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May 17, 2012 3:00 am

On the Beat: The Winning Formula

25

John Perrotto

Ron Washington isn't ready to say his team is the best in the bigs, and a chat with Jose Altuve.

Ian Kinsler is not a sabermetrician, but he is a heckuva baseball player and a logical enough guy. So, it only seemed natural to ask the All-Star second baseman if he thinks his Rangers are the best team in baseball.

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Interleague play and expanded playoffs have done away with many of the differences in AL and NL play and personality, but some traces remain.

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.
 


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Now that the regular season has wrapped up, here's a look at who BP staffers think should win the major awards.

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.

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Going through the Swanson Showdown for baseball's three Ron's.

There is very little room for debate: Ron Swanson is one of the best characters on television right now and may well be one of the best characters of the past 10 or 15 years. If you aren't lucky enough to know who Ron Swanson is already, let me briefly explain. Swanson is a character on the series Parks and Recreation, a show created by Michael Schur, more popularly known as "Ken Tremendous" on the defunct blog "Fire Joe Morgan". Swanson is the mustachioed, meat-eating, meetings-hating, library-loathing, libertarian Director of the Pawnee, Indiana, Parks department. He's opinionated and gruff, but easily likable. His only cares in life are real, hearty American food (a turkey leg wrapped in bacon is called a "Swanson"), strong, successful women ("your Steffi Grafs and Sheryl Swoopses"), and dealing with as few fellow civil servants and members of the public as possible.

A two sentence description of Ron Swanson does not do him justice, though. For that, you need to either watch the show or, at the very least, read through some of his best quotes. Sufficed to say, Ron Swanson is the type of man every manager should strive to be.

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