Handing out hardware

It’s award season and they are coming out fast and furious. Over at SB Nation they have been releasing the results of their blog ballots. Each baseball blog at SB Nation received 2 ballots, and with Bless You Boys being a solo operation, Ian was kind enough to let me vote his second ballot.

Today was the final day of announcements and it concluded with the MVP. Alex Rodrgiuez of course took home first place and he was a unanimous selection. Magglio Ordonez finished second, David Ortiz was third with Jorge Posada and Vladimir Guerrero rounding out the top 5.

Curtis Granderson had a solid showing finishing 7th and even Placido Polanco garnered a couple votes (neither vote came from the Tigers contingent).

My ballot is below:

1. Alex Rodriguez
2. Magglio Ordonez
3. David Ortiz – best hitter in the second half with a 1.153 OPS. Better offensive season than Maggs, but at DH
4. Curtis Granderson – very slight homer pick here, but defense and 26-27 on steals helped
5. Jorge Posada – great season and bonus points for doing it while catching
6. Vladimir Guerrero
7. Carlos Pena
8. Ichiro Suzuki
9. Victor Martinez
10. Grady Sizemore

I had no problem selecting the top 3, but the next 4 spots were a struggle for me. I actually had a half dozen iterations of Granderson/Posada/Guerrero/Pena. I elevated Granderson and Posada because of the defensive positions they play, and Granderson came out on top because of how well he played his position.

As for the other awards here they are, with my ballots as well:

If you click through, Ian has the full voting results.

Tigers Awards

Yesterday the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association named Ryan Raburn as the Tigers Rookie of the Year.  Today the Detroit Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America named Magglio Ordonez as the Tigers Player of the Year.

Other non-awards

Bugs and Cranks is turning the tables on the Silver Slugger Awards and Gold Glove Awards with the Sawdust Sluggers and Lead Glove Awards.  Brandon Inge was named the worst hitting 3rd baseman in the American League while Carlos Guillen was named the worst fielding shortstop.

Despite Guillen’s high error total and decreased range as the season wore on, I don’t think this is a clear cut honor (or dubious distinction).  Derek Jeter was the worst AL shortstop using +/- at -34 and David Pinto’s probabilistic model of range had Jeter missing 40 plays more than expected (Guillen was 19 plays below expected over less playing time).  Michael Young rates worse than Guillen on both measures as well. In UZR Guillen ranks 2nd worst ahead of Jeter and behind Young.

This isn’t a defense of Guillen’s shortstop prowess by any means.  He still deserves to be in the conversation, but I have to give the distinction to Jeter.

17 Comments

  1. David

    November 8, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    How can you even consider Matsuzaka? He really isn’t even a rookie in the true sense and also he even had two “rookies” on his team who were better than him.

    Oh and also I’m shocked Wedge wasn’t unanimous.

    He seemed to be like a shoe-in to me.

    Torre and Francona IMO shouldn’t even be in the discussion unless either team wins over 102 games. Both year in and year out are stacked.

  2. Kyle J

    November 8, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    But Jeter won a Gold Glove last year! And he’s the consummate Yankee! And he dived into the stands after a ball once!

    (For some reason, any discussion regarding Jeter’s fielding abilities evokes a hypersarcastic response from me.)

  3. Kyle J

    November 8, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Two more things:

    1) I hope Raburn gets a serious shot at the LF job next year–or at least the 4th OF position. He’s still fairly young. Has hit well at every level in his minor league career. And he’s clearly an asset in the field.

    2) I promise not to engage in the continuation of the Granderson debate that Bilfer’s ballot will no doubt cause. Spoke my piece here:

    http://www.detroittigersweblog.....ment-73435

  4. David

    November 9, 2007 at 12:11 am

    I agree Kyle (Raburn hasn’t looked good in the field at any position, maybe it is due to all the position switching, but I hope he gets the LF spot unless they bring someone good in)

    I’d also like to point out one more thing

    GO TIGERS!!!

    I sometimes forget (as some of you probably do) that we are all Tiger fans, not Yankee fans, not Red Sox fans, not White Sox fans, or Indians, Twins, Royals, Orioles, Rays (check out the new unis they are sharp), Jays, Rangers, As, Angels, Mariners and the NL,

    but TIGER fans.

    Heres hoping for some ’08 magic to reduplicate ’06.

