Posted on: July 15, 2009 2:22 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2009 2:41 pm

Mid-Season Awards ---> Rest of 2009 predictions

Well, a disappointing 2009 for me as a Cubs fan so far.  I'm hoping to see the Cubs turn it around, get a few games above .500 and win the division.  Anyway, my point wasn't to gripe about how poorly the Cubs are playing, this is the mid-season edition, looking at who's doing well, and who's not...  Without further ado, let's start with the MVP awards:

Torii Hunter - Los Angeles Angels
.305 BA, 17 HR, 65 RBI, .380 OBP, .938 OPS
Surprise surprise, I decide to go with my favorite non-Cub player.  Here's why Torii deserves this award though, for the first half at least.  He's hitting for power, he's driving runners in.  What the Angels need him to do, he's done it.  And guess what?  The Angels are in first place in the AL West, in what was supposed to be a down year for this team (some thinking (including myself) it was the A's year).  The pitching has helped a little, but Torii Hunter is making a huge impact for this team.
Others Considered: Justin Morneau - Minnesota Twins, Joe Mauer - Minnesota Twins, Miguel Cabrera - Detroit Tigers, Ichiro Suzuki - Seattle Mariners

Can Torii keep it up after returning from injury?

Albert Pujols - St. Louis Cardinals
.332 BA, 32 HR, 87 RBI, .456 OBP, 1.179 OPS
Honestly, was there really any other choice?  So what, he didn't win the home run derby.  He's the reason, the only reason, the Cardinals are in first place.  Pujols is just unstoppable.  A ridiculous OPS of 1.179, .456 OBP, pitchers so scared of him that they're thinking about giving him the Barry Bonds treatment.  Hint pitchers: It's still not working.  If it were up to me, I'd be as cautious as ever with this guy, probably still allowing him to hit 20 more home runs.  This was the biggest no-brainer since, well, the NBA Draft and choosing Blake Griffin as the #1 pick.
Others Considered (sort of): Hanley Ramirez - Florida Marlins, Prince Fielder - Milwaukee Brewers, Raul Ibanez - Philadelphia Phillies, Chase Utley - Philadelphia Phillies

A Real No-Brainer.

AL Cy Young
Zack Greinke - Kansas City Royals
10-5, 2.12 ERA, 129 SO, 21 BB, 1.08 WHIP, .245 BAA, 127.1 IP
This kid, as you may know, got off to one of the best starts for a starting pitcher.  He's not been terrible since then, maintaining an ERA in the low 2's and still having a nice K/BB ratio.  Only Justin Verlander and Jon Lester has more K's in the American League right now and Kevin Millwood, James Shields, and CC Sabathia are the only other pitchers to have pitched more innings than Greinke.  Also, Greinke hasn't missed a start (Halladay) and hasn't really been plagued by inconsistencies (Hernandez).  The Royals may be well out of contention, but this kid is about the only bright spot on the team and he's keeping the Royals shining, um, dimly..
Others Considered: Roy Halladay - Toronto Blue Jays, Felix Hernadez - Seattle Mariners, Edwin Jackson - Detroit Tigers, Jered Weaver - Los Angeles Angels, Nick Blackburn - Minnesota Twins

Greinke continues pitching well.

NL Cy Young
Dan Haren - Arizona Diamondbacks
9-5, 2.01 ERA, 129 SO, 16 BB, .81 WHIP, .189 BAA, 130 IP
The D-Backs ace says "HI" to NL manager Charlie Manuel.  I'm not implying anything, but something says to me that Tim Lincecum shouldn't have been starting the All-Star game for the NL (though he's pitched admirably).  The only thing plaguing Haren is well, the lack of run support and the lack of a good team around him in Arizona.  Haren is like the random oasis in a desert.  OK, bad analogy, but, no matter what you say, Haren is second in IP to Adam Wainwright, third in K's to Tim Lincecum and Javier Vazquez, and has had a couple of unfair losses because of the lack of run support.  I know, if he were playing for the Cubs, it wouldn't be much better, but if he were playing for, I don't know, maybe the Brewers or the Dodgers, well, let's just say he could very well have 1 or 2 losses.  Weird, I picked two Cy Youngs from two losing teams.  Oh well.
Others Considered: Tim Lincecum - San Francisco Giants, Matt Cain - San Francisco Giants, Josh Johnson - Florida Marlins, Javier Vazquez - Atlanta Braves

Whether it be in Oakland or Arizona, Haren seems to go unnoticed.

AL Rookie of the Year (er, Mid-year)
Ricky Romero - Toronto Blue Jays
7-3, 3.00 ERA, 69 SO, 30 BB, 1.26 WHIP, .252 BAA, 87 IP
So, who is this guy?  Well, despite an injury around April (sneezing while listening to rap (blech)), Romero has been an outstanding pitcher.  Yeah, you have Bailey for the A's, and Bergesen for the O's, but the "J's" (I just had to) have a guy who's stepped up when the injured birds had fallen.  Not only is he winning, but he's pitching well, not giving up many runs, not walk a WHOLE BUNCH, and keeping nice control.  Plus, he's helped my fantasy baseball team in the Omnipotent League a whole lot.
Others Considered: Andrew Bailey - Oakland Athletics, Brad Bergesen - Baltimore Orioles, Scott Richmond - Toronto Blue Jays, Jeff Niemann - Tampa Bay Rays

Romero has had a great rookie year so far.

