Monday, July 12, 2010

2010 YSSW Midseason Awards

As I write this, I am watching the Home Run Derby (on mute, thanks to Joe Morgan and Chris Berman) and pondering how much cooler this event was in the late 1990's.  Remember when Sosa and McGwire combined to jack like 120 homers over the Green Monster that one day?  And players didn't have to worry about "getting tired" or "messing up their swing," reasons that now keep some of the true sluggers out of the contest because they would shoot some juice after the Derby was over.  Yes, Nick Swisher, you suck, no one wants to see you hit pop flies to the warning track.  I miss watching guys who looked like Hercules get buck on this night and not regret it the next day.  Le sigh.

At least Corey Hart, one of my fantasy boys, has kicked ass so far.  I'm pretty sure that I get extra home run points for that.

In unrelated news, if you want to give yourself a brain aneurysm, I suggest taking on this challenge... watch the Derby and count the number of times Berman says "back."  I will mop up the blood that will drip from your ears after five minutes of tracking, I promise.

But now, what you all have been waiting for, the traditional midseason picks and predictions, because we here at Start Wedman like to take half a season to scout teams before making completely unattainable guesses at will happen in the future.  No guest this year since Weezy was too preoccupied.  Although I considered sending an invite to Snoop for this pop music classic (don't even try to tell me that video isn't the tits, I won't even hear it).  But then I remembered Snoop's career has been dead since this, much like a few of our writers.

First up is the new guy, TRISTAN:

NL MVP - Joey Votto. After not being a first ballot All Star, Votto will show the baseball world what he is made of. He is raking this year and hitting better than the likes of Pujols, Fielder, and Howard.
NL Cy Young - Josh Johnson. Sure, talk all you want about Ubaldo, but I'm not sold on him. He plays the NL West for half a year, of course his numbers will be inflated. How come no one is talking about Johnson's 1.69 ERA for a decent to crap team? Not to mention that Johnson is tied for third in the NL in strikeouts (123).
NL ROY - Buster Posey. Chose him based on the fact that Strasburg has already peaked this year and that Posey looks like he is 12. Batting .330 with 6 bombs in his first 35 games isn't a bad start to a career.
AL MVP - Josh Hamilton. Barring a relapse... errrrr... setback, Hamilton is giving Miggy Cabrera all he can handle for the MVP race.
AL Cy Young - Cliff Lee. He is only 8-3 because he has played on an awful team all year. Give him a decent offense. . .Yankees (ed's note - obviously this was written before he was traded to the mighty, mighty Rangers) . . . and who knows what his final numbers will tally.
AL ROY - Neftali Feliz. 22 year old who is currently anchoring down the very good Ranger bullpen. Struggled early in the year, but seems to have found his stride as of late.
 
 
ALDS:
Yankees vs. White Sox
Rangers vs. Rays
 
ALCS:
Yankees vs. Rangers
 
NLDS:
Braves vs. Rockies
Cardinals vs. Padres
 
NLCS:
Cardinals vs. Rockies
 
World Series:
Yankees vs. Cardinals; Yankees in 6
 
Solid work, T-Pain.  Highly inventive Yanks/Cards World Series match up.

And now with the knowledge from the streets, MR. ANONYMOUS:

AL MVP -  Miguel Cabrera.  Will not win the triple crown, but will gain 45 lbs over the offseason while celebrating, to continue his plan of snacking his way off the field.  Third to first to exclusive DH, just like another Detroit fatty.
AL CY Young -  Jered Weaver.  He is a Weaver.  The possibilities of great comedic articles to be written about this on YSSW is mouth watering.
AL Rookie of the Year -  Neftali Feliz.  He has a sweet name that reminds me of one of my favorite Christmas songs.   
Next prediction - That song will be stuck in your head for at least 3 hours now.
*** Bonus Pick*** (because I give more than required that is just how I roll.)
AL Home Runs -  Miguel Cabrera.  He will only hit 45 though.
NL MVP - Joey Votto.  Mainly because he is on my fantasy team.  He is an emerging star, and this will be the ultimate silencing of the haters for those who didn’t think he should be an all star despite being at or near the top of most offensive categories.  Plus MVP’s now a days have to be on good teams, and since the Reds (spoiler alert) are going to win the Central, this fits this bill as well.  He may win the Gold Glove as well since he is such a great hitter…
NL Cy Young -  Ubaldo Jimenez.  He is a beast.  So much so he will not be in Colorado next year - said it here first.  He will also win more than 23 games this year.
NL Rookie of the Year -  Stephen Strasburg.  Baseball writers are so captivated with him that there is no way for him not to win.  Is he deserving of it?  Likely.  But two words - Mark Prior.  Strasburg is going to start 10 games next season.  He is going to steal the award away from Jason Heyward (shouldn’t be an All Star this year though) who will be a great player for many years to come.  Not to be left out, Buster Posey will have the most positive impact on his teams on field play in the next few years. (ed's note - apparently the streets will recognize all rookie achievements this year?  But no Mike Leake?)
***Bonus Pick***
NL Home Runs -  Prince Fielder.  The Brewers suck so he will just keep swinging for the bleachers in the second half.  I hope he gets moved into the lead-off spot so he gets more at bats (very Cardinals like).  He will hit 52, or he will throw out his back.

