Last year it was Joe Maddon, Kris Bryant, and Jake Arrieta taking home hardware when the Baseball Writers Association of America’s postseason awards were announced. Two of those three found their names among the lists of finalists announced Monday evening, with a new pair joining the fray as well.
Maddon is once again up for Manager of the Year, along with the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts and the Nationals’ Dusty Baker. While I’m not at all surprised to see Baker’s name here, I’d be floored if he won. My vote would go to Maddon if I had one, but I’ve got a strong suspicion we’ll hear Roberts’ name called on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 6pm ET on MLB Network.
After taking home the NL Rookie of the Year last season, Bryant is the front-runner for the MVP this time around. LA’s Corey Seager and Washington’s Daniel Murphy join the Sparkly One on the ballot, but you have to figure the two of them are just playing for second. If Bryant indeed wins, it’ll cap a run that has seen him capture college and minor league player of year trophies, ROY, and MVP, all in consecutive seasons. Is that good? I think it’s good. We’ll find out whether Bryant adds to his trophy case on Nov. 17, also at 6pm.
Arrieta rode an historic second half to the Cy Young, beating out Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in the process. None of those three made the cut this time, though it’s entirely possible the award remains on the North Side of Chicago. Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks are up against each other and Max Scherzer, who appears to be the odds-on favorite to win.
Back in September, I wrote that I’d vote for Hendricks (which I did in the IBWAA voting), but that I didn’t think he’d actually win. He didn’t really have that signature game, at least not in terms of national cachet, and it seems that some are still skeptical of his soft-tossing ways. Or maybe the voters really dig that about him and cast ballots with his name for exactly that reason.
Lester was excellent all year as well, but actually had a worse season than in 2015 by most statistical measures. Since perception is reality, though, the veteran lefty will surely get a lot of votes. I think he may end up splitting some with his teammate, which will allow Scherzer to pull it out. He’s definitely deserving, all three of them are, I just think the situation is going to be in Scherzer’s favor when the Cy Young is announced on Nov. 16.
Of course, there are a few more awards to be given out, including some for AL players too. Weird, right? The demographic of my readers is obviously going to skew heavily toward the Cubs, but I’m still interested in hearing who you think will win. Let me know your reasoning in the comments below.