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The final nine

TWJ 2014

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the final nine 2014 TWJ baseball cards are in the books (the last two were uploaded this morning). The virtual set consists of 260 base cards, twenty-eight highlights, and an eighteen-card All-Star subset. The final nine were highlights, featuring each league’s Most Valuable Player (Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw), Cy Young (Corey Kluber and Kershaw), Manager of the Year (Matt Williams and Buck Showalter), and Rookie of the Year (Jacob deGrom and Jose Abreu) Award winners, and a special World Champions card for the San Francisco Giants featuring Series MVP Madison Bumgarner and his catcher Buster Posey.

I liked the 2014 TWJ set, and enjoyed producing these cards. I’m still tinkering with a design for 2015 and some possible subsets for the off-season. I hope you enjoyed it as well.

The full set (as well as previous years’ sets and subsets) can be viewed at TWJ cards on tumblr.

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The BBBWARAOAAE congratulates Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, and Felix Hernandez

Kershaw Cy Young winner

The unanimous winner of the National League Cy Young Award presented by the BBWAA was also the unanimous selection of the BBBWARAOAAE. Clayton Kershaw‘s lights-out performance on the mound made him the clear winner in the Senior Circuit. The BBWAA and BBBWARAOAAE results matched up the top six pitchers in the League: Kershaw, Johnny Cueto, Adam Wainwright, Madison Bumgarner, Jordan Zimmerman and Cole Hamels.

Felix Hernandez and Corey Kluber Cy Young winners

The American League was a much closer call, and too close to call for the BBBWARAOAAE, so BBWAA winner Corey Kluber shares the award with Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CY YOUNG AWARD

NAME FIRST PLACE

VOTES

BBBWARAOAAE

POINTS

BBWAA (place)
1. Clayton Kershaw 20 100 210 (1)
2. Johnny Cueto 61 112 (2)
3. Adam Wainwright 46 97 (3)
4. Madison Bumgarner 14 28 (4)
5. Jordan Zimmerman 10 25 (5)
6. Cole Hamels 7 17 (6)
7. Jake Arrieta 3 3 (9t)
8t. Tanner Roark 2 n/a
8t. Stephen Strasburg 2 3 (9t)
10t. Aroldis Chapman 1 n/a
10t. Doug Fister 1 5 (8)
10t. Zack Greinke 1 6 (7)
10t. Craig Kimbrel 1 3 (9t)
x. Henderson Alvarez n/a 1 (12)

AMERICAN LEAGUE CY YOUNG AWARD

NAME FIRST PLACE

VOTES

BBBWARAOAAE

POINTS

BBWAA (place)
1t. Felix Hernandez 10 74 159 (2)
1t. Corey Kluber 8 74 169 (1)
3. Chris Sale 40 78 (3)
4. Max Scherzer 18 32 (5)
5. Jon Lester 13 46 (4)
6. David Price 4 16 (6)
7t. Greg Holland 2 1 (9)
7t. Hisashi Iwakuma 2 n/a
9t. Dallas Keuchel 1 n/a
9t. Rick Porcello 1 n/a
x. Phil Hughes n/a 6 (7)
x. Wade Davis n/a 3 (8)

Don’t forget to vote…baseball style!

I’m not talking about the November elections…that’s way too far away to think about. I’m talking about baseball awards. Forget the BBWAA, you can be a member of the BBBWARAOAAE and vote for the MVP, Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year, and a couple of other awards! And it’s free!

BBBWARAOAAE

Click here for all the details and remember your ballots are due by Tuesday, September 30, at noon eastern!

Base Ball Blog Writers and Readers Association of America and Elsewhere

2014 BBBWARAOAAE

Or BBBWARAOAAE for kinda not really shorter and honestly harder to remember.

A couple of years ago, I decided to collect votes on who you thought should win the various baseball awards. Last year I forgot. Sorry.

This year, I’m back at it.

Every year, the BBWAA honors the top players, pitchers, and rookies, by voting for the Most Valuable Player, Cy Young Award, and Rookie of the Year Award winners. Why should they all have the fun?