POSTSEASON PICKS:

AL East -  Yankees.  Are good now, and will buy the needed pieces when it comes to the trade deadline.
AL Central -  Tigers.  I hate the White Sox.
AL West -  Rangers.  There is an AL West?  Huh, never hear anything about them.
AL Wild Card -  Rays.  See my reasoning for the Central.
AL Pennant -  Tigers.  Yankee let down after winning last year.  It does mean we have to watch Johnny Damon attempt to throw, which is ever so painful.
NL East -  Braves.  Bobby Cox and (possibly) Chipper’s last year, I’m hoping for some magic.
NL Central -  Reds.  In Dusty we Trusty.
NL West -  Dodgers.  San Diego will forget they are having a good year and will finally trade away Adrian Gonzalez.
NL Wild Card - Mets.  Cardinals suck too.
NL Pennant -  Braves.  Some inspired play and magic.  Plus I just couldn’t pick Dusty.
World Series Champion -  Braves…MAGIC.  1995 all over again. 
 
ZACH, set it straight.

AL MVP - Miguel Cabrera. I'm  determined to trade Cabrera to Cooly in our fantasy league.  Cooly is determined to keep rejecting these trade offers, so to spite him, Cabrera will win the AL MVP
NL MVP - Joey Votto.  I'm expecting the Reds to make the playoffs. If they do, there is no way you can not give this to Votto. His 4.1 WAR leads the NL (Morneau has a 5.0 WAR to lead the AL), and his team is playing well right now. He is the best player on an up and coming team. No way you can give it to Pujols this year.
AL ROY
- Toss up between Brennan Boesch and Austin Jackson.  I'm going to go with Jackson on this one. Sure he strikes out way too much, but I don't give a shit about strikeouts as long as you stay productive. Also, Jackson's defense is very solid, and in the Year of the Pitcher great defense should be rewarded.
NL ROY - Holy crap there are a lot of candidates here. Strasburg, Jaime Garcia, Heyward, Posey, Ike Davis, Mike Leake, Gaby Sanchez, Mike Stanton. What's going on here???? I'm going Jaime Garcia. 1) Great name 2) Year of the Pitcher 3) 2.17 ERA 4) 3.30 FIP 5) Jayson Stark described Garcia's pitching with the following: "he's ridden some of the nastiest offspeed stuff on Earth".  Nastiest offspeed stuff on Earth?  Yeah, I'm going with this guy.
AL CY YOUNG - Currently the AL East has 8 of the Top 9 Cy Young candidates on ESPN's Cy Young Predictor.  That is quite ridiculous.  Teams from other divisions should not even try.  The postseason should just be a 4 team mini playoff in the AL East.  That being said, I'm going with a guy who is not from the AL East.  Yea, I'm a renegade.  I'm picking Cliff Lee.  Mainly because he is very very good.
NL CY YOUNG - Ubaldo is the sexy pick because he's going to win about 25 games this year.  However, wins are stupid.  Because of that I will pick Josh Johnson.  I absolutely know I will be wrong on this at the end of the year.  If Ubaldo has a ton of wins, there is no way he does not get the Cy Young. I'm still going with Johnson though. He is a stud.
 
POSTSEASON PICKS:

AL EAST - Yankees
AL CENTRAL - White Sox (I believe again!)
AL WEST - Texas
AL WILDCARD - Rays

AL CHAMPION - Yankees

NL EAST - Mets
NL CENTRAL - Reds
NL WEST - Rockies
NL WILDCARD - Phillies

NL CHAMPION - Mets

WS CHAMPION - My potential World Series makes me want to shove sharp objects into my eye. I'll go with the Yanks to win the Series.
 
Anything I say from here on out will look smart after Zach just picked the Mets to go to the World Series.  Even Paul Moro would think that's a ridiculous idea.  But wait for the gem I have at the end of my awards.  I already feel like I have to kick myself off the site for what's about to come.  Because of that, I will start with my postseason picks.

