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Welcome all to the results of the Baseball Prospectus Mid-Season Awards. The points system is 10-7-5-3-1 for the MVP and Cy Young Awards, and 5-3-1 for the Rookie Awards. BP authors' picks, with all-too-clever comments, are included here, below the awards standings. Hitters: Ballots, Points (1st Place Votes), (Avg/OBP/SLG/RARP/VORP) Pitchers: Ballots, Points (1st Place Votes), (ERA, IP, SNWAR or ARP, VORP)

Welcome all to the results of the Baseball Prospectus Mid-Season Awards.

The points system is 10-7-5-3-1 for the MVP and Cy Young Awards, and 5-3-1 for the Rookie Awards. BP authors' picks, with all-too-clever comments, are included here, below the awards standings.

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April 2, 2004 12:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: Miguel Tejada

0

Fernando Ruano, Jr.

Rarely is Miguel Tejada unaccounted for in the Baltimore Orioles' clubhouse. Tejada isn't afraid to make his own fashion statement--even if it's not approved--raise his voice a few decimals, or just chat away until his new teammates have heard enough. By his own admission Tejada relishes being the center of attention, and he's certainly earned that right. An undrafted free agent out of Bani, Dominican Republic, Tejada signed with the Oakland A's in 1993 wth hopes of following in the steps of his childhood idol, Alfredo Griffin. Over a decade later Tejada is already considerd a member of baseball's top-tier shortstops. But after validating his star-status by winning the 2002 American League MVP Award and being part of the A's recent postseason run, Tejada, who signed a six-year, $72 million deal in the off-season, is ready to begin a new chapter in his career. BP recently interviewed Tejada about saying good-bye to Oakland, swinging the bat in hitter-friendly Camden Yards and patroling the same postion in Baltimore that for years belonged to Cal Ripken Jr..

Baseball Prospectus: When you run out to shortstop at Camden Yards April 4th for the first time as an Oriole you are going to be in charge of the same position that Cal Ripken Jr. mastered for so many years in Baltimore. What are the things that come to mind when anybody mentions Cal, and do you feel added pressure knowing what he will always mean to the city of Baltimore?

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If the shot of Ugueth Urbina tackling Ivan Rodriguez as Rodriguez holds up a baseball in triumph isn't on the front page of Sports Illustrated and every other sports publication next week, just fire all the editors. That was one of the single greatest pictures I've ever seen in sports, an amazing display of joy. Just remembering that whole sequence gives me chills as I sit here and write about it 12 hours later...the arc of the baseball looping into left field, as J.T. Snow tries to find second gear...Jeff Conine getting rid of the ball quickly...Rich Aurilia desperately waving Snow to the inside of home plate...the collision...Rodriguez tumbling back, gripping the baseball...Snow dropping his head to the plate in disappointment...Urbina diving onto his teammate... I'm not sure Rodriguez still isn't holding that baseball. He may show up with it in his hand on Tuesday. Heck, he may show up with it at his Hall of Fame induction.

However, I don't spend enough time writing about the flip side of that equation. For better or worse, the Division Series has provided a lot of exciting moments in the last nine years. Yesterday, a rare four-playoff-game day, was an example of the format at its best.

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March 19, 2003 12:00 am

6-4-3: The Sin of the Politician

0

Gary Huckabay

There are certain occupations where mentioning the elephant in the room that everyone knows about but no one acknowledges can be hazardous to your continued livelihood. You can't find a single politician, for example, who thinks that Social Security is viable long term without significant benefit cuts or tax increases. And yet, because Joe Sheehan's assessment of Americans is, by and large, too charitable--and because we've all embraced the tragedy of the commons with such zeal--no elected official in their right mind will come out in favor of cutting Social Security benefits or dramatically raising taxes. So, instead of trying to solve the problem in advance, we'll wait until there's a crisis and do a half-assed job of fixing it down the road, when the problem's particularly acute, and the group that will take it in the shorts when that happens will be the group that's either demographically or electorally challenged. It's the way we do things. We don't often mention the elephant in the room, even though its presence is patently obvious. Last Saturday, Oakland A's owner Steve Schott flashed a spotlight on the elephant in the room.

So, instead of trying to solve the problem in advance, we'll wait until there's a crisis and do a half-assed job of fixing it down the road, when the problem's particularly acute, and the group that will take it in the shorts when that happens will be the group that's either demographically or electorally challenged. It's the way we do things. We don't often mention the elephant in the room, even though its presence is patently obvious.

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It's hard to say if the Baseball Writers Association will ever give Alex Rodriguez the MVP award he's due, but Internet Baseball Awards electors voted Rodriguez his second Internet AL Player of the Year award in 2002 by a decisive margin; he won almost 70% of the first-place votes.

It's hard to say if the Baseball Writers Association will ever give Alex Rodriguez the MVP award he's due, but Internet Baseball Awards electors voted Rodriguez his second Internet AL Player of the Year award in 2002 by a decisive margin; he won almost 70% of the first-place votes. He had previously won this award in 1996, while finishing second in 1998, 2000, and 2001. Miguel Tejada, who had never finished in the top twenty before, came in second as a result of his strong performance during the Athletics' 103-win season. Jason Giambi, the winner of the 2000 and 2001 Internet AL Player of the Years while with Oakland, finished third in his first year as a Yankee. Alfonso Soriano, who had a season not like any other in baseball history with its blend of strengths and weaknesses, finished a strong fourth, and had the third-highest total of first-place votes. Jim Thome, who has finished in the top fifteen seven of the last eight years, matched his highest-ever ranking with a fifth place finish. Torii Hunter's breakout season with the bat vaulted him into sixth place, while Manny Ramirez' seventh-place mark is the fifth year in a row he's finished in the top ten. Pedro Martinez, the winner of the 1999 Internet AL Player of the Year, was the highest ranking pitcher in ninth place, while the highest-rated reliever, Billy Koch, wound up in twenty-sixth place. Ichiro Suzuki, last year's BBWAA AL MVP--he finished fifth in Internet voting--wound up being twentieth in his second go-round. Derek Jeter finished outside the top fifteen for the first time since 1997. Seventeen of the top twenty players were on teams with at least a .500 record, while ten of the those seventeen made it into the playoffs.

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This is my favorite playoff series, if only because it's going to finally put the lie to Bud Selig's constant lament that no team in the lower half of payroll has ever advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs. The Twins and the A's were respectively 27th and 28th in ESPN's Opening Day payroll tally. I'm surprised that the right Honorable Commissioner didn't intervene and 'fix' the matchups in what he might see as the best interests of baseball. One of these teams will win three games and advance, only to be immediately heralded as an aberration, no matter what happens when they face the Yankees.

This is my favorite playoff series, if only because it's going to finally put the lie to Bud Selig's constant lament that no team in the lower half of payroll has ever advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs. The Twins and the A's were respectively 27th and 28th in ESPN's Opening Day payroll tally. I'm surprised that the right Honorable Commissioner didn't intervene and 'fix' the matchups in what he might see as the best interests of baseball. One of these teams will win three games and advance, only to be immediately heralded as an aberration, no matter what happens when they face the Yankees.

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