Tagged: Awards

Zimmerman takes 2nd in NL ROY

I was chatting with my wife when I decided to do some multi-tasking. While she was talking about getting the day off after Thanksgiving, I popped onto mlb.com

I was not happy with what I saw.

Florida’s Hanley Ramirez edged Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman by four points for the NL Rookie of the Year, the closest vote since the current voting structure was introduced in 1980.

First let me state that Ramirez had a great year. The stats don’t lie. I’m not crazy enough to say Ramirez didn’t deserve it. The 119 runs scores, 51 stolen bases, 11 triples are ROY worthy numbers.

Still, I’ll defend my hometown third baseman.

Defensively, I can’t think of a better rookie. Zimmerman’s finished with 15 errors and a .965 fielding percentage, the same stats as Gold Glove winner Scott Rolen. In other words, the kid played some kick-butt defense.

I dare anyone to find a better clutch hitting rookie. Zimmerman hit .323 and drove in 85 runs with runners in scoring position most of which came from the No. 3 spot in the batting order. A rookie hitting 3rd, bad team or not, and producing means something.

Then there’s the 10 bunt hits he had to lead the Nationals as well. It’s a shame that someone who had such a great season, including a franchise rookie record 110 RBI, couldn’t get the top prize.

As a Nationals fan, it would be easy to have two different reactions to Zimmerman’s second place finish.

Reaction A: Bitter Nationals Fan

If I went this route, I would be upset and bitter for a couple days and making everyone’s life miserable, including mine.. I would blame the Baseball Writers Association of America voters, lifetime members or otherwise. I would be annoyed at Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay, who voted Zimmerman fourth. Fourth? Zimmerman? Fay voted Josh Johnson, Ramirez and Uggla

1-2-3

. I would write a nasty e-mail saying he cost Zimm the rookie of the year.  How did I find out about Fay? See the Washington Post article below.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/13/AR2006111300551.html

I would also think that the voters had it in for the Nationals franchise and were rewarding the Marlins for their season and just gave it to one of them because they had so many good rookies. I would say “this is a travesty, an outrage.”

I would be angry that the voters didn’t look at Zimmerman’s clutch play or defense. I would make some comments like “Did Ramirez beat the Yankees with a walk-off home run?”

Reaction B: Disappointed but level-headed Nationals Fan

Zimmerman had a great season and is an outstanding cornerstone for the future on a young ballclub. This year was an awesome one for rookies and to finish so close in a talented field of rookie is saying something.

As a Nationals fan, I would have hoped the Rookie of the Year would’ve been a sign to the baseball community that Washington is building and headed on the right track. Still, I believe baseball people know this already.

I have to believe the writers knew very well about Zimmerman’s exploits and he just didn’t get the votes needed.

Zimmerman’s comments in the Post (see above link) were classy all the way. Honestly, his reaction was better than probably most of the die-hard fans, including myself, which is refreshing. I pretty much said “No way” for 2-3 minutes. It’s good to see that a rookie can handle something like this in a very adult way.

Below is the link to the mlb.com story.  Interesting comments from Bob Boone, Austin Kearns and the Palm Beach Post writer Joe Capozzi.

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20061113&content_id=1739769&vkey=news_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

In conclusion, I was hoping Zimmerman would get the NL ROY nod. I thought his solid offensive play, clutch hitting and gold glove caliber defense would be enough.  It wasn’t. It stinks but life goes on. Still, people can’t argue the season this kid had. Great job, Zimmerman!

Tomorrow: Manny Come Lately, There’s a New Acta In Town

TNP, the Twins and Howard!

Sorry, I’ve been away for a while. Last week, I was at the hospital with family as my first nephew was being born. Nothing says fun like a baby….and a time of birth of 2:04 a.m! We looked worse than Hayden Penn’s performance on Sunday. Just got back from a couple days at the beach, brought along the satellite to listen to some games.

-For a second, I thought Rick Cerrone was back behind the plate for the Yankees before I realized it was Sal Fasano. It’s good to see Sal caught on with the juggernaut!

-I had to research for myself Johan Santana’s career post All-Star break stats.  Wow, 43-9 with a 2.56 ERA! 21-4 in August and 11-3 September. Jeez, I guess last night’s two-hit, 12-K gem couldn’t come as a shock. He’s 8-0 since the All-Star Break and leads the AL with 17 wins, a 2.84 ERA and 219 strikeouts. In other words, I think he’s pulling away in the AL Cy Young Race, apologies to Roy Halladay. It’s funny, two months ago, my Red Sox friends were talking up Papelbon for Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and the Nobel Prize. I guess things just have a way of working themselves out. Santana just might get AL MVP consideration if he keeps his great run in tact and the Twins make the playoffs. I know that race will be **** shoot-Ortiz, Jeter, Morneau, to name a few.
My friend, Steve, gets credit for coming up with the nickname for Santana way back in 2003-TNP (The Next Pedro). He couldn’t believe the Twins kept using him in the bullpen before making him a starter.
I saw some of the Twins last week. Jeez, Dennys Reyes has been an incredible shot in the arm for the Twins bullpen. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in 2 months (27 appearances). Reyes is 4-0 with a 0.85 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings this season. Pat Neshek has been a nice addition as well with a 3-0 mark and 1.35 ERA.  Of course, I’ve felt that Joe Nathan has been as productive as any closer in the game the past couple of seasons. Nathan is headed for this 3rd straight 30-plus save season converting 29 of 31 opportunities to go along with a 6-0 record and a 1.74 ERA. This is a huge reason why the Twins have been able to be a player in the Wild Card Race, especially while the Chosen One (Francisco Liriano) has been on the shelf for the past month.

-I listened to Ryan Howard’s 3-home run game on Sunday. I just started laughing after his 3rd one, wow! He’s definitely making his case for MVP. 
Howard’s power numbers are hard to ignore (duh!)-the major-league leading 53 HR and 134 RBI. The timing of his production should be noted. The Phils were a lost cause when I saw them against the Devil Rays in mid-June. It seems like his production is keeping them in the wild card race. If the Phils make the playoffs, it could be the extra push Howard, the NL’s Player of the Month for August, needs for the MVP.
Pujols isn’t a slouch as he had a three-home run game Sunday too. Compared with Howard, Pujols has the edge over Howard in batting average (.321 to .309), on-base percentage (.424 to .403) and slugging (.686 to .665) and runs (102 to 89). However, Howard does have a 334 to 303 lead in total bases over his St. Louis counterpart and has one more walk (78 to 77) than Pujols. In the strikeout category, Pujols’ 40 are 114 less than Howard, whose 154 K are second in the majors!
Soriano’s chances for MVP might be fading but through not fault of his own. Soriano, who is four stolen bases away from 40-40, has been nothing short of spectacular for the Na ts, even if it might be for one season. Could you imagine the Na ts without Soriano this year? They would be the worst team in baseball. People know the numbers, 44 home runs, 86 RBI, 104 runs scored as well as a solid .290 average.  Throw in the MLB leading 19 outfield assists as well. Jim Bowden’s best trade yet! Beltran and Wright have had great seasons as well, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t think the production of one Met can be placed above the others. I think Beltran, Wright and Reyes knock each other out.
The passionate fans of Philly and St. Louis of course will have their say. Pujols has been the same amazing player he’s been since coming into the league. In his second season, Howard has already slugged his way into the upper echelon of premier power hitters.  Should be a great couple of final weeks.