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My BBA Award ballot for 2012Posted Friday, October 12, 2012, at 11:23 AM
Each year as a member of the Baseball Bloggers Association, we vote for the annual end of the year awards.
I should first point out that these are not the "actual" awards issued by the Baseball Writer's Association of America (BBWAA). Our awards are released first in an effort to avoid any confusion between the two organizations.
Following, is my ballot, along with a brief explanation for each of my choices. Some you will agree with, some you will not.
Great care and an immense amount of numbers research has gone into this ballot in an effort to nominate who I believe to be the most deserving players and managers.
The results do not take into account any playoff results. They are only regarding the regular season and possibly the push to the playoffs.
As a Cardinals columnist and blogger, I am only allowed to vote for the National League Awards.
Connie Mack Award (Manager of the Year) - Results to be released Oct. 15
M. Matheny, STL
As a writer who covers the Cardinals, I struggled with this pick early on.
After some research, however, the choice became quite clear.
Matheny, a rookie manager, has dealt with an immense amount of injury in 2012 and still managed to guide his team to the playoffs. He is the first Cardinals manager since Eddie Dyer in 1946 to lead his team to the postseason (Dyer actually won a World Championship.)
Tony LaRussa was the last manager for the Cardinals to reach the postseason in his first year with the team, but was not a rookie.
In the end, less was expected to come from Matheny in his rookie year given the fact that he had never managed even at the high school level. That in itself is a huge accomplishment. He commands the respect of his team and has an immense knowledge of the game.
Runner-up: D. Johnson, WAS
Willie Mays Award (Rookie of the Year) - Results to be released on Oct. 16
B. Harper, WAS
In order to work through this category, I took a different look at the question. I took Bryce Harper, who was the obvious assumption, and tried to find a reason that someone else deserved the award.
His final numbers, combined with possibly more valuable defensive contributions, make him deserving of the honor.
There were several close calls in the category, but in the end, he was the NL rookie who had the greatest impact on his club.
Runners-up: W. Miley, ARI - T. Frazier, CIN - M. Carpenter, STL
Goose Gossage Award (Reliever of the Year) - Results to be released Oct. 17
C. Kimbrel, ATL
This is another difficult category. If the season had ended in August, Aroldis Chapman would have won the award.
As time went on and Chapman was benched temporarily, two other pitchers played crucial roles for their teams down the stretch.
In the end, Craig Kimbrel stepped to the forefront as the clear reliever of the year.
His 1.01 ERA, combined with 42 saves and 116 Ks, are worthy of the recognition.
Runner-up: A. Chapman, CIN
Walter Johnson Award (Cy Young Award) - Results to be released Oct. 18
R.A. Dickey, NYM
Little needs to be said for this one.
Dickey is the first knuckle-baller to win 20 games since the Niekro brothers both did it in 1979. He did so by throwing it consistently faster than most do and keeping it in the strike zone. He even managed to only post 54 walks which, for a knuckleballer, is all but unheard of.
Watching batter's faces as they walked away from the plate after their strikeout showed exactly why Dickey was deserving of the win.
Several other pitchers had seasons worthy of recognition, but Dickey still stood out among the crowd.
Runners-up: G. Gonzales, WAS - Johnny Cueto, CIN - K. Lohse, STL
Stan Musial Award (MVP) - Results to be released Oct. 19
Y. Molina, STL
Buster Posey has long been the favorite for this award because of his offensive contributions, but his defense, while good, is not MVP worthy.
Yadier Molina, arguably the best defensive catcher in the game, also had a hot bat in 2012.
His defense alongside his offensive contributions are only a portion of the reason he is the Most Valuable Player of 2012.
Molina brings more to the plate than many outside of St. Louis see. He virtually manages the pitching staff and does a great job of calming young, shaken pitchers.
In the end, I took both players and tried to figure out where their team would stand without them on the roster. With that said, the San Francisco Giants would still function, but the St. Louis Cardinals would be in trouble without Molina in the mix.
Runner-up: B. Posey, SF
Once the final results are released, I will post them here on my blog for all to see.
Thanks for reading,
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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.
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