JOSH DONALDSON 123 RBIs, 1st in AL 122 Runs scored, 1st in AL 41 Homers, 3rd in AL
BRYCE HARPER 118 Runs scored, 1st in NL 42 Homers, 1st in NL .330 Batting average, 2nd in AL
DALLAS KEUCHEL 20 Wins, 1st in AL 2 Shutouts, 1st in AL 2.48 ERA, 2nd in AL
JAKE ARRIETA 22 Wins, 1st in NL 3 Shutouts, 1st in NL 1.77 ERA, 2nd in NL
It’s no fun.
Think about it. Major League Baseball comes out with its annual award-winners list this week and, damn it all, the right people seem to have received each honor.
Especially in regard to the biggies … the MVPs, the Cy Youngs.
Nothing to debate, nothing to argue. A big fat squatalo for anyone wishing to shriek legit criticism at the selections, at how “idiotic” and “blind” those doing the choosing were as evidenced by their ridiculous choice.
How boring is that?
Not for nothing, but if the voters are gonna come up with Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper as the MVPs in the American and National leagues, respectively, and if Dallas Keuchel and Jake Arrieta were somehow able to overcome their silly, “look at me” beards to take the Cy Youngs in the AL and NL after the worthwhile, attention-grabbing seasons each of the four turned in, what hope do complainers out there have?
You know, c’mon …
Kidding aside, it’s a breath of fresh air to see those deserving of such honors actually receiving them. Too often we’ll see “favorites” or “objects of hype” somehow be finagled up to the top of individual lists, not for what they actually did for a certain season, but because of their heartstrings they grabbed from past performance or supposedly limitless futures.
Frankly, the concern here was that Angels center fielder Mike Trout would somehow garner enough support to beat out Donaldson when he’d have had no business doing so. No doubt, he is wonderful talent, blessed with the type of speed-power combo that harken back to the days of Mickey Mantle. But he didn’t have the type of campaign Donaldson had. Not even close.
Especially when it mattered. Truth be told, while Trout faded in the final 4-6 weeks of the season, taking the Angels’ playoff down with him, Donaldson continued his brilliant pace that yielded not only great numbers (.297 batting average, 41 homers, 123 RBIs and 122 runs scored) but a postseason spot for the Blue Jays. The fact Trout finished second in the voting was shady enough, considering several players – including Baltimore’s Chris Davis, Toronto’s Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, Kansas City’s Kendrys Morales and Eric Hosmer, and Jose Abreu of the White Sox – all had more productive campaigns than he did.
Still, Donaldson won … and that’s what matters.
He and Harper, really, were no-brainers. Posting a Bonds-like on-base percentage of .460 and Ruthian-esque OPS of 1.109 while displaying serious leather on defense, Harper was a unanimous choice for obvious reasons. The pitchers? There were a little, um, debatable. But, seriously, we’d have to be splitting major hairs to point out that Keuchel and Arrieta finished second in ERA in their respective leagues. By a less-than-whopping 0.03 in Keuchel’s case and 0.11 in Arrieta’s. Plus, they lead the AL and NL in wins, so …
No fun, but kudos to all who made the selections. Ya done good.