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October 28, 2003

Internet Baseball Awards

Baseball Prospectus Author Ballots

by Ryan Wilkins

As many of our readers were submitting their ballots for the annual Internet Baseball Awards, 11 Baseball Prospectus authors went into the polling booths themselves, voicing their opinions on who should win the major baseball awards this year. Here are the results:

National League Player of the Year

Player          1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10   B   P
-----------------------------------------------------
B. Bonds       11  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0   0  11 154
A. Pujols       0 10  1  0  0  0  0  0  0   0  11  98
G. Sheffield    0  0  4  5  2  0  0  0  0   0  11  79
J. Lopez        0  0  5  3  0  2  1  0  0   0  11  75
M. Giles        0  0  0  1  3  2  3  0  0   0   9  47
E. Renteria     0  0  0  1  1  3  3  1  1   1  11  46
M. Prior        0  0  1  1  0  2  1  1  0   2   8  34
T. Helton       0  1  0  0  1  1  1  1  3   0   8  33
E. Gagne        0  0  0  0  2  1  0  1  2   0   6  24
J. Schmidt      0  0  0  0  1  0  1  2  1   0   5  18
S. Rolen        0  0  0  0  1  0  0  2  1   2   6  16
B. Webb         0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0   1   2   5
J. Edmonds      0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1   0   2   5
J. Thome        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1   2   3   4
J. Vazquez      0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0   1   2   4
R. Sexson       0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1   0   1   2
K. Brown        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0   0   1   3
L. Hernandez    0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0   1   1   1
A. Jones        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0   1   1   1

American League Player of the Year

Player          1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10   B   P
-----------------------------------------------------
A. Rodriguez   11  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0   0  11 154
B. Boone        0  5  4  1  0  1  0  0  0   0  11  89
C. Delgado      0  1  4  1  2  2  0  1  0   0  11  73
M. Ramirez      0  0  2  2  4  1  1  0  1   0  11  65
P. Martinez     0  4  1  0  0  0  0  2  0   1   8  51
R. Halladay     0  0  0  5  0  0  1  1  1   1   9  45
J. Posada       0  1  0  0  2  1  1  1  0   2   8  34
V. Wells        0  0  0  1  0  1  2  1  0   2   7  25
E. Loaiza       0  0  0  1  1  0  1  0  3   0   6  23
N. Garciaparra  0  0  0  0  1  1  2  0  0   1   5  20
B. Mueller      0  0  0  0  0  1  0  2  1   1   5  14
T. Hudson       0  0  0  0  0  1  1  0  0   2   4  11
C. Beltran      0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  2   1   4   9
E. Chavez       0  0  0  0  0  1  1  0  0   2   4   8
J. Giambi       0  0  0  0  0  1  0  1  0   0   2   8
A. Soriano      0  0  0  0  0  1  0  1  0   0   2   8
F. Thomas       0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  0   0   1   6
M. Ordonez      0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0   0   1   3
E. Martinez     0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1   0   1   2

National League Pitcher of the Year

Pitcher         1       2       3       4       5       B       P
-----------------------------------------------------------------
M. Prior        6       3       0       2       0      11      87
J. Schmidt      2       0       6       2       1      11      65
E. Gagne        2       5       1       1       0       9      63
B. Webb         1       0       1       2       1       5      22
K. Brown        0       0       2       2       3       7      19
L. Hernandez    0       0       1       3       0       4      14
J. Vazquez      0       1       0       1       1       3      11
B. Wagner       0       0       0       0       2       2       2
G. Mota         0       0       0       0       1       1       1
R. Ortiz        0       0       0       0       1       1       1
C. Schilling    0       0       0       0       1       1       1

American League Pitcher of the Year

Pitcher         1       2       3       4       5       B       P
-----------------------------------------------------------------
R. Halladay     6       3       0       2       0      11      87
P. Martinez     5       1       3       2       0      11      78
E. Loaiza       0       5       3       2       1      11      57
T. Hudson       0       2       4       4       1      11      47
M. Mussina      0       0       1       1       3       5      11
J. Moyer        0       0       0       0       2       2       2
J. Santana      0       0       0       0       2       2       2
K. Foulke       0       0       0       0       1       1       1
D. Marte        0       0       0       0       1       1       1

National League Rookie of the Year

Player          1       2       3       B       P
-------------------------------------------------
B. Webb        11       0       0      11      55
D. Willis       0       6       4      10      22
S. Podsednik    0       5       5      10      20
M. Byrd         0       0       0       1       1
J. Williams     0       0       0       1       1

American League Rookie of the Year

Player          1       2       3       B       P
-------------------------------------------------
A. Berroa       9       2       0      11      51
F. Rodriguez    1       1       3       5      11
H. Matsui       0       2       3       5       9
R. Soriano      1       1       1       3       9
J. Gerut        0       2       2       4       8
M. Teixeira     0       2       1       3       7
R. Baldelli     0       1       1       2       4

