Major League Baseball will be announcing its awards for the 2008 season, starting with the Rookies of the year in the American and National League. Here are heinnews.com’s predictions for the winners.
NL Rookie of the Year:
Geovany Soto – Catcher – Chicago Cubs
Come on, this is a no-brainer. Soto not only was an intregal part of the Cubs attack at the plate, but he also handled the surprisingly strong Cubs pitching staff like a crafty veteran. Cubs get at least one reward this season.
AL Rookie of the Year:
Evan Longoria – Third Baseman – Tampa Bay Rays
If if Tampa Bay did not make the playoffs or the World Series Longoria would have been the top contender for his award showing off his impressive bat and flashing some fine leather at the hot corner. But Longoria helped slug the great story Rays all the way to the World Series.
NL Cy Young:
Tim Lincecum – Pitcher – San Francisco Giants
Sorry, CC Sabathia and Brandon Webb fans. Both of them would be worthy candidates. But you really have to give this one to Lincecum, who was just dominating for a horrendous team out in San Francisco.
AL Cy Young:
Cliff Lee – Pitcher – Cleveland Indians
What can you say about this guy? Coming back from finishing 2007 in Triple-A and then being absolutely nasty all season, winning 22 games and losing just 3 (!!!) times. And that for another poor team in Cleveland. The Indians have a Cy Young winner for the second straight season after CC in 2007.
NL Manager of the Year:
Tony La Russa – St. Louis Cardinals
As much as this pains me to write this, La Russa was masterful in somehow finding enough parts to surround around Albert Pujols to contend in the National League into September. And remember, this was without Chris Carpenter for the whole season and Adam Wainwright for most of it. An amazing season out of Ryan Ludwick helped. But La Russa deserves this one.
AL Manager of the Year:
Joe Maddon – Tampa Bay Rays
I really, really, really want to give this one to Ron Gardenhire of the Minnesota Twins for losing Johan Santana and Torii Hunter and only getting half a season out of Francisco Liriano but still reaching a one-game playoff against the White Sox.
But… this was the magical season of the Rays, who surprised everyone that all their great talent could mature that fast. And Maddon found some great free agent pickups and made some under-rated trades (Garza AND Bartlett for Delmon Young). The fact that the New York Yankees did not make the playoffs made news around the world (yeah even in Germany, believe me, I saw it in the Munich paper). Maddon really has to win this award.
NL Most Valuable Player:
Albert Pujols – First Baseman – St. Louis Cardinals
I am a believer that the MVP can be on a team that does not make the playoffs. And while Chase Utley and Ryan Howard will get votes in helping the Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series, the Cardinals are not even close to contending without Pujols, who somehow again put up Pujols-type numbers even though no pitcher really had to pitch to him with the poor lineup surrounding him.
AL Most Valuable Player:
Dustin Pedroia – Second Baseman – Boston Red Sox
Some may question this one but the tiny (he’s not the 5-9 that he’s listed) was a monster for Boston this year, leading all of baseball in hits and doubles (yeah doubles!), second in baseball in runs and nearly beat our Joe Mauer for the AL batting title. Oh, by the way, the second baseman batted cleanup at times for the Red Sox, who got a subpar season from David Ortiz and lost Manny Ramirez with two months to play.
So, there you go. Let me know what you think