The last BBA Award for 2010 is for the player who was most valuable to his team during the 2010 season, and there is no clear front runner. Here are my picks:
1st Place: Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers.
Josh Hamilton is the heart and soul of the Texas Rangers. He lead the league in 3 offensive categories (.359 BA, .633 Slug%, and 1.044 OPS) he hit 32 home runs, had 186 hits, and scored 95 runs. Defensively, he had an overall fielding percentage of .985 (1.000 in 40 games at CF). And he did all this while appearing in only119 games. It is clear to most that he is a large part of why the Texas Rangers are playing in the World Series.
2nd Place: Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. On a team that finished in the middle of the pack in the Central Division, Cabrera was the standout. He led the league in 3 offensive categories (126 RBI’s, .420 OBP, and 179 OPS+) and he was only .002 behind Hamilton in OPS. He batted.328 in 150 games. He hit 38 homers, 180 hits including 45 doubles, and walked 89 times. On a team that was going nowhere, he was the shining light.
3rd Place: Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees. In contrast to Cabrera, Cano was a star among stars. But Cano was the most consistent all-around player on the Yankees, especially when some of the other luminaries on the team were having a lackluster time. He played in all but 1 game this season, batted .319, had 200 hits, 109 RBI’s, 29 homers, and scoured 103 runs. In the field, he committed only 3 errors in 158 games for a fielding % of .996. He’s the consumate 5-tool player.
4th Place: Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins. He would have been higher, but he only played in 81 games. .345 BA, 1.055 OPS, 102 hits, 18 HR, .999 Fielding %.
5th Place: Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox. .312 BA, .997 OPS, 171 hits, 39 HR, .994 Fielding %.
6th Place: Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays. .294 BA, .879 OPS, 22 HR, 169 hits, 104 RBI’s, .996 Fielding %.
7th Place: Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. His standout stat is 54 HR which led the league. He also led the league with 351 total bases. .260 BA, .995 OPS, 148 hits, 124 RBI’s.
8th Place: Vladimir Guerrero of the Texas Rangers. .300 BA, .841 OPS, 29 HR, 178 hits, 115 RBI’s, mostly at DH.
9th Place: Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox. Only played in 102 games. .307 BA, .975 OPS, 19 HR, 111 hits, 62 RBI’s, .997 Fielding %.
10th Place: David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. Big Poppy started out slowly but finished strong. .270 BA, .899 OPS, 32 HR, 140 Hits, 102 RBI’s, mostly at DH.
That’s my take on this and the previous awards posted recently. Now we wait until the MLB equivalent awards are announced to see if the BBA bloggers agree.
A Record-Breaking Comeback of Epic Proportions: Monday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins was one for the record books. Gio Gonzales got the first 2 outs of the game and then everything fell apart for him. I won’t go into the nasty details because they turned out to be a non-issue, except for the substantial hit Gio’s ERA took. Suffice it to say that after 2.5 innings the score was 12-2 Twins, which included Jason Kubel’s 3-run blast in the 1st, Justin Morneau’s grand slam in the 2nd, Michael Cuddyer’s solo shot right after Morneau’s grand salame, and Morneau’s 3-run encore in the top of the 3rd. After the last home run, Gio was lifted for Santiago Casilla. It looked pretty bleak at that point.
But the stars were aligned in the A’s corner for the rest of the game.
They scored 3 runs in the bottom of the third (Daric Barton’s homer plated 2 of them), 2 runs in the 4th (on Matt Holliday’s first dinger) and
7 runs in the 7th inning which included a 2 run double by Orlando Cabrera and Matt Holliday’s grand slam to tie the game at 13-13, followed by a solo
shot from Jack Cust to put the A’s ahead for good. A questionable play at the plate that was called the A’s way ended the game in
the bottom of the ninth.
To put it in perspective, there were 27 runs scored, 39 hits, 8 homers, 9 doubles, and 2 errors in the game. The A’s stroked 22 hits and had NO strikeouts! The game lasted 3 hours and 32 minutes, and the paid attendance was 10,283, a large portion of whom had left before the A’s slugfest in the 7th ining. More than one record was set in this amazing game but the best was that the ten-run deficit in the 3rd was the largest one (by 2 runs) the Oakland A’s had ever recovered from to win a ballgame.
Matt Holliday summed it up best. “We were down by 10 runs. Hey, we had nothing to lose. The guys just relaxed and had fun and didn’t quit. They kept pecking away at it and hit what was thrown to them, mostly to the opposite field.” Maybe this was a good lesson for the hitters: when they don’t press too hard and don’t try to do too much, good things happen.
When Matt Holliday hit the grand slam to tie it, Bob Geren was positively animated: he smiled weakly and faked a small fist pump. After the game when interviewed in his office, the smile was gone and he was very matter of fact and droll. Come on, guy, show some emotion. It helps pump up the team. Jeez, you’d think someone died! My husband may be on to somthing: he thinks Geren’s a robot!
Road Trip: This will probably be my last post for over a week. The A’s and I are going on the road–together! Sports Travel and Tours has put together a wonderful Hall Of Fame Induction trip. We fly to New York and go to the A’s-Yankees game Friday night in the new Yankee Stadium. The next day we motor up to Cooperstown for two days, culminating in the Induction of Rickey Henderson into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
On Monday, our bus takes us on to Boston where we watch the A’s play the Red Sox in Fenway Park that night. The next day we drive back to New York where we go to the new Citi Field to see the Mets play the Colorado Rockies. The following day we come home. Sounds pretty fabulous to me. I am really jazzed about going.
So this is all you’ll hear from me most likely until late next week, when I will report on the trip and the A’s once again. Go A’s!!!