National League Manager of the Year

Manager         1       2       3       B       P
-------------------------------------------------
J. McKeon       9       1       0      10      48
B. Cox          1       3       0       4      14
F. Alou         1       2       3       6      14
F. Robinson     0       2       1       3       8
B. Brenly       0       1       2       3       5
D. Baker        0       1       2       3       5
J. Tracy        0       1       1       2       4

American League Manager of the Year

Manager         1       2       3       B       P
-------------------------------------------------
T. Pena         7       3       0      10      44
K. Macha        1       2       6       9      17
C. Tosca        1       3       0       4      14
J. Torre        1       2       1       4      12
G. Little       1       0       1       6       6
R. Gardenhire   0       1       1       2       4
A. Trammell     0       0       2       2       2

Will Carroll

American League Player of the Year

  1. Alex Rodriguez
  2. Carlos Delgado
  3. Bret Boone
  4. Manny Ramirez
  5. Frank Thomas
  6. Vernon Wells
  7. Roy Halladay
  8. Pedro Martinez
  9. Edgar Martinez
  10. Jorge Posada

Again, A-Rod won't win, but should. Boone and Delgado were neck-and-neck, so I let personal preference choose despite Boone's defensive advantage. I think Posada and Wells are overlooked.

National League Player of the Year

  1. Barry Bonds
  2. Albert Pujols
  3. Javy Lopez
  4. Gary Sheffield
  5. Marcus Giles
  6. Mark Prior
  7. Edgar Renteria
  8. Todd Helton
  9. Eric Gagne
  10. Jim Thome

So... many... Braves. How that team didn't win more is beyond me; that might have been their best chance. Helton and Thome are also ignored for some reason.

American League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Roy Halladay
  2. Esteban Loaiza
  3. Pedro Martinez
  4. Tim Hudson
  5. Jamie Moyer

Give Halladay the award for being the model of efficiency and health. Give Loaiza his due on what might (or might not) be a fluke. And someone give Moyer his due for being the best pitcher in years.

National League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Mark Prior
  2. Eric Gagne
  3. Jason Schmidt
  4. Kevin Brown
  5. Russ Ortiz

That Schmidt did so much with a bad wing is amazing. That Brown came back is pretty special. But Prior gets it over Gagne in my book in what might be the first of about 10--if Dusty will lay off. [Ed. Note: All e-mails making fun of Will Carroll for voting for Russ Ortiz should be sent to wcarroll@baseballprospectus.com. --RTW]

American League Rookie of the Year

  1. Angel Berroa
  2. Jody Gerut
  3. Hideki Matsui

Berroa was a revelation, but Jody Gerut showed great progress.

National League Rookie of the Year

  1. Brandon Webb
  2. Scott Podsednik
  3. Dontrelle Willis

Webb won't win the BBWAA version, but was the clear best candidate under any definition--other than "looks good in an MLB commercial."

American League Manager of the Year

  1. Tony Pena
  2. Carlos Tosca
  3. Alan Trammell

Trammell? Honestly, he gets the vote solely for surviving the season without completely losing his team and for making it through the season without costing someone that will help the team next year.

National League Manager of the Year

  1. Jack McKeon
  2. Frank Robinson
  3. Felipe Alou

Best line of the year: "With McKeon and Alou, we're going to take a pudding break in the fifth inning." --Jon Sciambi

David Cameron

National League Player of the Year

  1. Bonds
  2. Pujols
  3. Lopez
  4. Sheffield
  5. Rolen
  6. Prior
  7. Helton
  8. Gagne
  9. Schmidt
  10. Renteria

American League Player of the Year

  1. A. Rodriguez
  2. Boone
  3. Ramirez
  4. Delgado
  5. Garciaparra
  6. Giambi
  7. Wells
  8. Halladay
  9. Loaiza
  10. Hudson

National League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Prior
  2. Gagne
  3. Schmidt
  4. Brown
  5. Webb

National League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Halladay
  2. Loaiza
  3. Hudson
  4. Martinez
  5. Mussina

National League Rookie of the Year

  1. Webb
  2. Willis
  3. Podsednik

American League Rookie of the Year

  1. Berroa
  2. F. Rodriguez
  3. Baldelli

National League Manager of the Year

  1. McKeon
  2. Brenly
  3. Baker

American League Manager of the Year

  1. Little
  2. Pena
  3. Macha

Clay Davenport

National League Player of the Year

  1. Barry Bonds (13.4 WARP3)
  2. Todd Helton (12.8)
  3. Albert Pujols (11.7)
  4. Gary Sheffield (11.3)
  5. Marcus Giles (10.8)
  6. Edgar Renteria (10.1)
  7. Javy Lopez (9.7)
  8. Jim Edmonds (9.7)
  9. Richie Sexson (9.5)
  10. Andruw Jones (9.3)

