As 2014 was almost completely forgettable as far as the performance of the Boston Red Sox, we have taken to looking back to the year where everything changed. Where our beloved team made history (in more ways than one) and will forever be talked about when the chips are down and it seems impossible that a team can come back from the brink. And then the only team to have done it is brought into the conversation: the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Against their dire enemy: The NY Yankees… The only team in the history of the sport to come back from 0-3 to win 4 games in a row to win the American League Pennant. Can you imagine how the people who bet the Sox would win fared? I am sure there were crazy odds, and the people who believed must have been handsomely rewarded for their faith in their ballclub…
I personally took a little longer to believe. I went to bed before game 4 was over, because after the pain and heartbreak of the 2003 ALCS, I just could not bear the thought of watching them get swept by the Skanks. Just. Could. Not… Read more…
The Stan Musial Award is given by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) to the most valuable player each league; this year, the Boston Chapter has selected Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout for the honor. Trout, as Kluber did in the Walter Johnson Award, received all but 1 of the first place votes for the chapter, with the remaining vote going to Detroit’s Victor Martinez, who placed 2nd in the voting.
I expect Trout will be part of the mix for any baseball awards for a long time to come, as he continued his dominance as one of the best all-around players in the bigs, with a great 2014 campaign. While his BA average dropped in comparison to 2013 (.323 to .287) he stroked 36 homers and had 111 RBI’s this year, compared to the 27/97 in 2013.
Playing all of his games in center field this year seems to have improved his fielding scores, which jumped to .992, compared to .988 in 2013, when he was playing both center and left.
And let’s not forget that Mike Trout is only 23 years old. Plenty of potential ceiling there in the years to come.. Read more…
Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu was a unanimous selection for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance’s (BBA) Willie Mays Award for top rookie in the American League. All fifteen ballots cast believed Abreu, a free agent signee from Cuba, was the top new player on the junior circuit.
Abreu clubbed 36 home runs and drove in 107 while putting up a .317/.383/.964 line and an OPS+ of 169. Those stellar offensive numbers helped him outpace his runner-up, New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, by 53.5 points.
The National League voting was not quite as clear-cut, though it still was a landside for the winner. New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom snagged ten of the thirteen first-place votes available to beat out Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton by 28 points. deGrom tallied nine wins, a 2.69 ERA and an ERA+ of 130 before being shut down at the end of the season.
The Walter Johnson Award is given by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) to the Best Pitcher in each League; this year, the Boston Chapter has selected Cleveland Indians hurler Corey Kluber. The 28-year old right hander received all but one of the first place votes, with Seattle’s “King Felix” got the remaining first place vote from the chapter. Logging 235.2 inning, an average of nearly 7 innings per game, Kluber lead the AL with an impressive 34 starts (including 3 complete games), also leading the AL with 18 wins with a 2.44 ERA (#3 in the AL), and 269 strikeouts (#2 in the AL).
Hernandez, and Oakland’s Jon Lester placed 2nd and 3rd in the voting, with Detroit’s David Price, Minnesota’s Phil Hughes, Detroit’s Max Scherzer, and White Sox’ Chris Sales round out the voting for the chapter.
My personal selections for the Walter Johnson Award Corey Kluber, Jon Lester (no surprise there) David Price, Max Scherzer, and Felix Hernandez… Read more…
The Goose Gossage Award is awarded by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) to the Best Reliever in each League; this year, the Boston Chapter has selected Yankee reliever Dellin Betances. Born and raised in New York City, the 26 years old right-hander, fared very well in his first full season in the bigs, going 5-0, with a 1.40 ERA, 147 strikeouts, and a WHIP of .778 in 70 appearances.
Looking like an ALCS matchup, Kansas City’s Wade Davis and Orioles Zach Britton placed 2nd and 3rd in the voting, with KC’ Greg Holland, Orioles’ Andrew Miller, and Tampa Bay’s Jake McGee rounding out the mix
My personal selections for the Goose Gossage Award were Dellin Betances (shocking, I know), Wade Davis, and Andrew Miller… Read more…
Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle were named the 2014 Connie Mack Award winners today by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA). The Connie Mack Award recognizes those considered the top manager for the season.
This is the second straight year for Hurdle to take home the hardware from the BBA after breaking the Pirates’ long playoff drought last season. Hurdle again led Pittsburgh into the promised land of October, securing a wild-card berth after a strong September surge left them just short of the divisional title.
Hurdle received seven first place votes among the 16 ballots cast and was left off entirely of only one voter’s entry. Hurdle received 51 points, eleven more than his closest competition, Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants.
Showalter led the Orioles to their first American League East divisional title since 1997, winning the division by 12 games over the New York Yankees. Baltimore won 96 games this season, eleven more than they were able to win in 2013.