2013 Cy Young and MVP Talk

Congrats, Max. Scherzer earned 28 of the 30 first place votes. Even Fangraphs was on board with this. Don’t let this one slip by you – Anibal Sanchez finished 4th in the voting (and had 1 first place vote).


(saving this space for tomorrow)


In other news, Peralta met with the Mhets yesterday.

The Tigers are going to have to deal either Porcello or Scherzer (or Fister) this off-season, else we’ll all have to pledge to buy Hot N Ready’s until our belts explode. This means Smyly to the rotation, which is less exciting to me now than it was last year at this time.

Joe Nathan is getting a lot of pub as he looks be the early favorite for your 2014 closer. Curious to see how free agent Joaquin Benoit is feeling right now. I mean, he didn’t load the bases. He only gave up 1 of those earned runs.

Brayan Pena’s replacement is Ronny Paulino.

I’ll update this tomorrow.

Kept the MVP in the D

Miguel Cabrera is your 2012 AL MVP.

What was billed to be a neck and neck battle between Old School and New School turned out to be Cabrera in a laugher, as he took 22 of 28 first place votes, and handily beat Trout with 362 points to 281 points.

I sat in on the Cabrera conf call (thank you billfer for forwarding me the info) – a few highlights:

1) Albom asked about “old stats” vs. “new stats” and what Cabrera’s thoughts on them were; specifically what Cabrera thought about Trout dominating the new stats. Albom seemed to want to bait Cabrera into proclaiming a preference for traditional metrics. Cabrera responded that he grew up following those stats, and that it was very special for him to lead in the 3 major categories, but that he understands the importance of the new stats and thinks that there is a place for both of them. Keep an eye out for Albom’s column in the morning.

2) A reporter from Reuters asked Cabrera if winning the Triple Crown won him the MVP and pointed out that 4 less hits, or 2 less HRs, and Cabrera doesn’t win the Triple Crown. Cabrera basically said no Triple Crown – no MVP.

3) A reporter asked in Spanish whether Cabrera was nervous leading up to today. Cabrera said no, he thought that he was deserving, but thought that Trout had a tremendous season and expected Trout to win. I thought this was a great, candid response. I’m guessing that the major papers have translators on the line, but it will be interesting to see if anyone runs with this in the morning.

4) Cabrera was humble, respectful of everyone, and extremely appreciative of his teammates and fans.

Congrats, Cabrera.

Justin Verlander for (edit: IS) MVP

Vote is coming out today at 2pm, and MLB.tv will have live coverage beginning at 1:30pm eastern.

Rob Neyer would vote Jacob Ellsbury #1 and JV 5th.  (When did Neyer move to SBNation from ESPN.com?  When did SBNation become a legitimate sports news source?)

Buster Olney writes that JV will get the most first place votes in a year with several deserving candidates, but ultimately will lose because of not enough electoral votes.

The local guys (Detroit News, Freep) seem to think that the pitcher vs. batter philosophical debate will ultimately cost JV the award.

I remain hopeful…



JV won with 13 out of 28 first place votes, and 280 points overall.  Ellsbury had 242 points, and Batista was third with 231.  Granderson and Cabby rounded out the top 5.

Awards Talk

There’s gonna be more in the coming days, but JV was named the Players Choice Player of the Year for 2011.  Besides having the most confusing name, this award is the top award bestowed by an all player vote, and produced for the MLB Network during a slow content period.

It’s not the Cy Young or MVP, but it is setting a nice precedent.

In case you missed it, Alex Avila won his first ever Silver Slugger award, while Cabby got edged out by Adrian Gonzalez, despite the fact that Cabby had a higher slugging percentage, more runs, more doubles, more HR, higher BA, higher OPS, more walks, less strikeouts, etc.  Basically, Cabrera had an edge in every category that defines “slugger.”  Gonzalez did have 12 more RBIs, but it helps when you have Jacob Ellsbury and his 119 runs ahead of you.  Some guy posited that maybe the players and coaches (who vote on Silver Slugger awards) didn’t like Cabrera’s offseason activities.  This guy was so outraged that he used a curse word (a no-no on DTW) and some fancy sabermetric stats to show how ridiculous choosing Gonzales over Cabrera really was.

The Tigers came up empty in the gold glove department.

AL Cy Young will be announced Nov 18th, MVP on Nov 22nd.



Cabrera Wins Silver Slugger Award, and Hot Stove Talk (really Victor Martinez talk)

Miguel Cabrera won his third Silver Slugger award today, and joined Albert Pujols in the distinction of winning it at three positions (remember he predominantly played OF for the Marlins when he first came up).

But on to the more pressing issues at hand:

The Tigers are being routinely mentioned as the team most who will make the strongest bid for Victor Martinez (for four years, surmises Peter Gammon), but does Manny Ramirez make sense in Detroit?  Apparently Battlestar has the inside scoop on Martinez, telling Morosi that the Tigers’ Venezuelan faction could help.

I agree that Carl Crawford is the crown jewel of the hitters, but the rumors put him at $100MM over 5 years, and I don’t think that we can do that, and fill our C need.

Note that Casey Fien signed with the Astros today.  He had a career 8.36 ERA and 1.643 WHIP with the Tigers.

Cabrera, Verlander, Porcello win 2009 DIBS Honors

Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera and starting pitcher Justin Verlander were voted the Tigers’ top positional player and top pitcher of 2009, in a vote conducted by the Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes.