The biggest shock for everyone to digest here is going to be my ranking of Helton over Pujols for the #2 spot in the league. This result is based totally on defense. Offensively, Pujols was a clear winner (102 BRAR to 79, a 23 run advantage). Defensively, Pujols was an average first baseman for 40 games and a mediocre left fielder, with no arm, for 100 games, netting a -6 run rating for defense. Todd Helton may only be a first baseman, but he is the reigning Gold Glover and the BPDR back that up 100%. It ranks him at 25 runs above average, the same rating it gave him last year. I know that ZR does not rank Helton nearly so high, and I do suspect that there is something about the extreme park factor in Colorado that I am not capturing; all of Colorado's infielders appear to be rating 3-5 runs higher for Colorado than they do for other teams. But until I determine that for certain, I'll stick with what I have and say that the 30-run edge in defense trumps the 20-run edge in offense. All four Braves combined their offensive contributions with at least modest D (Andruw's was, as usual, more than modest).

National League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Mark Prior (8.8)
  2. Eric Gagne (8.4)
  3. Kevin Brown (8.3)
  4. Livan Hernandez (8.2)
  5. Jason Schmidt (7.5)

Eric Gagne's season is the best relief season of all time, according to WARP, and I am not at all sure that I am giving it its proper due. As with position players, the duration of the performance counts--pitching more often means a better score. In addition to innings, I also consider how many decisions (wins, losses, and saves) the pitcher had, on the theory that a pitcher who participates in more decisions was more likely to pitch in close, and therefore higher-leverage, situations. Gagne's 82.3 innings pitched are treated by the system as if they were 128 innings, a 56% increase in "leverage," but I honestly don't know if that is high enough. I count a save as being 30% as valuable as a win or loss, in terms of counting up decisions; pushing that up to even .35 would give Gagne a 9.3 and my first-place Pitcher of the Year vote. The value of that is important not only for Gagne's season, but for the career ratings of players like Eckersley, Fingers, Sutter, and Gossage, and is an area I'd really like to attack in the off-season.

National League Rookie of the Year

  1. Brandon Webb (6.8)
  2. Scott Podsednik (6.1)
  3. Marlon Byrd (5.8)

I will make no apologies to Dontrelle Willis (5.5) for not giving him a vote, but the WARP system doesn't have a hype adjustment, and treats the starts where he got pounded with as much weight as his first eight where the league didn't know what to do with him. It is just his bad luck that he played in the NL, since in the AL he would have had the third-place vote. He can take solace in the fact that he is three years younger than anyone who did get a vote, and that I would have swapped him with Podsednik if I voted on futue potential instead of 2003 performance.

National League Manager of the Year

  1. Jack McKeon
  2. Felipe Alou
  3. Jim Tracy

Honorable Mention: Frank Robinson

I think McKeon is as close to a hands-down winner in this category as we have ever seen; the turnaround from a bumbling club whose best starter was just lost for the season to Wild Card winner was dramatic. Alou's vote is primarily a reflection of how the Giants over-won for their performance; I don't know if the credit should properly go to him or not. Tracy and Robinson both kept teams who had no business contending for anything other frequent-flyer miles on the edge of the playoffs for an amazingly long time, and I had to resort to an Executive Decison Maker (2000 Virginia model, featuring three ships headed for Jamestown) to pick between them.

American League Player of the Year

  1. Alex Rodriguez (12.5)
  2. Bret Boone (11.8)
  3. Carlos Delgado (10.9)
  4. Roy Halladay (10.6)
  5. Esteban Loaiza (10.6)
  6. Alfonso Soriano (9.9)
  7. Eric Chavez (9.9)
  8. Magglio Ordonez (9.7)
  9. Manny Ramirez (9.6)
  10. Tim Hudson (9.5)

I'm perfectly willing to use 'made playoffs' as a criterion when it is a close call, but in this case it isn't. A-Rod has a commanding lead over Soriano, the highest rated playoff maker in the group. The offensive co-champs, Delgado and Ramirez, both give up a lot of ground on defense, especially Manny. Chavez is only there because of his defense. I rated Loaiza lower than Hallday (even though his team won more games) because of the opponent's batting strength. Loaiza's opponents batted a combined 0.261/.328/.412 (.739 OPS), while Halladay's opponents hit .265/.336/.430 (.766), according to Mr. Woolner's report. That creates an advantage of about 7% for Loaiza (in terms of runs), which would drive his WARP score down to about 10.2; still ahead of Soriano, but behind Halladay.

