FoulBallz’s Choices for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance Ballots: Connie Mack, Willie Mays, Goose Gossage, Walter Johnson and Stan Musial Awards

One of the most anticipated events in the short, happy life of FoulBallz.com was wondering if my humble blog and site would catch the attention of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. Suffice to say, they have gladly and warmly accepted me into their ranks. Aside from the privilege to be a part of a large group of like-minded people is the privilege I get to proudly cast a vote on the Baseball Bloggers Alliance annual baseball awards ballot. This is my first vote.

 

The awards each blogger gets to consider are:

  • The Connie Mack Awards, given each year to the league’s best manager,
  • The Willie Mays Award which goes to the top rookie,
  • The Goose Gossage Award to the best reliever in each league,
  • The Walter Johnson Award, given to the top pitcher,
  • The Stan Musial Award which goes to the majors’ best overall player.

First you’ll get the picks and then maybe a few comments for each award as needed.

The Connie Mack Award – Top Manager

American League

  1. Brad Ausmus
  2. Ned Yost
  3. Buck Showalter

Comments: While many may be confused by my top pick, just think about what the man had to content with this season as a first year skipper. He had multiple points at which to fall apart, but he never did. Yes, he was given one of the most powerful rotations in the game, but Verlander tanked this year. It wasn’t until he was benched (something I tried telling the Tigers should be done, incidentally) that he got himself together and started pitching well again. Ausmus also had to contend with an injured Cabrera, the loss of Iglesias, a 5th starter position by committee for a while (until they discovered Lobstein), a sub-par closer and the worst bullpen in MLB, the loss of a starting pitcher (Sanchez), and the sudden trade of Jackson…among many other things. In spite of the pressure of succeeding as a rookie he persevered through the horrible bullpen, injuries to critical players and the doubts. Plus many fans simply like him better than Leyland. It’s a shame that Ausmus is being blamed solely for the disaster that was the postseason, when it was much more the fault of the bullpen. For these reasons, I give Ausmus the top spot.

National League

  1. Mike Matheny
  2. Clint Hurdle
  3. Don Mattingly

Comments: I was torn as to whether Mattingly even earned it being in the top 3. I know that might seem sacrilegious, it’s Mattingly after all. But he’s been doing it so long, he’s expected to do great things. Just saying. Like my logic or not. Matheny and Hurdle have done more for their teams this season than Mattingly did.

The Willie Mays Award – Top Rookie

American League

  1. Jose Abreu
  2. Collin McHugh
  3. Nick Castellanos

Comments: Pretty sure nearly everyone agrees with at least the top two choices.

National League

  1. Jacob deGrom
  2. Billy Hamilton
  3. Kolten Wong

Comments:  Again, pretty sure everyone agrees with this list. The top rookies seem to be the easiest to identify this season.

The Goose Gossage Award – Top Reliever

National League

  1. Craig Kimbrel
  2. Jonathan Papelbon
  3. Mark Melancon

Comments: I’m starting to think Kimbrel has some secret power we don’t know about. How many times has he been given a top 3 nod in voting? I hated to add Papelbon here due to his antics, but I’m not putting him as one of top players so there’s my revenge.

American League

  1. Greg Holland
  2. Huston Street
  3. Zach Britton

Comments: This list shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone…right?

Walter Johnson Award – Top Pitcher

American League

  1. Corey Kluber
  2. Felix Hernandez
  3. Chris Sale
  4. Jon Lester
  5. Max Scherzer

Comments: I’m in complete agreement with Beyond the Box Score on this list. It seems a no-brainer that this is the order it will and should go. What’s very interesting is that this list would be the same if I just went off the historical foul ball data for each pitcher. Honorable Mention: Kyle Lobstein was a very late starter in the season. But if you look at his starting numbers and his calm demeanor on the hill, you’ll see why he gets an Honorable Mention nod.

National League

  1. Clayton Kershaw
  2. Adam Wainwright
  3. Madison Bumgarner
  4. Johnny Cueto
  5. Doug Fister

Comments: Fister is on this list at #5 and therefore above Grienke and a couple others for no other reason than he put up great numbers in an abbreviated season. If he’d been pitching from the start, I’m convinced he’d be even higher on the list. Way to keep it loose, Doug.

Stan Musial Award – Baseball’s Best Player

National League

  1. Johnny Cueto
  2. Andrew McCutchen
  3. Nelson Cruz
  4. Adam Wainwright
  5. Giancarlo Stanton
  6. Clayton Kershaw
  7. Justin Morneau
  8. Buster Posey
  9. Yasiel Puig
  10. Josh Harrison

American League

  1. Mike Trout
  2. Robinson Cano
  3. Jose Abreu
  4. Ian Kinsler
  5. Felix Hernandez
  6. Jose Bautista
  7. Victor Martinez
  8. Jose Altuve
  9. Michael Brantley
  10. Max Scherzer

Comments: Correct. No #2, Derek Jeter. I know he’s one of the coolest cats to play baseball. I know he retired after the season. But just because he’s nice and retired doesn’t automatically earn him a spot on the top 10 best for the 2014 season.

 

 

 

And there’s my list. Agree? Disagree? Let’s talk on Twitter at @FoulBallzMLB.