It's that time of the year again baseball fans, time to submit my annual ballot for the best of the best, the best managers, rookies, pitchers, and sluggers, for the 2012 big league baseball season.
This ballot contains my annual selections as a proud member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, a group of terrific baseball fans across the country, who write about their love of our National Pastime.
First, I'll give a list of my selections, then I'll have a few words on the selection of my pick for the 2012 American League Most Valuable Player Award, and my views on baseball in general, in relation to my selection.
So, here they are, my picks for the best of baseball, 2012.
Connie Mack Award( Manager of the Year)
American League... 1st place...Bob Melvin, Oakland A's
2nd place...Buck Showalter, Baltimore Orioles
3rd place...Jim Leyland, Detroit Tigers
National League... 1st place...Davey Johnson, Washington Nationals
2nd place...Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants
3rd place... Mike Matheny, St. Louis Cardinals.
Willie Mays Award( Rookie of the Year)
American League... 1.Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2. Yoenis Cespedes. Oakland A's 3. Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers
National League... 1. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals 2. Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds, 3. Wade Miley, Arizona Diamondbacks.
Goose Gossage( Top Relief Pitcher)
American League... 1. Jim Johnson, Baltimore Orioles 2. Fernando Rodney, Tampa Bay Rays 3. Grant Balfour, Oakland A's.
National League... 1. Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves 2. Joel Hanrahan, Pittsburgh Pirates 3. Jason Motte, St. Louis Cardinals
Walter Johnson Award( Best Pitcher)
American League... 1. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers 2. C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees 3. David Price, Tampa Bay Rays.
National League... 1. R.A. Dickey, New York Mets 2. Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals 3. Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants.
Stan Musial Award( Most Valuable Player)
American League... 1. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers 2. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees.
National League... 1. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants 2. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals 3. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates.
OK, those are my picks for the best of baseball in 2012.
Now, on to the raging debate across the baseball world, the argument of who should be the American League MVP.
The fact that this is a debate, is, simply put, ridiculous.
Professional baseball began in 1869, when a select team of fantastic ball players, called the Cincinatti Red Stockings, became the very first team to pay their players for playing baseball.
In 1876, the National League began playing baseball, and in 1901, the American League joined the fun.
In 136 years, since the start of the NL, only fourteen players have led either the NL, or the AL, in the three most important offensive numbers in baseball.
Batting Average, Home Runs, and Runs Batted In are the premier offensive numbers of baseball.
Baseball's hallowed Triple Crown, leading the league in all three offensive categories, places a ball player in rare company, an elite level in the grandest sport.
What Miguel Cabrera accomplished this season in the A. L., winning the Triple Crown, is all the information any fan, media member, or sandlot ball player needs to know.
The best player in baseball, period, in 2012, was the man who, after the Detroit Tigers signed free agent 1B Prince Fielder before the season, selflessly agreed to move form first to third base.
That man was Miguel Cabrera.
Mike Trout, my selection as the Rookie of the Year in the A.L., had a fantastic season, energizing the Angels team upon his arrival, setting rookie records along the way.
Trout was a great player in 2012.
However, he wasn't great enough.
Cabrera led the American League in the following offensive stats in 2012...
Batting Average .330
Home Runs 44
Slugging % .606
Cabrera was also 2nd in hits, with 205, trailing only the Yankees Derek Jeter, scored 109 runs, second only to Trout, smacked 40 doubles, and even stole 4 bases.
This debate, between Cabrera and Trout has, for the most part, been created by a group of supposed baseball fans who have created silly, ridiculous numbers like WAR, BABIP, and OPS.
Oh, by the way, Cabrera led all of baseball in OPS, .999.
The movement of these new stats, is, in my opinion, hurting baseball.
Simply put, they mean nothing, in the long run, when you're watching baseball.
In baseball, you throw the ball, hit the ball, and catch the ball.
I don't need made up stats to tell me who the best player are.
There isn't a better player playing baseball in 2012 that are better than Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, or Ted Williams.
Hank Aaaron hit 755 legitimate home runs, and I didn't need to know his OPS when I watched him, or Willie Mays, play baseball.
These silly stats are amazing to me.
This stat, Wins Above Replacement, is suppose to show you a players value is he replaced another player.
Here's what I know.
If someone other than Miguel Carera played 3rd base for the Detroit Tigers this year, not only would the Tigers not be in the playoffs, they'd have a losing record.
Another of these new stats is BABIP.
Batting Average of Balls In Play?
Quiz...what's someone's batting average if he never puts the ball in play?
A... ZERO B... ZERO C... ZERO D... ZERO E... All of the above ZEROS.
Why all the negative remarks about the new stats?
Because the people trying to make a statement for Trout can't measure up the traditional stats and make Trout the MVP.
The baseball media, and a lot of baseball bloggers, have fallen in love with the sabremetricians, trying to analyze baseball for something other than what it is.
Baseball's numbers are what separate the sport form the others, and WAR, OPS, and WHIP are simply stats made up by people who most likely don't watch a lot of baseball, or are simply trying to come up with some wild stat to make a name for themselves.
Ty Cobb won 12 batting titles, and to this date, his .366 lifetime batting average is still the best in baseball history.
In 2012, Miguel Cabrera hit more home runs, drove in more runs, and had a higher batting average than any other player in the American League.
That's why he's the American League Most Valuable Player.