American League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Roy Halladay (10.6)
  2. Esteban Loaiza (10.6/10.2 adjusted for quality of opposition)
  3. Tim Hudson (9.5/9.3)
  4. Pedro Martinez (9.4/9.2)
  5. Mike Mussina (8.9/9.1)

Since the top five pitchers were pretty clear, I used Halladay as the standard level for quality, and adjusted everybody else to his opponent OPS total. The differences aren't quite enough to change the order of the top five, except for breaking the apparent tie between Halladay and the surprising Esteban Loaiza (who surprised my otherwise above-average HACKING MASS team into a 567th-place finish).

American League Rookie of the Year

  1. Angel Berroa (7.0)
  2. Rocco Baldelli (6.9)
  3. Jody Gerut (4.9)

All of the wailing and gnashing of teeth that accompanied votes for Ichiro Suzuki, Kaz Sasaki, or Hideo Nomo as rookies in their first (North American) major league season should have been moot this year, as Hideki Matsui finsihed a distant fifth among AL rookies with a 4.1 WARP (Francisco Rodriguez was fourth at 4.2). At least, that is how it is for WARP. Unfortunately, since he did lead all rookies in batting RAR, he is going to get some serious votes for first. The difference is defense; Matsui's rates at -17 runs, mostly in left field, which is atrocious in the extreme; meanwhile, Berroa and Baldelli both turned in +12s at more difficult positions, and Gerut was a little above average in right field.

American League Manager of the Year

  1. Tony Pena
  2. Ron Gardenhire
  3. Ken Macha

I know the schedule had a lot to do with Kansas City's run at contention, but the fact that this was a team I thought would have to fight to break 70. Gardenhire won with a team that should have been beaten by Chicago, and Macha won with a team that should have been beaten by the Mariner. Now maybe that says more about Jerry Manuel and Bob Melvin, but I would rather look at this from the positive side and give credit to the winners, so Gardenhire and Macha are in.

Gary Huckabay

American League Player of the Year

  1. Alex Rodriguez
  2. Bret Boone
  3. Carlos Delgado
  4. Vernon Wells
  5. Manny Ramirez
  6. Bill Mueller
  7. Nomar Garciaparra
  8. Pedro Martinez
  9. Eric Chavez
  10. Carlos Beltran

I don't really see a good argument for voting against A-Rod, and my perception is that he's never going to get a fair shake in people's minds because The Contract is always in the back of people's minds. You can see the spots where I believe a player's defense is a major strength, particularly in the case of Chavez coming in at #9. I think this is the year A-Rod finally receives credit for his accomplishments, even from the BBWAA.

National League Player of the Year

  1. Barry Bonds
  2. Albert Pujols
  3. Javy Lopez
  4. Marcus Giles
  5. Gary Sheffield
  6. Edgar Renteria
  7. Mark Prior
  8. Kevin Brown
  9. Jim Edmonds
  10. Jim Thome

Honorable mention: Mark Loretta. Loretta wouldn't be in the top 15 of my selections, but if there's even a fringe protest movement for Shannon Stewart in the AL, Loretta deserves more attention in the NL. Why?

          PA  AVG  OBP  SLG  EqA  VORP
Stewart  625 .307 .364 .459 .283  19.9
Loretta  650 .316 .374 .445 .291  53.0

The only reason that anybody thinks Stewart deserves any attention is because of the way the Twins started tearing everyone up once he got traded there. Post hoc, ergo, propter hoc. In reality, much more of Minnesota's surge was attributable to the teams they faced after Stewart's arrival. From the time Stewart came over until the end of the season, the Twins had 69 games. Thirty-five of those games were against the Tigers, Indians, and Orioles, a few others against the Angels and Rangers. In short, a better argument can be made for the MLB Scheduling Office than for Shannon Stewart. Stewart's a serviceable outfielder. He's not an Player of the Year candidate.

If Bonds really does want to finish his career in the AL as a DH, let me propose a trade right now. I'm not officially permitted to speak for the A's front office, but Brian, if you're reading, I'm positive Billy will let you have noted 2B speedburner Esteban German and C Cody McKay for Bonds, provided you're willing to pick up 92.5% of the cash remaining on Bonds' contract. You might even be able to get Durazo in the deal. To save you time in getting to the Rolodex, you can reach the A's front desk at (510) 638-0500. Don't delay! Call now! It's never too early to purge the geezers!