    113 days till Spring Training 2008

    “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”.
    -Rogers Hornsby

  5. Mike R

    November 9, 2007 at 2:52 am

    Ryan Raburn was below average at every position he played. He should get Omar Infante’s spot (i’m still assuming he’s gone because he was sent down at the end of September and just doesn’t seem to be one Leyland likes).

  6. Kyle J

    November 9, 2007 at 10:00 am

    I remember Raburn making some spectacular throws from the outfield. He must have struggled in other areas–getting good breaks, etc.

  7. Kathy

    November 9, 2007 at 11:47 am

    Raburn subbed for Inge a few times and looked mighty comfortable. That is where I’d like to see him most.

  8. BobS.

    November 9, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    While certain to provoke tears in some quarters,Posada deserves to be ranked higher than Granderson.
    His offensive production was exceptional while playing a position of greater importance for a team that made the playoffs.

  9. billfer

    November 9, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    Bob- I don’t have a problem with that. I admitted having a hard time ranking those guys and fully admit to some homerism – but I can justify it as well.

    I’d just counter that Posada didn’t play the position particularly well while Granderson played a position of significant (granted lesser) importance in one of the biggest centerfields in the majors and he was excellent.

    But again, I can see it the other way as well.

    Dave – I can consider Matsuzaka a rookie because he is. He amassed over 200 innings and over 200 strike outs at the age of 26 while adjusting to a new culture and country. I won’t hold his posting fee and contract against him when I judge his performance. And I voted for one of his teammates number 1. Who was the other Red Sox rookie more deserving?

  10. BobS.

    November 10, 2007 at 2:24 am

    There’s no question that Granderson is better defensively at his position than Posada is at his (where he’s probably in the lower echelon).On the other hand,Posada is regarded as one of the better catchers at calling games and handling pitchers and has to be considered an important element in a mediocre staff winning 94 games and making the post-season.
    Not only that,but he had arguably a better offensive year (.338/.426/.543 vs .302/.361/.552) while playing 138 games at the most physically demanding position on the diamond in a season during which he turned 36.

  11. Mike R

    November 10, 2007 at 3:00 am

    The Yankees leading the majors with 968 runs scores is why they won 94 games.

  12. David

    November 10, 2007 at 3:39 am

    Even though I don’t think he will be that good… if you consider Dice-K a rookie the more deserving one besides Pedroia in 2007

    IMO would be Hideki Okajima

  13. BobS.

    November 10, 2007 at 3:44 am

    Exactly.A number they reached with a significant contribution from a catcher (you know,the one guy other than the pitcher who’s integral to the play with every pitch) with an OPS+ of 154.
    All other things being equal,which they very roughly are,more MVP consideration is due catchers than outfielders as well as members of playoff teams.

  14. Mike R

    November 11, 2007 at 12:08 am

    I know. I was just stating that you mentioned his skills in calling games on one of the more mediocre pitching staffs in the game last year as part of their success, which I find to be largely unfounded. They were successful because they slugged and walked their way to big run totals. It’s not like he’s Yadier Molina or something of that sort.

    And either way, we’re splitting hairs. I probably would vote Posada over Granderson as well, but who cares either way?

  15. BobS.

    November 11, 2007 at 1:26 am

    Yeah,perhaps I overstated the importance of his game handling skills and their effect on the Yankees winning all of the 94 games they did while attempting to point out that a catcher can do more than block wild pitches and slow down the other teams running game to contribute to a team’s success.Assigning Posada to the “lower echelon” of defensive catchers pretty much implies he’s not a threat to win a Gold Glove,but then again (and fortunately for the Yankees),he’s not Molina’s peer offensively,either.
    You must be new here to ask “who cares either way?”.It’s such ultimately unimportant (let’s face it,it’s about baseball,not war or floods or fire or famine)opinion and speculation about awards and trades and pennant races that drives this blog and it’s comment section.

  16. Mike R

    November 11, 2007 at 4:55 am

    Nah, not new here. Been here regularly the last year or so. I think every single MLB Award handed out is a joke as most of the time it’s wrong or extremely flawed. I didn’t mean “who cares” in the grand scheme of life, but more of a “who cares” what order Granderson/Posada finish in in the MVP voting on Billfer’s ballot because neither of them are winning or likely finishing in the top 3.

  17. BobS.

    November 11, 2007 at 11:05 am

    Fair enough.But,of course,your explanation begs the question why you would bother reading a post titled “Handing out hardware” and then subsequently comment over and over on a related thread?