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The most official postseason awards post you will ever read

With the regular season wrapped up and the playoffs just moments away from getting started, we (like every other blog that talks about baseball) figured that now would be a good time to hand out some fake awards. I’ll get it started with my ballot:

American League Most Valuable Player:
1. Mike Trout
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Robinson Cano
4. Joe Mauer
5. Adrian Beltre

You can make a damn good case that Cano deserves the 2 spot over Cabrera; that case is certainly easier to make than saying that Cabrera should be #1 over Trout. Whatever advantage Cabrera gains with his slightly higher offensive output over a couple dozen more games is more than wiped away by Trout’s accomplishments in the field and on the basepaths. Down the ballot, Joe Mauer had a ridiculously good year while also being a fine catcher, and Adrian Beltre will have a place in my heart for as long as my heart has places.

National League Most Valuable Player:
1. Buster Posey
2. Ryan Braun
3. Andrew McCutchen
4. Yadier Molina
5. Chase Headley

Braun’s raw numbers are a little more impressive than Posey’s, but Buster gets credit for playing in San Francisco and also catching three quarters of his team’s games. Cutch would probably get more attention if the Pirates hadn’t imploded as spectacularly as they did. Molina gets more of a boost than Posey because he caught more games and was a lot better at it than Buster.

American League Cy Young:
1. Justin Verlander
2. David Price
3. Felix Hernandez
4. Chris Sale
5. Jered Weaver

Verlander was almost as good this year as he was last, but he’s getting relatively little attention for it because a) he’s done it before, and b) he doesn’t have as many wins, so there isn’t the easy narrative that he singlehandedly carried the Tigers to the playoffs. Beyond that, you could arrange the other guys in any order and I wouldn’t have much of an argument with you.

National League Cy Young:
1. RA Dickey
2. Clayton Kershaw
3. Gio Gonzalez
4. Cole Hamels
5. Cliff Lee

I might get some flack for leaving Johnny Cueto off the ballot, but I just think it’s amazing that Cliff Lee pitched as well as he did this season and came away with six wins to show for it. Thank you, Baseball Gods (and hapless Phillies offense/bullpen), for giving us this wonderful tool to use against anyone who ever says that wins have any value whatsoever in measuring a pitcher’s talent or value. We truly are not worthy.

American League Rookie of the Year:
1. Mike Trout
2. Yoenis Cespedes
3. Yu Darvish

God damn this was a good year for rookies in the American League. Trout is Trout, obviously, but Cespedes proved all his doubters wrong by being a fantastic slugger and handling offspeed pitches just fine, and Darvish had an up-and-down year that ultimately provided more up than down and helped get Texas (barely) into the playoffs.

Since this is mostly a Red Sox blog, I will point out that a full season from Will Middlebrooks probably would have earned him my #3 vote, but as it is his 286 plate appearances can’t come close to matching what Cespedes or Darvish (or even lesser rookie campaigns like Matt Moore’s) provided over a full season.

National League Rookie of the Year:
1. Bryce Harper
2. Wade Miley
3. Todd Frazier

Harper struggled after his hot start and sort of fell off the radar when Trout emerged as the greatest rookie anything ever, but he bounced back incredibly (1.045 OPS in his last 179 PA!) and also provided really good defense in both center and right field.

American League Manager of the Year: Buck Showalter

You can make a really good case for Bob Melvin or Joe Girardi or a number of guys here, but to me Showalter is the obvious choice. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go vomit.

National League Manager of the Year: Davey Johnson

“Well, Davey, the good news is that you’ve got the best pitcher in baseball and the guy everybody’s calling the most talented prospect in at least a generation. The bad news is that you have to handle the pitcher with kid gloves for five months and then we’re ripping him away from you, and the prospect is gonna crater midseason while another kid emerges as the best player in the game, and you have to find a way to keep him from completely self-destructing. Oh, and did I mention that he’s 19?”

American League Comeback Player of the Year: Andy Pettitte

A lot of people are going to mention Adam Dunn here, but all he came back from was a really shitty season, and all he did this year was have an okay one. Andy Pettitte, meanwhile, came back from being retired and was the Yankees’ best starter for a third of the season.

National League Comeback Player of the Year: Ben Sheets

Poor Ben Sheets. Your shoulder was too precious and fragile for this world. (But not my MLB 12 The Show franchise; thanks for that.)

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