NL Rookie of the Year (er, Mid-year)
Randy Wells - Chicago Cubs
4-4, 2.72 ERA, 53 SO, 17 BB, 1.12 WHIP, .243 BAA, 76 IP
I apologize for the random act of biasness, but Pablo Sandoval doesn't qualify as a rookie (how sad for Kung Fu Panda).  Really, it came down to two rival players, Colby Rasmus of the Cardinals and Wells for the Cubs and I went true to my heart, yes I went there.  OK, if the Cubs had half the offense they did last year, I guarantee Wells would be 8-1 or 9-1 in his first 12 starts instead of the horrendous 4-4 he really is.  He's got great control, not walking a whole lot of hitters, and he also trusts his defense.  He's kept his ERA low, he's progressively pitching more innings for each start he takes.  Besides Ted Lilly, Wells has been the most valuable to this Cubs team (jury still out on Am-Ram).
Others Considered: Colby Rasmus - St. Louis Cardinals, Casey McGehee - Milwaukee Brewers, Ramon Troncoso - Los Angeles Dodgers, Tommy Hanson - Atlanta Braves

Wells has gotten little help from the Cubs' offense.

AL Manager of the Year
Don Wakamatsu - Seattle Mariners
46-42, 4 GB in AL West
What a job Wakamatsu has done with this Mariners team.  It helps that he has Ichiro hitting all over the place, but this is a team many expected to finish dead last in the AL West and possibly be the worst team in the AL.  Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, and Jarrod Washburn has helped prevent that, but Wakamatsu has stepped up as the Mariners manager.  Look at what Russell Branyan has done, how Felix Hernandez has turned his season around, and how Ichiro came back from injury.  Watch out for the M's.
Other(s) Considered: Ron Washington - Texas Rangers

NL Manager of the Year
Jim Tracy - Colorado Rockies
47-41, 9 GB in NL West
Yes I went there.  It may be a little unfair to use the entire season's record for Jim Tracy, since Clint Hurdle kinda messed it up at the beginning of the year, but honestly, it's the Rockies, who cares?  I'm just messing with you all, but seriously, Tracy has turned around a team heading into the cellar of that the NL West.  Tracy is 29-13 since taking over for Hurdle, has helped turn around Aaron Cook and has helped make Ubaldo Jimenez a consistent pitcher.  Will "Rocktober" return?
Other(s) Considered: Joe Torre - Los Angeles Dodgers, Tony La Russa - St. Louis Cardinals

AL Silver Slugger Awards
C   Joe Mauer - Minnesota Twins
1B Justin Morneau - Minnesota Twins
2B Aaron Hill - Toronto Blue Jays
3B Evan Longoria - Tampa Bay Rays
SS Jason Bartlett - Tampa Bay Rays
OF Torii Hunter - Los Angeles Angels
OF Ichiro Suzuki - Seattle Mariners
OF Jermaine Dye - Chicago White Sox
DH Adam Lind - Toronto Blue Jays
Wild Card: Ben Zobrist - Tampa Bay Rays (Didn't know where to honestly put him)
Others Considered: Victor Martinez - Cleveland Indians, Miguel Cabrera - Detroit Tigers, Paul Konerko - Chicago White Sox, Robinson Cano - New York Yankees, Scott Rolen - Toronto Blue Jays, Michael Young - Texas Rangers, Derek Jeter - New York Yankees, Juan Rivera - Los Angeles Angels, Adam Jones - Baltimore Orioles, Shin-Soo Choo - Cleveland Indians, Carl Crawford - Tampa Bay Rays, Bobby Abreu - Los Angeles Angels, Jason Kubel - Minnesota Twins

NL Silver Slugger Awards
C   Brian McCann - Atlanta Braves
1B Albert Pujols - St. Louis Cardinals
2B Chase Utley - Philadelphia Phillies
3B Pablo Sandoval - San Francisco Giants
SS Hanley Ramirez - Florida Marlins
OF Raul Ibanez - Philadelphia Phillies
OF Ryan Braun - Milwaukee Brewers
OF Brad Hawpe - Colorado Rockies
P   Micah Owings - Cincinnati Reds
Others Considered: Prince Fielder - Milwaukee Brewers, Todd Helton - Colorado Rockies, Brandon Phillips - Cincinnati Reds, Ryan Zimmerman - Washington Nationals, Mark Reynolds - Arizona Diamondbacks, Miguel Tejada - Houston Astros, Adam Dunn - Washington Nationals, Justin Upton - Arizona Diamondbacks, Hunter Pence - Houston Astros, Matt Kemp - Los Angeles Dodgers, Cody Ross - Florida Marlins, Yovani Gallardo - Milwaukee Brewers, Carlos Zambrano - Chicago Cubs

Rest of 2009 Predictions (not including records)
AL East
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles

