than Pujols, who was blessed with a deeper team. Cox has had to endure countless injuries and Francoeur stunned people in baseball with his amazing start after being called up in the summer.

    The last team to sweep MVP, Manager of the Year and Rookie of the Year? St. Louis in 1985 when Willie McGee, Whitey Herzog and Vince Coleman took the awards.

    3. What happens to Jimmy Rollins' hitting streak if it goes on to next year?

    The Phillies shortstop is in an interesting place when he comes to RFK this weekend. His hitting streak is at 33 games -- the 16th longest hitting streak of all time. Florida's Luis Castillo hit in 35 straight in 2002.

    If Rollins can get a hit in each of the next three games, he will carry a 36-game hitting streak into next season. Should it continue and he breaks Joe DiMaggio's 56 consecutive game streak he will be credited with the longest hitting streak in history. But he will not hold the single-season mark. That will still belong to DiMaggio and his 56 game streak in 1941.

    4. What was the White Sox's best move this year?

    It was actually one they never made. Back around the trade deadline, the White Sox and Marlins tried to work out a deal in which Chicago could acquire pitcher A. J. Burnett for starter Jose Contreras. As it turned out, the trade couldn't happen and while Burnett struggled down the stretch, Contreras has gone 8-1 with a 2.03 era in the 10 starts since the trade deadline.

    "If there's anyone better right now, I'd like to see him," center fielder Aaron Rowand told the Chicago Tribune. "His stuff is as good or better than anyone in the game. The way he's been throwing, there's no doubt he'd be the Cy Young winner if he threw like that in the first half.'"

    5. Who will get Burnett this offseason?

    Burnett might be the most intriguing free agent this offseason. He has the best arm of any pitcher who will realistically be available and is in line to draw about $48 million over four years. Yet he has been a career .500 pitcher and never even had the great season like his former teammate Carl Pavano put up last season before taking George Steinbrenner's money.

    Add in Burnett's recent dismissal after he blasted the culture of the disappointing Marlins and he would seem to come with many warnings. But Burnett is considered a good teammate by the Florida players and there seems a strong belief inside that clubhouse that he will be a big winner someday. His problems with the Marlins go back to 2003, the year he blew out his elbow and needed reconstructive surgery. While he was disabled, the team fired manager Jeff Torborg and Burnett's favorite pitching coach Brad Arnsberg.

    He has longed for Arnsberg and has been careful not to commit himself to any situation -- like the Orioles, with whom he would not sign a contract extension this summer when Marlins found a sucker for Mike Lowell's $18 million salary. Since Arnsberg is in Toronto, there is a very good chance Burnett could wind up there provided the Blue Jays can afford him. Which might squelch the Nationals' dream of landing the one big starter they think they need to fill out their rotation.

    © 2005 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive
    June 9, 1973 - The day athletic perfection was defined.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-Kva...eature=related

  • #2
    I have no doubt about Manager of the Year, but the others? It will be VERY close.
    Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

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    • #3
      I don't care if you have 200 HR....you can't be an MVP if you can't hit your weight with RISP.

      Comment


      • #4
        Rick Hummel: Biased, clueless or prescient?

        We'll see.

        QUOTE
        Hummel: Pujols, Carpenter will win NL awards
        By Rick Hummel
        ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
        09/30/2005

        The last time a Cardinal won the Most Valuable Player Award was 20 years ago (Willie McGee). The last time a Cardinal won the Cy Young Award was 35 years ago (Bob Gibson). The last time a Cardinal won the Manager of the Year was 2002 (Tony La Russa).

        Chances range from good to excellent that a Cardinal will bag the first two awards, marking the first time St. Louis players will have done that since Gibson won both the MVP and Cy Young awards in his masterful 1968 season.

        Chances are fair that La Russa will win Manager of the Year, although speculation is that he will lose out for the second year in succession to Atlanta's Bobby Cox.

        And a St. Louisan (Ryan Howard) playing for the Philadelphia Phillies has a legitimate chance at Rookie of the Year.

        A projection of how the balloting should go for the four major awards in each league:


        National League


        MVP

        1 - Albert Pujols, Cardinals. He won't win any of the Triple Crown categories but he has ranked in the top three much of the season in batting average, runs, hits, runs batted in, home runs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.

        2 - Andruw Jones. Atlanta. Generally, an overwhelming league champion in home runs and RBI would have a clear path to the award, but Jones has hit under .270 overall and less than .220 with men in scoring position.


        Cy Young Award

        1 - Chris Carpenter, Cardinals. Carpenter has been No. 2 in earned run average most of the season and No. 1 in wins most of the time. Don't look at the wins. Look at the losses. Dontrelle Willis has twice as many at 10 to 5.

        2 - Dontrelle Willis, Florida. Willis blew his best shot when he allowed nine runs in four innings in his last start.


        Manager of the Year Award

        1 - Bobby Cox, Atlanta. Not only did he have to add more than a dozen rookies, but he had to rebuild a bullpen. .

        2 - Tony La Russa, Cardinals. Because of the Cardinals' injuries, he did more creative managing offensively than at any other time in his career.


        Rookie of the Year Award

        1 - Garrett Atkins, Colorado. He'll finish with 90 RBIs.

