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October 24, 2003

Internet Baseball Awards

The 2003 Results

by Greg Spira

For complete results, click here.

It's time to announce the winners of the 12th annual Internet Baseball Awards. More than 1,500 cyberspace baseball fans participated in this effort to select the baseball players whose 2003 seasons were most deserving of honors.

The point system for the balloting was as follows:

  • Player of the Year ballots: 14 points for first-place votes, nine points for second-place votes, eight points for third-place votes, etc., down to one point for a tenth-place vote.

  • Pitcher of the Year ballots: 10 points for first-place votes, seven points for second-place votes, five points for third-place votes, three points for fourth-place, and one point for fifth-place votes. (This is the one award where our point system differs from the BBWAA point system, because we use a longer ballot.)

  • Rookie of the Year ballots: five points for first-place votes, three points for second-place votes, and one point for third-place votes.

  • Manager of the Year ballots: five points for first-place votes, three points for second-place votes, and one point for third-place votes.

And now, the results:

National League Player of the Year

Rk Name            1    2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10     B      P
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 1 B. Bonds     1271  176  36  15  10   4   3   1   2   2  1520  19872
 2 A. Pujols     195 1151  92  28  11   8   5   2   1   3  1496  14158
 3 G. Sheffield    9   35 489 355 181  76  46  17  15  12  1235   8581
 4 J. Lopez       12   42 394 265 151  87  41  20  14  10  1036   7156
 5 J. Thome        6   14  94 181 198 126  76  60  48  37   840   4664
 6 E. Gagne       10   38 130 131 109 100  90  62  58  37   765   4292
 7 M. Prior        5   18  72 104 112 108  96  66  55  24   660   3464
 8 T. Helton       1   10  45 101 134 104  85  86  59  61   686   3272
 9 I. Rodriguez    9   14  46  73 104  73  43  65  25  33   485   2570
10 M. Giles        0    2  21  51  84  90  73  67  50  34   472   2124

Complete results for NL Player of the Year

It will be no surprise to anyone that Barry Bonds has won the 2003 Internet NL Player of the Year award. This is the fourth straight year and the seventh year overall that Bonds has won this award, and he has finished third or higher in the voting every year he has had at least 501 plate appearances. Albert Pujols, who finished fourth last year, earned second place by a large margin. Gary Sheffield, who finished third, made the top five in Internet Player of the Year voting for the first time since 1996. Another Brave--Javy Lopez--took the fourth spot, with what was probably the biggest surprise season for an everyday player in the majors; Lopez' previous high finish was 24th in 1998. Jim Thome's move to the National League in 2003 didn't change how he did in Internet Player of the Year voting; he finished fifth in his league's Player of the Year voting for the second consecutive year. Thome has now finished in his league's top-15 eight of the last nine years. Eric Gagne's sixth place finish not only makes him this year's highest ranked pitcher but also the highest ranked reliever in Internet Player of the Year voting ever. Todd Helton's eight-place finish makes him the highest ranking player and the only player in the top 16 on a losing team.

American League Player of the Year

Rk Name             1    2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10     B      P
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 1 A. Rodriguez  1109  188  85  31  37  18  17   9   4   5  1503  18535
 2 C. Delgado     134  363 299 221 141  54  48  15  14   7  1296  10470
 3 M. Ramirez      66  214 233 197 134 104  68  45  33  14  1108   7904
 4 B. Boone        21  232 189 153 132  76  59  21  23  16   922   6498
 5 J. Posada       76  193 170 143 125  59  27  36  26  13   868   6488
 6 N. Garciaparra  19   66  66 125 108  94  72  70  42  29   691   3992
 7 D. Ortiz        72   69  65  58  50  32  34  28  29  26   463   3319
 8 P. Martinez     15   51  54  82  86  62  65  40  35  29   519   2980
 9 C. Beltran      17   25  68  62  92  70  50  44  30  29   487   2764
10 R. Halladay      7   19  38  61  68  62  62  66  38  28   449   2268