Cabrera and Verlander each received 20 first-place votes. Cabrera had a .942 on-base percentage plus slugging average (OPS), which was good for fifth in the American League. He had a .324 batting average, 34 home runs and 103 RBIs. All four categories led the Tigers. His Ultimate Zone Rating of 2.8 ranked second of all AL first basemen.

Continue reading Cabrera, Verlander, Porcello win 2009 DIBS Honors

Polanco gets some Gold Love

At least one Tiger is assured of some post season hardware. Placido Polanco won his second Gold Glove for excellence in the field of fielding. Polanco had a very fine defensive season and he was one of a handful of players (Mark Ellis, Dustin Pedroia, Aaron Hill) who were deserving at second base.

Polanco was the only Tiger to notch the honor. Gerald Laird was deserving at the catcher position and Brandon Inge could have made a case to be in the discussion at the hot corner. Joe Mauer and Evan Longoria took home the award though at their respective positions.

But back to Polanco’s candidacy. Rob Neyer wasn’t a fan of the choice grouping Polanco with Derek Jeter, Torii Hunter, and Adam Jones as the players that the voters “flat out blew it.” I’m not really sure how Polanco fits in that group. Polanco fared well on both conventional fielding metrics (only 2 errors) as well as the more advanced measures as Detroit Tiger Tales summarizes. Using most objective measures Polanco was a legitimate winner so I don’t know what Neyer is exactly looking for.

As an aside, props to Tigers MLB.com beat reporter Jason Beck who referenced Polanco’s UZR number in his story. It’s great to see the mainstream guys helping to go to the newer stats and it’s the only way that these will gain more traction.

Junk Balling – All Star break edition

A pile of links on the eve of the All Star break…

If you find yourself a little bored with the Tigers game today, you can always flip over to ESPN and catch Scott Sizemore, the lone Tigers representative in the All Star Future’s game. With Polanco on the last year of his contract and Sizemore hitting a combined 300/392/508 line between Erie and Toledo it’s reasonable that he may be the Tigers second baseman next year. But Keith Law doesn’t seem to be that high or low on him.

With Brandon Inge making the All Star team he will earn a $25,000 bonus. Really. Given Inge’s career can you imagine that as a negotiating point? Granderson will also get $25K. There’s no mention of what happens if Inge wins the home run derby but the consensus seems to be it doesn’t mess up your swing.

Galarraga carries the bag - screen grab from Sports Center

Before Armando Galarraga got knocked around on Saturday night, I was ready to explore a theory about the good luck charm that is the High School Musical backpack. It’s the backpack that the relievers carry out to the bullpen full of treats and snacks and such and it is the responsibility of the least tenured rookie. Well, Fu-Te Ni has had the bag and he’s pitched well, and then in the 16 inning game Armando Galarraga was the only man in the pen and had to carry it back, and followed it up with his best start. But Ni had a run charged to him last night and Galarraga had 4 so there goes that theory.

The interesting thing about Fu-Te Ni is that he seems to move around on the rubber when he faces righties as opposed to lefties. I’ve wondered why more pitchers wouldn’t do this.

Carlos Guillen is set to begin a rehab assignment. He could equate to a mid season trade if he can return and be productive. I’d hope the Tigers aren’t pinning al their hopes on Guillen, but it does make sense to take a look before giving up too much for a bat.

Rick Porcello won’t pitch in the Yankees series after the All Star game. Luke French, Justin Verlander, and Edwin Jackson will start in the Bronx. Porcello’s next start hasn’t been announced. But he is blogging now.

Vote Early, Vote Often, Vote Inge

A vote for Inge is a vote for...
A vote for Inge is a vote for...

The campaigning has been going on since April when teams started to promote their players for the All Star Game. On basic principle I try to wait until at least June before filling out a ballot. So much changes so quick early in the season and hot starts can be misleading. But, with 60 games in and the game only a month a way it is time.

The All Star game doesn’t really matter, and when the fans and players and managers make mistakes in the voting people are sure to either a)complain or b) further announce the game doesn’t mean anything. Others say they don’t want their team’s players going and that they’d rather see them rest. I don’t buy any of it. The game is supposed to be fun and I know I have more fun when my guys are playing.

The trouble with the Tigers this year is that it is hard to find a candidate to throw support behind. Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson are certainly deserving at this point, but fans don’t get to vote for pitchers. Miguel Cabrera started off strong, but his recent fade and the seasons of Mark Texeira, Kevin Youkilis, and Justin Morneau don’t even leave  him in the top 3. Curtis Granderson has been okay but not nearly good enough to warrant a big push. But fans do have one position player who they can throw their support behind without feeling too homerish. The man, the myth, the most polarizing force among Tigers fans, Brandon Inge.

Continue reading Vote Early, Vote Often, Vote Inge

2007 DIBS Awards Announced

A couple years back myself, Brian Borawski, and Ryan Sosin decided to try and unite the group of Tigers bloggers. We came up with an acronym and a logo and then we decided to vote on some year end awards. This is the 3rd year of DIBS awards. This year’s winners are Magglio Ordonez for player of the year, Justin Verlander as pitcher of the year, and Curtis Granderson as breakout player of the year. There’s more description in the press release below, but I’ll just say that I voted for all the winners.

Continue reading 2007 DIBS Awards Announced

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.