        2 (tie) Willy Taveras, Houston, Ryan Howard, Philadelphia and Jeff Francouer, Atlanta. Taveras, the early-season leader wilted a bit in the stretch but still will finish near the .290 level with more than 30 steals. Lafayette High product Howard stepped into the big shoes of injured Jim Thome and delivered some key home runs. Francoeur has hit well above .300 with power in his half a season.


        American League


        Most Valuable Player

        1 - Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees. He hasn't driven in as many runs as Boston's David Ortiz, but he has saved more in the field.

        2 - Ortiz, Boston. There is no mistaking that Ortiz is the true leader of this team both at bat and in the clubhouse.


        Cy Young Award

        1 - Mariano Rivera, Yankees. With the Yankees' rotation in tatters most of the season, Rivera was always there at the end.

        2 - Bartolo Colon, Los Angeles. He was the first 20-game winner in the league and may be the only one.


        Manager of the Year

        1 - Ozzie Guillen, Chicago White Sox. For much of the season, the White Sox had the best record in baseball - without having the best talent.

        2- Eric Wedge, Cleveland. His team cut a 15 1/2 game lead to 1 1/2.


        Rookie of the Year

        1 - Tadahito Iguchi, Chicago White Sox. Drove in nearly 70 runs as a second baseman and was a decent fielder.

        2 - Robinson Cano, Yankees. Once he was dropped in the order, he became a near .300 hitter with power.

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        • #5
          QUOTE(Reggie Cleveland @ Sep 30 2005, 03:54 PM) Quoted post

          I don't care if you have 200 HR....you can't be an MVP if you can't hit your weight with RISP.
          [/b][/quote]


          It's not a stats issue, it's a did you get your team to the playoffs issue.
          It's about value, and he was the or the second most valuable player in the NL this year.
          And he stepped up so much from previous seasons to do it.


          VALUE isn't about personal stats.
          Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

          Comment


          • #6
            QUOTE(madyaks @ Sep 30 2005, 09:02 PM) Quoted post

            QUOTE(Reggie Cleveland @ Sep 30 2005, 03:54 PM) Quoted post

            I don't care if you have 200 HR....you can't be an MVP if you can't hit your weight with RISP.
            [/b][/quote]


            It's not a stats issue, it's a did you get your team to the playoffs issue.
            It's about value, and he was the or the second most valuable player in the NL this year.
            And he stepped up so much from previous seasons to do it.


            VALUE isn't about personal stats.
            [/b][/quote]
            The better your stats, the more valuable you are to your team. And Pujols leads the Cardinals in about every single offensive category. That is value. Jones leads his team in what, 2 categories? That's not near as valuable in my book. Especially when you see how valuable Jones is with RISP. He might as well not even bring a bat up to the plate if there's a runner on second or third. He gets a hit 2 out of 10 times.

            So I say..............Eckstein for MVP!!!!! Sure, Jones has hit more balls over the wall but that's about it. He does have more RBIs, but any cleanup hitter should when compared to a leadoff hitter.

            Eckstein has more hits (180 to 153), more doubles (26 to 24), more triples (7 to 3), fewer strikeouts (44 to 110), more stolen bases (10 to 5), a better average (.292 to .267), a better OB% (.363 to .347) and do I have to mention their averages with RISP? I don't think so.

            Eckstein for MVP!!!!

            Well, after Pujols. He's a slam dunk.
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            • #7
              QUOTE(madyaks @ Sep 30 2005, 10:02 PM) Quoted post

              QUOTE(Reggie Cleveland @ Sep 30 2005, 03:54 PM) Quoted post

              I don't care if you have 200 HR....you can't be an MVP if you can't hit your weight with RISP.
              [/b][/quote]


              It's not a stats issue, it's a did you get your team to the playoffs issue.
              It's about value, and he was the or the second most valuable player in the NL this year.
              And he stepped up so much from previous seasons to do it.


              VALUE isn't about personal stats.
              [/b][/quote]

              That's the most vague, illogical argument I've ever heard.

              Value IS measured by personal stats. A better player is more valuable.
              "Need some wood?" -- George W. Bush, October 8, 2004

              "Historians will judge if this war is just, not your punk ass." -- Dave Glover, December 8, 2004

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              • #8
                Debating yaks re: baseball is like trying to talk to a brick wall about wallpaper.
                The noise was good, but I thought they phoned in a lot of the funk.

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                • #9
                  QUOTE(madyaks @ Sep 30 2005, 02:55 PM) Quoted post

                  I have no doubt about Manager of the Year, but the others? It will be VERY close.
                  [/b][/quote]

                  not trying to sound like a homer..........but i don't think bobby cox is as big of a no-doubter as you're thinking. i know i don't have to remind you who the cardinals had in their starting lineup this season with the extended losses of Rolen, Molina, Sanders, and Walker. other teams would have hit the panic button and would have made trades instead of starting career backups Mabry, Nunez, Taguchi, and other guys like Seabol, Mahoney, Luna, and Diaz.

                  no bright star rookies to rely on helping. we had to hope that these career benchwarmers could somehow put careers doing nothing behind them, and to turn it up a notch.
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