Complete results for AL Player of the Year

Alex Rodriguez didn't have one of his very best seasons, but his year was still great enough to earn him the 2003 Internet AL Player of the Year award. This is the third time he's won the award. He's also had three second-place finishes in his career. Carlos Delgado, whose career season in 2000 led to a third place finish, had the second best year of his career for the Blue Jays, and finished second. Manny Ramirez, who had a equally productive season, finished third, and is the highest ranked of five Red Sox to finish in the top eleven. Bret Boone finished fourth, marking the second time in his career he has finished in the top four. Jorge Posada, who at fifth finished in the top-14 for the first time in his career, was the only player in the top-13 to play on a division winner. Nomar Garciaparra, who won this award back in 1998, finished sixth for the third time in his career. Pedro Martinez, the only pitcher to ever win an Internet Player of the Year, finished in the eighth spot as the highest ranked pitcher.

National League Pitcher of the Year

Rk Name           1     2     3     4     5       B       P
-----------------------------------------------------------
 1 M. Prior     559   534   262    58    14    1427   10826
 2 E. Gagne     535   278   324   122    54    1313    9336
 3 J. Schmidt   352   479   336    57    17    1241    8741
 4 B. Webb       18    65    87   157   108     435    1649
 5 K. Brown       2    20   137   177   124     460    1500

Complete results for NL Pitcher of the Year

In one of the closest Internet Baseball Award races ever, Cubs ace Mark Prior edged out Dodgers closer Eric Gagne for the 2003 Internet NL Player of the Year. In his first full major league season, Prior was often dominant, striking out 245 in 211.1 innings while posting a 2.43 ERA, and that performance evidently boosted him with the voters ahead of Gagne, who may have had the best season of any closer ever, saving 55 games in 55 opprtunities while holding batters to a .133 average, .196 OBP, and .176 SLG. Gagne's second-place finish does, however, match the highest rank ever achieved by a reliever in Internet Player of the Year voting, one previously achieved only by Mariano Rivera in 1996. Jason Schmidt, who lead the National League in ERA, finished a very strong third. Brandon Webb, in fourth, finished higher in Internet Player of the Year voting than any rookie pitcher since Hideo Nomo in 1995. Kevin Brown's fifth-place finish marks the sixth time he's finished in the top 10, though it's the first time since 2000. No players from losing teams finished in the top 25 this year.

American League Pitcher of the Year

Rk Name           1     2     3     4     5       B       P
-----------------------------------------------------------
 1 R. Halladay  746   316   218   158    24    1462   11260
 2 P. Martinez  392   414   330   173    66    1375    9053
 3 E. Loaiza    207   385   424   270    60    1346    7755
 4 T. Hudson    168   323   338   266    63    1158    6492
 5 J. Moyer      10    27    44    77   154     312     894

Complete results for AL Pitcher of the Year

Roy Halladay fought off strong competition to win the 2003 Internet AL Player of the Year award. Halladay, who finished fourth in the voting last year, earned almost half the first place votes of the electorate by leading the majors in innings pitched with 266 while posting a 3.25 ERA, the fifth lowest figure in the league. Pedro Martinez, the winner of four previous Internet Player of the Year awards, finished in second place for the second time in his career after posting a league-leading 2.22 ERA. The most surprising starting pitcher of the year, Esteban Loaiza, finished in third place after pitching a career high 226.1 innings with an ERA more than 2 runs per 9 innings lower than his average ERA over the previous five seasons. Tim Hudson, who finished in second place in both innings pitched and ERA, finished fourth, marking the fifth year in a row he's finished in the top ten. Keith Foulke was the highest ranking reliever in seventh place. Brendan Donnelly, in 14th place, was the highest ranking pitcher from a losing team.

National League Rookie of the Year

Rk Name            1     2     3     B     P
--------------------------------------------
 1 B. Webb       972    238   52  1262  5626
 2 D. Willis     168    601  427  1196  3070
 3 S. Podsednik  220    392  316   928  2592

