A peak back at contemporary accounts of Curt Schilling's rise to stardom.
With the Hall of Fame announcement scheduled for this week, now is a good time to look back at the early careers of some of this year's most talked-about nominees.(And with the early exit polls looking as they do, it might be nice to remember just how great some of these players were.) This post was originally written (mostly) in 2009.
If this year's Hall of Fame ballot weren't explicitly designed by the baseball gods to ruffle a serious amount of feathers, one of the most intriguing new names would almost certainly be Curt Schilling. He's been in the news recently for many non-baseball reasons, but, as a player pitching for the World Champion Diamondbacks and Red Sox who struck out more than 300 batters three separate times, he was a great regular season pitcher whose postseason success may legitimately boost him into Cooperstown. With the hoopla at the top of the ballot, however, it might be a while before voters give him his fair due.
A look at the monetary incentive players have to perform well in the postseason.
Incentive. At the workplace, it comes in many forms. For some, it’s merely being able to keep your job. In other cases, one can receive a pay bonus. So whether for Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation or players in Major League Baseball, bonuses can be used as a carrot for performance.
For players in Major League Baseball, bonuses come in a host of different shapes and sizes. From signing to performance to awards, a player’s contract can have bonuses as a key element. One that often gets overlooked, however, centers on the postseason in the form of “shares.”
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The end of the season has arrived, so BP is ready to hand out its awards for the best of 2012.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff choices for the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results.
For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that has been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.
Bernie Williams burned it up with the Yankees during his career, but did the Puerto Rican do enough to blaze a trail to the Hall?
Before Derek Jeter, there was Bernie Williams. As the Yankees emerged from a barren stretch of 13 seasons without a trip to the playoffs from 1982-1994, and a particularly abysmal stretch of four straight losing seasons from 1989-1992, their young switch-hitting center fielder stood as a symbol for the franchise's resurgence. For too long, the Yankees had drafted poorly, traded away what homegrown talent they produced for veterans, and signed pricey free agents to fill the gaps as part of George Steinbrenner's eternal win-now directive. But with Steinbrennerbanned by commissioner Fay Vincent and the Yankees' day-to-day baseball operations in the hands of Gene Michael, promising youngsters were allowed to develop unimpeded.
In the midst of awards week, we remind you what awards we're missing.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
Think awards week is already long enough? Think again as you consider Derek's suggestions for even more awards, which originally ran as a "Breaking Balls" column on September 19, 2002.
An MVP award suggests that the Rays' Russ Canzler was the class of the International League, but as one Durham Bulls beat writer explains, Triple-A threats aren't always destined for major-league greatness.
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Adam Sobsey has been the Durham Bulls beat writer for the Independent Weekly since 2009. He has also won numerous awards as a playwright, and his work has been staged in New York, California, Austin and North Carolina. His most recent play, WESTERN MEN, or OPPOSITE TO HUMANITY, was a comparative intertextual weaving of Shakespeare's TIMON OF ATHENS with the lifelong friendship between the poet Ezra Pound and the painter/author Wyndham Lewis, commissioned and premiered by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern at the Nasher Museum of Art in October 2010. As a journalist, he has won the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Award for Arts Criticism, and two North Carolina Press Association Awards. In 2012, Adam will collaborate with writer Sam Stephenson, creator of the Jazz Loft Project, on a season-long documentary project about the Durham Bulls.
A look at the Phillies' two nearly identical Cy Young candidates.
The Philadelphia Phillies are rolling on their way to the National League's top seed and a first-round playoff appointment with either the Arizona Diamondbacks or the Milwaukee Brewers. The remainder of the regular season is merely a formality, and for fans of NL East teams that have been roughed up by the Phillies' pitching staff (Phillies pitchers have a 3.26 ERA and 3.35 FIP versus the NL East), it has seemed that way for much of the regular season.
Indeed, if there were one thing for the Phillies to “compete” for in terms of the regular season, it may very well be the National League Cy Young Award race—a race in which they own two of the possible three dogs.
Saluting the players whose accomplishments will go unrecognized during awards season.
While the postseason is in full bloom, the winners of the regular season awards will be revealed next month. At that juncture some fans will cheer, some will cry, and others will inevitably write articles about how the BBWAA messed up by not voting Justin Morneau as sixth in the AL MVP race, or why James Shields deserves Cy Young consideration because his predictive numbers were much better than his ERA would indicate; as the co-creator of SIERA, I think I can joke about its usage in award voting. I know from experience what it’s like to write such articles, as I once nastily opined that it was a sham how Roy Halladay finished out of the top three on the AL Cy Young Award ballots of some writers in 2008. Then again, even if Cliff Lee deserved the award, how in the world did Halladay fall out of the… never mind, this is no time to dwell.
The season's top skippers take their bows, plus new metrics enter into the voting picture, and rumors and rumblings.
Mike Scioscia is a testament to stability in an era when managers and coaches are being fired at a rapid rate in the major professional sports leagues. Scioscia has managed the Angels for the last 10 seasons, giving him the third-longest tenure among current major-league skippers. The Braves' Bobby Cox moved down for the general manager's office to replace manager Russ Nixon on June 22, 1990, and now has 19 full seasons of service with Atlanta. Tony La Russa completed his 14th season with the Cardinals this season.
One man's virtual ballot for the MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year awards.
In the excitement of the Twins/Tigers finish to the season and the quick run-up to the playoffs, I never published my Internet Baseball Awards ballots. Despite the late date-the BBWAA awards will be announced between now and Thanksgiving-these ballots do reflect only regular-season performance.
Trophy-laden Tribesmen toe the rubber tonight as foes, the new meaning of staying up late for the postseason, and more.
Six years have passed since the Yankees last played in the World Series, and nine years have gone by since they last won one. However, that does not mean that expectations have changed in the Bronx. When the Yankees host the Phillies tonight in Game One of the World Series at Yankee Stadium, they will do so with the expectation of winning their 27th title.