American League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Roy Halladay
  2. Tim Hudson
  3. Pedro Martinez
  4. Mike Mussina
  5. Esteban Loaiza

I can't remember a year when this has been closer. I went through three different iterations of this ballot, one each with the top three in the #1 spot. I do think Loaiza's for real to a large extent, and will retain a large portion of the ground he gained this year. But this year, he's not #1 on my ballot because of Detroit, against whom he pitched nearly 20% of his total innings. Shutting down that offense really isn't all that terribly impressive, even with a 1.21 ERA. Going down to a silly granularity, let's review those starts:

Game Comments:

@ CHC, 4 Apr: 37 degrees, 21 mph wind
@ DET, 11 Apr: Bocachica, Halter, Higginson, Young, Pena, Paquette, Munson, Walbeck, Santiago. Eek!
@ CHC, 24 May: Kingsale, Santiago, Higginson, Young, Pena, Witt, Munson, Inge, Infante.
@ DET, 10 Jul: Sanchez, Morris, Young, Witt, Munson, Monroe, Pena, Walbeck, Santiago
@ CHC, 20 Jul: Sanchez, Morris, Young, Witt, Pena, Monroe, Munson, Walbeck, Petrick, Santiago. Borders on MLB lineup.
@ DET, 31 Aug: Sanchez, Klassen, Pena, Young, Witt, Monroe, Morris, Inge, Santiago

Those aren't opponents for which you get credit for holding the offense down. Maybe you get an assist.

National League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Jason Schmidt
  2. Mark Prior
  3. Kevin Brown
  4. Livan Hernandez
  5. Javier Vazquez

American League Rookie of the Year

  1. Angel Berroa
  2. Mark Teixeira
  3. Jody Gerut

I'm not omitting Hideki Matsui because he played in Japan for years, but rather because all three of these guys are better. Berroa played like he never had that hiccup in his development in the minors, and will get more credit for his defense down the road. Teixeira will be an all-star long after Matsui is forgotten in the U.S., and Jody Gerut just played better. Nothing against Matsui, who is a fine ballplayer, but these guys, and Rocco Baldelli, were all better.

National League Rookie of the Year

  1. Brandon Webb
  2. Dontrelle Willis
  3. Scott Podsednik

Willis got the ink, but Webb's earned this. Congratulations to Scott Podsednik, who I think will finish in the RoY money, and in many, many, many ways is like his Brewer soulmate Pat Listach.

American League Manager of the Year

  1. Carlos Tosca
  2. Tony Pena
  3. Ken Macha

I know Pena's going to win it, but let's take a look at Tosca's performance. Pena gets credit for being a great teacher, and Berroa's development is clearly a point in his favor, but consider the improvements of players like Wells, Halladay, and Orlando Hudson, not to mention the fact that the Jays lost only 30 games after the All-Star Break. Tosca did a good job of putting his players in positions where they can succeed, and he improved the team. Does anyone think Toronto won't be in the running next year? How about Kansas City? The Blue Jays' improvement's more substantial, and Tosca's a big part of that.

National League Manager of the Year

  1. Jack McKeon
  2. Jim Tracy
  3. Frank Robinson

Coincidentally, Jim Tracy was also the eighth best hitter on the Dodgers this year. Jack McKeon would have been the 13th best.

Jonah Keri

National League Player of the Year

  1. Bonds
  2. Pujols
  3. Lopez
  4. Sheffield
  5. Schmidt
  6. Renteria
  7. M. Giles
  8. Prior
  9. Rolen
  10. Livan Hernandez

American League Player of the Year

  1. A-Rod
  2. Pedro
  3. Boone
  4. Loaiza
  5. Manny
  6. Delgado
  7. Hudson
  8. Posada
  9. Halladay
  10. Mueller

National League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Schmidt
  2. Prior
  3. Liv. Hernandez
  4. Webb
  5. K. Brown

American League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Pedro
  2. Loaiza
  3. Hudson
  4. Halladay
  5. Moyer

National League Rookie of the Year

  1. Webb
  2. Willis
  3. Podsednik

American League Rookie of the Year

  1. Berroa
  2. Matsui
  3. Teixeira

National League Manager of the Year

  1. McKeon
  2. Alou
  3. Brenly

American League Manager of the Year

  1. Pena
  2. Macha
  3. Torre

Dayn Perry

American League Player of the Year

  1. A-Rod
  2. Bret Boone
  3. Delgado
  4. Halladay
  5. Manny
  6. Posada
  7. Vernon W.
  8. Mueller
  9. Beltran
  10. Pedro

The only way to avoid shifting standards and abject subjectivity is to award this to the best player. That's A-Rod. Mutable definitions of "value" only cloud the issue of who's doing their job better than anyone else. That's A-Rod. I guess I'm the only one not so high on Pedro's season.

National League Player of the Year

  1. Bonds
  2. Pujols
  3. Prior
  4. J. Lopez
  5. Sheffield
  6. M. Giles
  7. Renteria
  8. J. Vazquez
  9. Helton
  10. Rolen

Not much to say here. I think Javy's being generally underrated, as has been the case for most of his career. And Vazquez's season was quietly a brilliant one. Why's Helton being overlooked?

