Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Baseball Awards 2012

Here is something that I still don't understand about baseball and the way that they reward their regular season awards. You would think that they would have some sort of showcase or at least a small tv or online special that they could champion the faces of baseball and also grab a little coverage for the sport during the off season  At the very least it would or could add some decent publicity and programming time to the MLB Network or one of the many other sports specific networks. NBC sports has a new channel, CBS Sports has a new channel, obviously there is Fox Sports and the mothership ESPN.

Another point that shows that they are throwing away an opportunity to help promote the game of baseball and keep the sport in the front of mind when they are in the off season  I understand that holding off announcing the winners 2 weeks after the end of the World Series helps do that but announcing 1 a day for 3 or 4 days does a disservice, plus it is annoying and more likely to be lost on the casual fan. These are major awards for your sport why would you not want to celebrate the best of the best in your game? You play 162 regular season games and these guys are the faces of your sport, promote them, promote the game.

The Gold Glove awards were announced yesterday and there were a few interesting choices and also a few of what you will expect.There were 9 first time award winners. It is nice to see that the voters seemed to make an effort to get a correct list and not just give it to the same guys every year just to be lazy. It was also  good to see Braves right fielder Jason Heyward grab a Gold Glove. For a full list click HERE


One interesting point that I noticed was the fact that the Orioles managed to have 3 players get the nod. A good achievement for sure in sheer volume but what sticks out isn't even the players that won but the positions that they played. The Orioles were a surprise team this year in the AL East and qualified for the Wild Card Play-In Game and it is clear that defense played a role in them getting there. People always say that pitching and defense win championships, those same people also say that you want to be a team that is strong up the middle. If that is true then the Baltimore team followed that blueprint. The 3 Gold Glove winners were Catcher Matt Wieters, Shortstop J.J. Hardy, and Center Fielder Adam 'Don't call me Pac-Man' Jones. That is solid D in all field general positions and probably why they were as good as the team as they were. It was a bit surprising that Mike Trout did not get the nod as he is one of the games most exciting defenders and it is not easy to stand out as a defender. That could be the first of a couple of snubs to Trout. He will be assured the rookie of the year but may fall short on the MVP front. Miguel Cabrera's Triple Crown season may have slipped past Trout's achievements. 

It would be interesting to see what the results would be had MVP voting came after the post season. I am sure some votes would be changed. Poor batting in the World Series in combination with his less then warm demeanor may have changed the vote by some of the writers. I think the feel good rookie story would have been rewarded more for that reason, plus, Trout seems to be a more approachable guy. Popularity always plays a part whenever anyone is in a position to vote for anything.

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