Complete results for NL Rookie of the Year

Brandon Webb wasn't on anybody's top prospect list before the season, but he turned out to be the top performing rookie in the major leagues last year and as a result Internet voters selected him as their NL Rookie of the Year. Webb didn't even receive that much attention during his great year because the Diamondbacks provided him with little offensive support, but he finished the season with a 2.84 ERA, the fourth best in the league, while holding league batters to a .212 average and striking out 172 batters in 180.2 innings. On the other hand, Dontrelle Willis, who finished in second place, was a true rookie sensation, catching the attention of baseball fans across the nation with his high leg kick and electrifying performances. And his overall numbers would be the best of any rookie pitcher most years; he finished with a 3.31 ERA and 142 strikeouts in 160.2 innings pitched. Scott Podsednik, a 27-year-old rookie centerfielder for the Brewers, finished third as a result of his out-of-nowhere excellent offensive performance; he hit .314/.379/.443 with 43 stolen bases and only 10 caught stealings. Miguel Cabrera, an extremely promising 20-year-old third baseman/outfielder for the Marlins, finished fourth, while Marlon Byrd, the 26-year-old Phillies centerfielder, finished fifth after a solid first season.

American League Rookie of the Year

Rk Name            1     2     3     B     P
--------------------------------------------
 1 A. Berroa    1015   184    58  1257  5685
 2 H. Matsui     183   398   273   854  2382
 3 R. Baldelli   108   222   304   634  1510

Complete results for AL Rookie of the Year

Angel Berroa was far from the most hyped rookie of the year, but he still was a decisive winner in the race for the 2003 Internet AL Rookie of the Year. Berroa, who was obtained from the Athletics in 2001 in the Johnny Damon trade, hit for a solid average and surprising power in his rookie season while playing a generally effective shortstop. Hideki Matsui, the outfielder who the Yankees imported from Japan, had a solid season despite hitting with less power than expected and finished in second place. Rocco Baldelli, Baseball America's 2002 Minor League Player of the Year, finished in third place despite his inability to maintain his early level of success at the plate all season. Indians outfielder Jody Gerut quietly had the best offensive season of any rookie, and finished fourth. In fifth place was Mark Texeira of the Texas Rangers, who Baseball Prospectus rated as the best prospect in baseball before the season, and still could end up being the best player of his rookie class.

National League Manager of the Year

Rk Name            1     2     3     B     P
--------------------------------------------
 1 J. McKeon    1064   204    41  1309  5973
 2 D. Baker      159   346   212   717  2045
 3 B. Cox         90   298   232   620  1576

Complete results for NL Manager of the Year

The 2003 Internet NL Manager of the Year award was won by Jack McKeon, who took over a moribound 16-22 Florida Marlins team in May from Jeff Torborg, turned the club around, and led it to the capture of the league's wild card spot and the second postseason in the team's history. The 72-year-old McKeon, one of the oldest managers in major league history, just missed winning this award in 1999 when he managed the Reds, but this year he outpolled every other NL manager by a very large margin. Dusty Baker, who won this award in 2000, finished in second placing after managing the Cubs' 2003 transformation from losers to division champions; he has finished among the top four vote getters four straight years. Bobby Cox, another previous winner (in 1998), finished in third place for the third time in the last four years. Cox steered the Braves to yet another division title in 2003, but unlike all his previous Braves teams, this year's version relied primarily on its offense. Felipe Alou, who took over a retooled Giants team and led them to the NL West crown, finished fourth, while Frank Robinson, managing the Expos through another turbulent year, finished fifth for the second year in a row.

American League Manager of the Year

Rk Name            1     2     3     B     P
--------------------------------------------
 1 T. Pena      1034   175    49  1258  5744
 2 R. Gardenhire 119   305   169   593  1679
 3 K. Macha       84   252   203   539  1379

Complete results for AL Manager of the Year

Tony Pena, in his first full season as a manager, breezed to an easy victory in the Internet AL Manager of the Year voting. Pena took a seemingly hapless Kansas City Royals team and kept them in the race for the AL Central title for most of the season before they finished with an 83-79 record. Pena was widely praised for bringing a high level of enthusiasm to the Royals. Ron Gardenhire, in his second year as a major league manager, finished in second place after leading the Twins to their second straight AL Central title. Last year Gardenhire finished third in the voting. Ken Macha, another rookie manager, placed third after picking the Athletics up from Art Howe and leading them to their second straight division championship. Grady Little, who led the Red Sox to the postseason in his second year as their manager, finished fourth. The Yankees' Joe Torre, who won this award in 1998, finished fifth.

Next time: Baseball Prospectus authors reveal their award selections...

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