Handing Out the Hardware 2004

It's time for the InsidethePark.com Awards to be handed out. Check out the picks.



AMERICAN LEAGUE MVP

Joe Kaiser, Publisher: Manny Ramirez, LF, Boston Red Sox
Worth every penny in Boston's drive to series

Jason A. Churchill, Editor: Vladimir Guerrero, RF, Anaheim Angels
Tejada-like effort in Halos September drive, thrusts Vlad ahead of pack

Ian Levin, MLB Reporter: Ramirez
.303/.398/.588, 43 HR, 130 RBI

Troy Sowden, Mariners Reporter: Miguel Tejada, SS, Baltimore Orioles
.312/.362/.534, 33 HR, 146 RBI

Dave Clark, Independent Consultant: Ichiro, RF, Seattle Mariners
He's the only candidate going solo that has the numbers


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NATIONAL LEAGUE MVP

Kaiser: Barry Bonds, LF, San Francisco Giants
Arguably the best season by a batter in MLB history -228 walks to 41 strikeouts!

Churchill: Bonds
It's ridiculous to think anyone else deserves this award. Only haters vote Bonds anywhere but first

Levin: Adrian Beltre, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers
.337/.391/.634, 48 HR, 121 RBI

Sowden: Bonds
.364/.609/.817, 45 HR, 101 RBI

Clark: Bonds
Bonds… Barry Bonds


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AMERICAN LEAGUE CY YOUNG

Kaiser: Johan Santana, LHP, Minnesota Twins
Top pitcher in baseball in 2004- Un-hittable in second half

Churchill: Santana
Dominated since June, Twins would be sitting at home in October without him. Should get votes for MVP also

Levin: Santana
20-6, 2.61 ERA, 265 K

Sowden: Santana
.192 Opp-avg, 0.92 WHIP, 1.21 ERA post break

Clark: Santana
No contest


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NATIONAL LEAGUE CY YOUNG

Kaiser: Roger Clemens, RHP, Houston Astros
Retirement put on the backburner after an 18-4 season and sub 3.00 ERA

Churchill: Randy Johnson, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
The award is for best pitcher not best pitcher on a winning team or pitcher with the most wins. Johnson cleans Clemens' clock in nearly every category outside of wins

Levin: Johnson
15-14, 2.65 ERA, 282 K

Sowden: Johnson
.194 Opp-avg, 0.89 WHIP, 4 CG

Clark: Jason Schmidt, RHP, San Francisco Giants
He and Bonds have carried that team


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AMERICAN LEAGUE ROOKIE

Kaiser: Bobby Crosby, SS, Oakland Athletics
Sure-handed shortstop gave a contender a productive bat all season long

Churchill: Crosby
Crosby's defense won him this award. Much better in his first year than expected

Levin: Crosby
.242/.323/.432, 22 HR, 64 RBI

Sowden: Crosby
.976 Fldg. Pct, .871 ZR, 104 DP

Clark: Shingo Takatsu, RHR, Chicago White Sox
"Mr. Zero"


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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROOKIE

Kaiser: Jason Bay, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Turned into Pittsburgh's top offensive threat after coming over in the 2003 Brian Giles trade


Churchill: Kahlil Greene, SS, San Diego Padres
Greene's .273/.349, 15HR, 65 RBI and superb defense on a contending team is enough for me. Don't underestimate how difficult shortstop is to play

Levin: Jason Bay
.284/.359/.552, 26 HR, 82 RBI

Sowden: Bay
14 HR post break, .331 w/RISP, .330 w/RISP & 2 out


Clark: Bay
With the M's help


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AMERICAN RELIEVER

Kaiser: Mariano Rivera, RHR, New York Yankees
53 saves, 1.97 ERA are large reasons for Yankee success

Churchill: Rivera
The Yankees would have missed the playoffs without their bullpen and Rivera was the horse-again

Levin: Joe Nathan, RHR, Minnesota Twins
1-2, 1.62 ERA, 44 saves

Sowden: Nathan
.191 Opp-avg, 1.01 WHIP, 89 K

Clark: Takatsu
Mr. Zero


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NATIONAL LEAGUE RELIEVER

Kaiser: Eric Gagne, RHR, Los Angeles Dodgers
Still un-hittable with 45 saves and 2.19 ERA for division-leading Dodgers

Churchill: Gagne
No other reliever was near as good in the closest games in a pennant race. Plus, his numbers are sick

Levin: Armando Benitez, RHR, Florida Marlins
2-2, 46 saves, 1.18 ERA

Sowden: Gagne
114BB/22K, 0.91 WHIP, 7-3

Clark: Brad Lidge, RHR, Houston Astros
6-5, 1.93 ERA, 28 saves, 0.93 WHIP, .176 Opp-avg, 153 K


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AMERICAN LEAGUE MANAGER

Kaiser: Buck Showalter, Texas Rangers
Made believers of the young Rangers early, stayed in hunt until final week

Churchill: Showalter
After they started well we all said they'd fade by the break. After they stayed in it through July we said they'd fall out in the dog days. Boy were we wrong.

Levin: Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota Twins
Three-time AL Central Division Champions

Sowden: Showalter
Wins in 2003: 71 Wins in 2004: 87

Clark: Lou Piniella, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Getting that team to .500 earlier this year was miraculous


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NATIONAL LEAGUE MANAGER

Kaiser: Bobby Cox, Atlanta Braves
Could turn Bad News Bears into contenders

Churchill: Cox
Cox is the Bobby Bowden of baseball. Every year he ends up winning

Levin: Cox
13th straight division championship

Sowden: Cox
64% roster turnover since 2001 playoff push

Clark: Bruce Bochy, San Diego Padres
GB in 2003: 36.5 GB in 2004: 5.0

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