American League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Halladay
  2. Pedro
  3. Mussina
  4. Loaiza
  5. Hudson

The innings difference is just too much to overcome for Pedro, and Halladay had a much better K/BB. Honestly, this one wasn't even that close in my mind. I think Mussina's fine work this season is being widely ignored. He had a great season, especially considering the awful defense he had behind him.

National League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Prior
  2. Vazquez
  3. Schmidt
  4. Gagne
  5. Schilling

Prior... Let's not forget he contributed 7.9 VORP with the bat. Schilling also had another excellent season--but, unlike Pedro, his innings deficit isn't being forgiven.

American League Rookie of the Year

  1. Berroa
  2. Soriano
  3. Matsui

I'll call Soriano a rookie, but I'll call Berroa the RoY. Quite a dropoff from two to three. Color me unimpressed with regard to Matsui, but I'll give him the narrow edge over K-Rod.

National League Rookie of the Year

  1. Webb
  2. Posednik
  3. Willis

I was tempted to rank Posednik at the top, but Webb wins out. I was also tempted to give Jose Valverde the third spot, but I'll go with Willis' innings.

National League Manager of the Year

  1. Pena
  2. Torre
  3. Macha

My most hated award. Subjectivity's quite the bummer for me. Pena it is. Whatever.

National League Manager of the Year

  1. McKeon
  2. Cox
  3. Tracy

On opposite day, I'd go with La Russa. I may be confusing correlation with causation, but there's little disputing what happened to the Fish once McKeon took the wheel.

Nate Silver

American League Player of the Year

  1. Rodriguez
  2. Posada
  3. Delgado
  4. Boone
  5. Ramirez
  6. Garciaparra
  7. Beltran
  8. Soriano
  9. Chavez
  10. Halladay

We're not going to get much argument about #1 in this group. I'm not opposed to looking at team success if it's close. In this case, it isn't.

To the extent I've made a subjective pick here, it's Posada in the #2 slot, but the seven or eight next-best picks are barely distinguishable, and I don't know if our metrics account fully for the fact that it's hard to catch every single day, so I give him a boost. Otherwise, my ballot looks about the same as everyone else's, with Beltran and Chavez getting brownie points for their defense.

National League Player of the Year

  1. Bonds
  2. Pujols
  3. Lopez
  4. Sheffield
  5. Renteria
  6. Helton
  7. Marcus Giles
  8. Rolen
  9. Thome
  10. Prior

I don't think Bonds v. Pujols is quite the rout that people are making it out to be. Thirty games is a lot, and if you set the replacement level bar really, really, really low (like, say, Win Shares does, which rates Pujols higher this year) then you perhaps have a case. Not a very good case mind you, more like a case of skunky Dos Equis that had been sitting on the shipping cart for too long, but a case nevertheless.

American League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Halladay
  2. Loaiza
  3. Martinez
  4. Hudson
  5. Mussina

You know, I think he's for real, and I'd have liked to put Esteban Loaiza's name first, but Halladay's edge in innings and quality of competition is just too much to overcome. Similarly, I look at innings pitched in placing Loaiza ahead of Martinez; sure, Loaiza would have liked to erase those disastrous last five starts of his, but those are starts that Martinez didn't make at all.

National League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Prior
  2. Gagne
  3. Schmidt
  4. Livan Hernandez
  5. Brown

I was just about ready to give Eric Gagne the nod and write a little rant about how the analytical community has gone too far in debunking the closer myth and now undervalues great relievers and blah blah blah but the fact of the matter is that Mark Prior has everything you look for in a Pitcher of the Year candidate and then some, and while I've examined the question only superficially, I don't the leverage of Gagne's innings is *quite* high enough to make up the difference.

American League Rookie of the Year

  1. Berroa
  2. Teixeira
  3. Matsui

I did not consider Rafael Soriano.

National League Rookie of the Year

  1. Webb
  2. Willis
  3. Sco-Pod

American League Manager of the Year

  1. Pena
  2. Macha
  3. Gardenhire

National League Manager of the Year

  1. Alou
  2. McKeon
  3. Baker

The Giants underwent a significant roster turnover, and more than their share of tragedy, but weathered the storm to lead from start to finish, while significantly outperforming their Pythagenport projection. Hence, the pick of Alou. This is not the time to get into a nuanced debate about Dusty Baker, but I think to exclude him entirely would be sort of sour grapes.

Ryan Wilkins

National League Player of the Year

  1. Superman
  2. Albert Pujols
  3. Gary Sheffield
  4. Mark Prior
  5. Eric Gagne
  6. Javy Lopez
  7. Marcus Giles
  8. Jason Schmidt
  9. Edgar Renteria
  10. Javier Vazquez

This one's been discussed to death. Barry was clearly the best player in the National League, even after you account for playing time issues. Deal with it. I was somewhat uncomfortable with the number of Braves on my ballot, but I guess that's what happens when you lead the league in every offensive category in the land.