AL EAST - Yankees
AL CENTRAL - Minnesota Twins
AL WEST - Rangers, I have to pick them now that they got Lee and no longer have to worry about pleasing Justin Smoak.
AL WILD CARD - Rays
AL CHAMPION - Yankees
NL EAST - Braves
NL CENTRAL - Cardinals, please, will people stop with this Reds talk?  They are overperforming and being carried by the weak back of Scott Rolen.  They will not win this division.  Plus, look at the schedules down the stretch.  I can't look it up right now because the internet in my hotel room is as slow as Paul Konerko.  But I'm pretty sure the Cardinals play 75% of their games against the Pirates in September and August.  Those games will be the difference.
NL WEST - Giants.  I'm sticking with them.  Mason the Bum is up now and Kung Fu Panda can't possibly suck this bad all season long.
NL WILD CARD - Phillies, assuming they can field at least AAA-level infielders at some point the rest of the season.
NL CHAMPION - Phillies, if they get healthy, they won't be stopped in the playoffs.
WORLD SERIES CHAMP - Yankees repeat in the most boring World Series since Red Sox/Rockies.

AL MVP - Miguel Cabrera.  Fuck you, Zach!
AL Cy Young - David Price.  Dominance in the AL East comes at a bonus, sorry, Cliff.
AL ROY - Brennan Boesch, hands down.
NL ROY - Jamie Garcia.  Watch him pitch some time.  You will see the nastiest two-seam fastball of your entire life.  The GF was recently annoyed to near breaking point after I watched Jamie toss and made grunts/squeals every time he threw the two-seamer.

And here's where I get booed off this site.
 
NL Cy Young - Josh Johnson.  He's better than Ubaldo, without question.  And with Ubaldo's few average starts in June, Johnson now has better numbers.  The universe is back in order, thank you.
NL MVP - Ubaldo Jimenez.  Yes, see what I did right there?  I dogged Ubaldo for sucking more than Johnson in the Cy Young and then handed him the MVP.  Yes, I've lost my marbles.  But here's my reasoning...

1. Ubaldo has put up a 3.6 WAR so far this season, only behind Halladay and Johnson in the NL for pitchers.  In addition, that is only behind four batters (Votto, Wright, Holliday, and Zimmerman) in the NL, so that puts him number seven overall, which is more than enough to legitimize him being in the discussion.
2. Does anyone give a fuck about the Rockies this year without him?  Simple answer, no.  Plus, the Rockies believe in and rally around this guy.  He is their team leader and makes them think that, yeah, they actually do have a chance in the NL West.  Even though their best player (Tulo) has a broken wrist, promising young stars suck (Stewart, Fowler, and Iannetta), and Todd Helton might as well be a corpse.
3. The MVP award has always been bullshit, so why can't this idea be reasonable?  This all relates back to freshman/sophomore year when I told Zach that, much to his dismay, the MVP award in baseball is the greatest crock of shit in professional sports since the players who play the best down the stretch get the most votes.  Hence, Frank Thomas placed fourth that year.  When it boils down to picking an MVP in baseball, you need a player who you could make a case for statistically (7th in the NL in WAR as a pitcher, I got that covered).  Then, you have to think back on the season itself.  Who stands out?  What do you remember?  When I think about this first half of the season in the National League, Ubaldo Jimenez immediately pops into my head.  He dominated and had his face plastered everywhere.  Those factors are why I am picking him as my first half NL MVP.

Zach, I will send you my resignation as well as all the passwords to the website tomorrow.

3 comments:

  1. In my defense for picking the Mets, look at the other teams that I think will win the the NL. I wrote those teams down and thought to myself, "Why do we even have a National League? Every team in this league sucks ass! Fuck it, I'm picking the Mets"

    I also think that my Cliff Lee prediction may be off. When it comes to the 120 degree heat in Texas summers and playing in a tiny ballpark, it's going to be tough to keep those numbers down.

    As far as Cooly's pick for MVP, I do not think that is unreasonable (especially when the most viable offensive candidate is Joey Votto, he's Canadian!). I'm assuming sports writers vote on the award, and there is nothing that sports writers like to do more than be wrong. Hence the outright refusal to devalue a win. The pitcher who may total 25 wins has a great shot at the MVP. I would say that when they are stupid enough to give the inferior pitcher the MVP, they will most certainly give him the Cy Young as well.

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  2. I liked how without talking to each other, Kyle, myself, and Zach all picked Votto. Pretty sure that means he is a lock.

    Cy young wise, Cooly, myself, and Zach are all on the same page while Kyle gave up and hopped on Ubaldo's bandwagon.

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  3. I am driving the wagon since I drafted Ubaldo in fantasyland and "over-payed" for him before the season even started. I knew he would be this good.

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