Announcing the second-ever (but not annual) BBBWARAOAAE awards! All you have to do is e-mail me your top five picks in any or all of the below categories, and we’ll see whether the BBWAA agrees with the common fan! Rank your picks; there will be no ties on individual ballots. Votes must be received by Tuesday, September 30, at noon eastern time.

The categories are:

  • National League Most Valuable Player
  • American League Most Valuable Player
  • National League Cy Young Award
  • American League Cy Young Award
  • National League Rookie of the Year
  • American League Rookie of the Year

And two “just for fun” categories:

  • Most deserving player not in the Hall of Fame
  • Greatest shortstop ever

Vote for any category or all, up to five players in each. Remember, rank your picks in each category from 1-5, with 1 being the best. Sound like fun? Send your lists to jasontcarter at gmail dot com by next Tuesday, noon eastern time.

(Feel free to share this link or repost this information to your own blog…the more participation we get, the better!)

In 2012, the BBBWARAOAAE picked the following players (BBWAA winner in parenthesis if different):

Announcing the BBBWARAOAAE National League Cy Young Award…

The Senior Circuit also has a clear-cut winner for the Cy Young Award according to the BBBWARAOAAE, but the vote may turn out different when the professionals’ ballots are revealed. Kershaw is a favorite of the writers, but Dickey truly was the most dominant starter in the NL this year…

Dickey

National League Cy Young Award

NAME 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th TOTAL
RA Dickey 7 1 53
Gio Gonzalez 3 3 1 23
Clayton Kershaw 1 3 1 14
Craig Kimbrel 1 1 1 1 13
Johnny Cueto 2 1 2 12
Kris Medlen 1 2
Matt Cain 1 2
Cole Hamels 1 2
Aroldis Chapman 1 1
Kyle Lohse 1 1

Ballots are revealed at each voter’s discretion. Justin’s World, Lifetime Topps Project and Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff each posted their picks on their respective sites.

Announcing the BBBWARAOAAE American League Cy Young Award…

I expected this race to be much closer than it was. Price had more wins and a lower ERA, but Verlander led the league in strikeouts. Weaver, Sale, and Johnson all had great years as well. In the end, the strikeout was mightier than the win…

Verlander

American League Cy Young Award

NAME 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th TOTAL
Justin Verlander 5 1 39
David Price 1 5 27
Jered Weaver 4 1 14
Chris Sale 1 1 2 7
Jim Johnson 2 4
Fernando Rodney 1 3
Felix Hernandez 1 1 3
CC Sabathia 1 1
Matt Harrison 1 1

Ballots are revealed at each voter’s discretion. Justin’s World and Lifetime Topps Project each posted their picks on their respective sites.

Tomorrow we’ll reveal the National League Cy Young Award winner…

End of the season baseball awards: OUR picks!

DON’T FORGET THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT YOUR PICKS IS THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4 @ 11:59 P.M.

Every year, the BBWAA honors the top players, pitchers, and rookies, by voting for the Most Valuable Player, Cy Young Award, and Rookie of the Year Award winners. Why should they all have the fun?

BBBWARAOAAE

Announcing the first-ever BBBWARAOAAE awards! All you have to do is e-mail me your top five picks in any or all of the below categories, and we’ll see whether the BBWAA agrees with the common fan! Rank your picks; there will be no ties on individual ballots. Votes must be received by Thursday, October 4, at 11:59 p.m eastern time.

The categories are:

  • National League Most Valuable Player
  • American League Most Valuable Player
  • National League Cy Young Award
  • American League Cy Young Award
  • National League Rookie of the Year
  • American League Rookie of the Year
  • We’re going to add one additional category, just for fun: Most deserving player not in the Hall of Fame

Vote for any category or all, up to five players in each. Remember, rank your picks in each category from 1-5, with 1 being the best. Sound like fun? Send your lists to jasontcarter at gmail dot com by Thursday at 11:59 pm eastern time.

(Feel free to share this link or repost this information to your own blog…the more participation we get, the better!)