National League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Mark Prior
  2. Eric Gagne
  3. Jason Schmidt
  4. Javier Vazquez
  5. Guillermo Mota

Numbers one-through-three could be arranged in almost any order. I don't have a philosophical problem with giving the Pitcher of the Year to a reliever, but if I'm going to do it, I want to be sure that he was more valuable than the best starter in the league by a definitive margin. I know the Dodgers played a ridiculous number of close games, etc., but at the end of the day, I'm just not certain enough about Gagne's value to take it away from the starter who tossed 200+ innings and struck out more than 10 men per. This was the toughest decision on the ballot. Guillermo Mota slides in at No. 5 with a year straight out of the Bruce Sutter Collection.

National League Rookie of the Year

  1. Brandon Webb
  2. Scott Posednik
  3. Dontrelle Willis

The easiest decision on the ballot. About a month ago I was arguing with a local sports writer while at an A's game, and said that Webb had been nearly twice as good as Willis this year. He said that wasn't possible. I know it's not perfect, but...

Pitcher               SNVA
--------------------------
Brandon Webb           4.4
Dontrelle Willis       2.1

National League Manager of the Year

  1. Jack McKeon
  2. Frank Robinson
  3. Bob Brenly

I hate choosing Manager of the Year because it's so subject to media bias, etc. McKeon took over a team that I honestly believed didn't have a chance, and took them to the playoffs. Brenly gets some credit for weathering the storm while Schilling and Unit were on the DL (and not their vintage selves), and keeping the team in contention.

American League Player of the Year

  1. Alex Rodriguez
  2. Pedro Martinez
  3. Bret Boone
  4. Roy Halladay
  5. Jorge Posada
  6. Carlos Delgado
  7. Manny Ramirez
  8. Vernon Wells
  9. Carlos Beltran
  10. Nomar Garciaparra

Note the absence of Shannon Stewart. Numbers one-through-four are pretty clear in my mind. Carlos Beltran leapfrogs Nomar, Tim Hudson, Frank Thomas, Edgar Martinez, and Alfonso Soriano thanks to superb defense and my soft spot for players who seemingly "learn" to walk. I expect Beltran to dethrone A-Rod at least once over the next three years.

American League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Pedro Martinez
  2. Roy Halladay
  3. Tim Hudson
  4. Esteban Loaiza
  5. Johan Santana

Taking Pedro over Halladay and his absurd innings workload wasn't easy. For better or for worse, though, I prefer quality to quantity. Johan Santana comes in at No. 5; that's the lowest I expect him to finish over the next few years.

American League Rookie of the Year

  1. Francisco Rodriguez
  2. Angel Berroa
  3. Rafael Soriano

I don't think people realize how good K-Rod was this season, especially after his putrid start.

American League Manager of the Year

  1. Tony Pena
  2. Carlos Tosca
  3. Ken Macha

I expect Carlos Tosca to be No. 1 in this category at the end of next season.

Michael Wolverton

National League Player of the Year

  1. Bonds
  2. Pujols
  3. Sheffield
  4. Renteria
  5. Helton
  6. Javy Lopez
  7. Webb
  8. Schmidt
  9. Gagne
  10. Rolen

American League Player of the Year

  1. A-Rod
  2. Pedro
  3. Boone
  4. Manny
  5. Delgado
  6. Hudson
  7. Loaiza
  8. Giambi
  9. Mueller
  10. Posada

National League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Webb
  2. Schmidt
  3. Gagne
  4. Prior
  5. Wagner

American League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Pedro
  2. Hudson
  3. Loaiza
  4. Halladay
  5. Foulke

National League Rookie of the Year

  1. Webb
  2. Willis
  3. Jerome Williams

American League Rookie of the Year

  1. Berroa
  2. Soriano
  3. F-Rod

National League Manager of the Year

  1. Cox
  2. Baker
  3. Alou

American League Manager of the Year

  1. Torre
  2. Pena
  3. Macha

Keith Woolner

American League Player of the Year

  1. Alex Rodriguez
  2. Bret Boone
  3. Pedro Martinez
  4. Roy Halladay
  5. Carlos Delgado
  6. Manny Ramirez
  7. Jorge Posada
  8. Bill Mueller
  9. Esteban Loaiza
  10. Vernon Wells

Honorable mentions: Tim Hudson, Frank Thomas, Alfonso Soriano, Edgar Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, Dmitri Young, Carlos Beltran, Aubrey Huff.

