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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 Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw

Mike Trout MVP

The BBWAA finally got it right in the American League, unanimously crowning Mike Trout as the Most Valuable Player in 2014. In addition to his BBWAA hardware, the slugging outfielder takes home his second virtual trophy from the blogging community in 2014; he was named Rookie of the Year in 2012. He may have won an award in 2013 as well, had the chairman of the BBBWARAOAAE remembered to send out the ballots. Trout is only the tenth player ever to be listed first on all BBWAA ballots for the MVP; Albert Pujols was the last unanimous winner in 2009 for the St. Louis Cardinals. He was one vote away from unanimity from the BBBWARAOAAE as well; one voter listed Chicago rookie Jose Abreu above Trout.

Clayton Kershaw MVP

In the National League, the debate whether a pitcher should win MVP raged on, but in the end both the BBWAA and the BBBWARAOAAE selected Clayton Kershaw as the Most Valuable Player. Hotly contested until the very end of the season, Giancarlo Stanton‘s injuries may have cost him the award. Of course, the early season front-runner was Troy Tulowitzki; no BBBWARAOAAE listed the shortstop on their ballot, but one kind BBWAA member recognized Tulo and listed him in last place.

AMERICAN LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

NAME FIRST PLACE

VOTES

BBBWARAOAAE

POINTS

BBWAA (place)
1. Mike Trout 18 94 420 (1)
2. Victor Martinez 36 229 (2)
3. Jose Abreu 1 24 145 (4)
4. Robinson Cano 16 124 (6)
5. Michael Brantley 13 185 (3)
6. Nelson Cruz 12 102 (7)
7. Josh Donaldson 11 96 (8)
8. Felix Hernandez 10 48 (10)
9. Miguel Cabrera 7 82 (9)
10. Jose Altuve 6 41 (13)
11t. Corey Kluber 4 45 (11)
11t. Jose Bautista 4 128 (5)
13t. Alex Gordon 2 44 (12)
13t. Adam Jones 2 34 (14)
15t. Steve Pearce 1 n/a
15t. Kyle Seager 1 1 (20)
15t. Adrian Beltre 1 22 (15)
x. Greg Holland n/a 13 (16)
x. Albert Pujols n/a 5 (17)
x. Howie Kendrick n/a 3 (18t)
x. James Shields n/a 3 (18t)

NATIONAL LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

NAME FIRST PLACE

VOTES

BBBWARAOAAE

POINTS

BBWAA (place)
1. Clayton Kershaw 12 77 355 (1)
2. Giancarlo Stanton 5 56 298 (2)
3. Andrew McCutchen 1 53 271 (3)
4. Jonathan Lucroy 13 167 (4)
5. Anthony Rendon 7 155 (5)
6t. Johnny Cueto 3 22 (12)
6t. Anthony Rizzo 3 37 (10)
6t. Buster Posey 3 152 (6)
9t. Yasiel Puig 2 8 (19t)
9t. Justin Morneau 2 2 (23t)
9t. Carlos Gomez 2 13 (16)
12t. Devin Mesoraco 1 5 (21)
12t. Ben Revere 1 n/a
x. Adrian Gonzalez n/a 57 (7)
x. Adam Wainwright n/a 53 (8)
x. Josh Harrison n/a 52 (9)
x. Hunter Pence n/a 34 (11)
x. Russell Martin n/a 21 (13)
x. Matt Holliday n/a 17 (14t)
x. Jhonny Peralta n/a 17 (14t)
x. Justin Upton n/a 10 (17)
x. Jayson Werth n/a 9 (18)
x. Denard Span n/a 8 (19t)
x. Lucas Duda n/a 3 (22)
x. Freddie Freeman n/a 2 (23t)
x. Dee Gordon n/a 1 (25t)
x. Troy Tulowitzki n/a 1 (25t)

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):

I see many MVP awards in this guy’s future

Trout MVP

Mike Trout is a beast.

Are the MVPs in the World Series?

Posey

Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and Buster Posey of the Giants are both in the conversation for their respective league’s Most Valuable Player awards, and they are playing against each other in the World Series. Surely it’s not a rare occurrence for the MVP winners to both appear in the World Series, is it?

Cabrera

Actually, yes. It hasn’t happened since 1988, when Kirk Gibson and his Los Angeles Dodgers faced off against Jose Canseco and the Oakland A’s.

The above “fun cards” originally appeared on the TWJ cards tumblr; new cards are being posted every day.

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!)

This must be voodoo.

That’s the only way to explain it. How else could an American League player, who has never played a single game for a National League team, win the National League Most Valuable Player award? It just doesn’t make sense.

Ryan Braun has played 729 games over five major league seasons, all for the Milwaukee Brewers. He never played for the Mets, or the Braves, or the Reds, or the Pirates, or the Dodgers, or the Giants, or the Astros, or any of the other National League teams. So how is he named the National League MVP?

Is this because of interleague play? The lines have been blurred so much that the awards are just given out to whoever the voters want to give it, regardless of what league they are actually in?

I looked at the history of the award, and no other player from the American League has ever been named the NL MVP. And, on the flipside, no player from the NL has ever been named the AL MVP. The same holds true for the Cy Young Award: every winner has been awarded the trophy for the league he actually played.

Even the last Milwaukee Brewer to be named the MVP, Robin Yount, was given the proper league’s trophy in 1989. He was the American League MVP (even if he didn’t really deserve to be).

I just don’t get it. And I blame Bud Selig.

My condolences to Matt Kemp. You, sir, were robbed.

Presenting your 2010 National League MVP

Yes, I’m busy packing…or finding excuses to avoid packing…but I had to take a little time out to pay tribute to the Reds’ Joey Votto, who was awarded the NL MVP in a big way…31 out of 32 first place votes! I started to get a little doubty on Sunday when the B-R blog asked who should win and the vote was closer than I thought it should have been, but I believe the BBWAA got it right by selecting Votto-matic over Albert Pujols.

Yes, Pujols had a great year, and he is a great player. One of the all-time greats if you ask me. But this year belonged to Cincinnati.

Congratulations Joey…and I hope you join Reds legends Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan as a two-time winner next year!

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.

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