The best in baseball: week 2 (National League)

If the season ended today, who would get your votes for the annual awards in the National League? That’s the question Baseball Happenings is asking each week, rotating between the American and National League. Here are my picks after two weeks of play:

Justin UptonNational League MVP
1. Justin Upton – This was a tough call, still early in the season, but Upton gets the nod for the combination of 5 HRs and 11 RBI, along with a .400 average. As the season progresses, I’m sure this will get easier as some players will set themselves apart.
2. Pat Burrell – 3 of his 4 round-trippers and more than half of his RBI have come against Cincinnati (the Phils would love to play them all year).
3. Mark Reynolds – He has as many HRs and more RBI than his teammate Upton, but his average is 100 points lower.

Ben SheetsNational League Cy Young
1. Ben Sheets – Only 3 earned runs in 3 starts, a 2-0 record and 20 Ks. If Sheets keeps this up, there won’t be any competition for this award.
2. Johnny Cueto – He got hit harder on Sunday and took the loss, but his 24 strikeouts lead the league. He was nearly unhittable in his first 2 starts, but didn’t get the run support from the Reds and had to settle for a non-decision in one of those games.
3. Brandon Webb – Webb or Peavy…Webb or Peavy…Both are 3-0, both have about the same number of strikeouts, earned runs, hits allowed. It’s really a toss-up on this one, and Webb landed heads-up.

Johnny CuetoNational League Rookie of the Year
1. Johnny Cueto – The guy stole Homer Bailey’s thunder during spring training, and is stealing the hearts of Reds fans in Cincinnati.
2. Kosuke Fukudome – His 9th inning home run in the Cubs’ opener put him as the early front-runner, but he has slowed down a bit since then. He’s batting .333 with 9 walks, but has also struck out 7 times.
3. Geovany Soto – One of three NL rookies with 2 home runs, he also has 8 RBI, 3 doubles and a triple. Plus he’s a catcher and has thrown out 3 of 11 potential base stealers.

Records are made to be broken

Yeah, I know it’s supposed to be “rules” and not “records,” but I’m not Bill Clinton. I believe in rules. Records, on the other hand, I love to see broken–as long as it is done legitimately. Roger Maris is still the single-season home run king, and Hank Aaron still tops the all-time list in my mind. Will these and other timeless records ever be broken for real?

The Career Home Run Record. Assume Alex Rodriguez keeps up his current pace of 44 home runs per season. Heck, let’s round it down to 40 just for fun. How long would it take him to surpass Aaron’s 755? About six seasons, that’s how long. He’s been around for fourteen years, but he started out pretty young (18!), so six more years isn’t out of the question. That would put him at 37 years young; Hank was 40 when he toppled Ruth’s 714. If you are among those who thinks Bonds’ mark should stick, then A-Rod would need to stick around just another year to pass him (assuming Bonds is done). What about the all-time professional mark of 868? You know, the one held by Sadaharu Oh of Japan. If A-Rod wants that record, he’ll have to stay healthy and consistent with 40+ homers for another 8.75 years.

The Career Hits Record. Pete Rose stands head and shoulders above everyone else in the field at 4256. No one else even comes close. But 33-year old Derek Jeter can try. Currently at 2356, Jeter would need an average of 200 hits over the next 9.5 years to pass Rose. Ichiro, who is just a tad older than Jeter, could pass Rose in just over 11.5 years if he continues his average of 230+ hits per season.

The Career RBI Record. Hank tops this list right now with 2297 knocked in, but A-Rod is again within striking distance considering his age. If he averages 125 RBI (just under his average) over the next 6.4 seasons, he’ll pass Aaron. Manny Ramirez could get there a little quicker though, if he keeps up his 130+ RBI average. It would take the Man Ram just over 5.3 years to pass the Hammer.

The Career Stolen Base Record. Rickey Henderson doesn’t have anything to worry about. Juan Pierre is the closest thing to a challenger, and he’s over 1000 behind Rickey. At an average of 50 steals per season, Juan would have to play until he turns 50 to catch Rickey.

In addition to the stolen bases record, there are a number of pitching records which will not be challenged for a long time, including strikeouts (Nolan Ryan has over 5700) and wins (Cy Young has over 500). Maybe someday there will be a real Sidd Finch to shatter all those records, but I doubt it happens in my lifetime.

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