One of these years A-Rod has to win it. Boone was nearly as good a hitter when parks are considered, and also plays middle infield. I tend to rate pitchers higher than many on Player of the Year ballots. Delgado and Ramirez were almost identical hitters, with Delgado's playing time edging Manny's slight positional advantage. Posada is ranked higher than his VORP would indicate, perhaps reflective of a bias towards catchers who can hit. Mueller could be ranked higher if you credited his surprise season with the Bosox being able to move Shea Hillenbrand to help stabilize the bullpen.

National League Player of the Year

  1. Barry Bonds
  2. Albert Pujols
  3. Gary Sheffield
  4. Javy Lopez
  5. Eric Gagne
  6. Marcus Giles
  7. Jason Schmidt
  8. Edgar Renteria
  9. Todd Helton
  10. Brandon Webb

Honorable mentions: Mark Prior, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Richie Sexson, Mark Loretta, Billy Wagner.

The gap in MLVr between Bonds and Pujols is bigger than that between Sammy Sosa and an average hitter. Sorry Albert. Note that even the arguably greatest relief season in history only cracks the top five--80-inning closers are not Player of the Years, not even if they're perfect. Giles and Renteria were the NL's lesser known counterparts to Bret Boone and Nomar Garciaparra.

American League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Pedro Martinez
  2. Roy Halladay
  3. Esteban Loaiza
  4. Tim Hudson
  5. Johan Santana

Honorable mentions: Mark Mulder, Jamie Moyer, Bartolo Colon, Mike Mussina, Barry Zito, Scot Shields.

The top four were all bunched within eight VORP of each other, and were the top four in SNWL for the AL as well. Loaiza and Hudson pitched for two teams in the top half of Defensive Efficiency, and had the lowest ball-in-play averages (though Hudson was the only one noticeably below the others), and so I knocked them down a tiny bit for the extra defensive support. Pedro vs. Halladay was a tough choice. Pedro had the better SNWL by quite a bit, but Hallday had better peripherals (better SO/BB ratio, better ground-to-fly ratio, higher percentage of pitches thrown for strikes). Not to mention the 80 extra innings--a slight change in where you think replacement level should be set would have made a big difference in ranking the two. In the end, it was Pedro's absurdly low HR allowed total (seven in 186.7 innings)--the lowest rate of HR allowed by any pitcher with more than 85 innings--that broke the tie.

National League Pitcher of the Year

  1. Eric Gagne
  2. Jason Schmidt
  3. Brandon Webb
  4. Mark Prior
  5. Billy Wagner

Honorable mentions: Javier Vazquez, Livan Hernandez, Kerry Wood, Kevin Brown, Guillermo Mota.

My rule of thumb is that a closer's innings have about double the leverage that a starting pitcher's does, which would put Gagne ahead on VORP (which is not so-weighted), even before you look qualitatively at how absurdly good his season was. Schmidt was the narrowly the best of the starting pitchers, though cases could be made for Webb, Prior, Javier Vazquez, or Livan Hernandez. The fifth spot goes to Billy Wagner, who wasn't that far behind Gagne in quality, and pitched better than the more heralded John Smoltz.

American League Rookie of the Year

  1. Rafael Soriano
  2. Angel Berroa
  3. Francisco Rodriguez

Honorable mentions: Jose Contreras, Hideki Matsui, Aquilino Lopez, Jody Gerut Rocco Baldelli, Eric Munson, Mark Teixeira, Travis Hafner.

Unlike the other awards, I do not consider playing time as heavily in awarding ROY than I do the rate of production, which makes straight VORP less applicable. Something like PMLV for position players or runs prevented (RP) for pitchers, which compare to league average and give less of a bonus for playing time, is closer to what I look for. Having Soriano first is bound to be a surprise, especially given he only pitched 53 innings. But a rookie putting up numbers comparable to Billy Wagner while contributing to a playoff contender gets my attention.

National League Rookie of the Year

  1. Brandon Webb
  2. Scott Podsednik
  3. Dontrelle Willis

Honorable mentions: Marlon Byrd, Jason Phillips, Keith Ginter, Jose Reyes, David Ross, Jerome Williams, Oscar Villarreal, Brad Lidge, Javier Lopez, Jose Valverde, Luis Ayala, Horacio Ramirez.

Not much to say here. Anyone listing Willis ahead of Webb is simply wrong.

National League Manager of the Year

  1. McKeon
  2. Cox
  3. Alou

Manager of the Year more or less comes down to what teams had surprising seasons, which stayed afloat despite personnel turnover, or which managers have had consistently good teams in recent years. The lack of objective measures to assess field managers makes this more or less a gut feel, which is contrary to the evidence-based reasoning we employ elsewhere.

American League Manager of the Year

  1. Macha
  2. Torre
  3. Trammell

In the clutch performance of the year, Alan Trammell led the Tigers to double their prior winning percentage over the last 10 games of the season to avoid entering the history books.

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