AL Central
Detroit Tigers
Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians
Kansas City Royals

AL West
Los Angeles Angels
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Oakland Athletics

AL Wild Card
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Minnesota Twins

NL East
Philadelphia Phillies
New York Mets
Atlanta Braves
Florida Marlins
Washington Nationals

NL Central
St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers
Houston Astros
Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates

NL West
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
San Diego Padres
Arizona Diamondbacks

NL Wild Card
San Francisco Giants
Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies
New York Mets

Red Sox over Tigers in 4
Angels over Yankees in 4

Red Sox over Angels in 6

Dodgers over Cardinals in 4
Giants over Phillies in 5

Dodgers over Giants in 7

World Series
Dodgers over Red Sox in 7

I hope you enjoyed reading this.  Any disagreements you may comment on, but no "BLAH BLAH BLAH I HAVE A LOUD COMPLAINING VOICE," OK?  I have rights to be homer and will be at any cost.  :)  Have a good rest of the season, good luck to your team, and enjoy baseball fans.

Category: MLB
Posted on: September 29, 2008 1:36 am
Edited on: September 29, 2008 4:20 pm

The Cubs' 2008 Year in Review

A memorable season that was, is, and is to come.  You got Ron Santo going crazy again, Len Kasper making those memorable calls that all Cubs fans love to hear.  The crowd singing "Go Cubs Go" to the tune of 55 home wins.  42-38 on the road isn't all that shabby either.  That's 2nd best in the national league only behind the Philadelphia Phillies.  Lou Piniella making the move to switch Kerry Wood out of the starting rotation and bringing Ryan Dempster into it.  Reed Johnson (March 25th), Jim Edmonds (May 15th), and Rich Harden (July  9th along w/ Chad Gaudin; E-Pat, Matt Murton, and a catching prospect sent to the Athletics) becoming Cubs players during the season.  Some statistical things to review:

Chicago Cubs --- NL Central Division champs --- 97-64, 7.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers
AVG leader: Ryan Theriot
HR leader: Alfonso Soriano
RBI leader: Aramis Ramirez
W, ERA, and K leader: Ryan Dempster

Now for some more fun stuff -- (lots of credit to donbedouin, thanks for helping w/ the Cubs moments)

March 31st, 2008 --- That's right, opening day at Wrigley Field.  The Cubs played the Milwaukee Brewers in a game that I hope many Cubs fans won't forget.  Kosuke Fukudome's debut at Wrigley Field turned out to be a great one.  He went 3-for-3, but no hit more important than the hit against Eric Gagne.  Though the Cubs lost, it was satisfying.
---Kosuke's 3-run blast---

April 9th, 2008 --- This would just be the beginning of a lot of close games and come from behind victories the Cubs would get.  Aramis Ramirez was able to finish this game off w/ a home run in the 14th inning, continuing the dominance against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
---Am-Ram 2-run homer---

April 23rd, 2008 --- This wasn't one of those shocking victories that Cubs were able to pull out, but it was the Cubs' 10,000th win in franchise history.  Big congrats as they became the second franchise to reach that milestone.
---The Final Out---

April 25th, 2008 --- Just 2 days later, Reed Johnson would come up with one of the most amazing catches that I have ever seen.
---Reed Johnson's catch---

May 19th, 2008 --- Geovany Soto has had an amazing season in his first full year as the Chicago Cubs' catcher.  This will probably be one of his favorite/least favorite moments (depending on if he likes running) as he would hustle all the way for an inside-the-park home run.
---Soto inside-the-parker---

May 30th, 2008 --- Chicago Cubs facing the Colorado Rockies.  The Cubs would go down 8 runs after the Rockies pounded in run after run after run.  But the Cubs were feeling the magic, coming all the way back to win the game 10 to 9.  This game includes Jim Edmond's first Cub home run and a huge six run inning.  Take it away Len.
---Edmonds' first Cub home run---
---Huge inning to rally---

June 11th, 2008 --- A complete game by Ryan Dempster is overshadowed by the fact the Cubs lost Alfonso Soriano for a good amount of time.  The Cubs did do well without him, but if Soriano was gone any longer, I don't know how much trouble this team could've been in.
---Soriano's hand injury---

June 12th, 2008 --- How do the Cubs respond?  Well, Jim Edmonds would love to tell ya.  Len, take it away.
---Edmonds' tying home run---

June 18th, 2008 --- Another devastating (well, maybe not the right word) injury for the Cubs as Carlos Zambrano would go down w/ an injury.  The Cubs responded well again, as you'll see, 2 days later.
---Big Z's injury---

June 20th, 2008 --- You know it was coming, Aramis Ramirez.  Mr. Clutch.  Whatever you want to call him, Am-Ram, whatever, he is amazing.  Len, I'll let you take this one too.
---Walk-off against White Sox---

July 12th, 2008 --- It was my mom's birthday.  But that's not why it's here.  Reed Johnson, the guy we acquired from the Blue Jays, strikes again.  A very close call at the plate and the Cubs get another walk-off victory.  Len Kasper, the crack in his voice is just so funny.
---Reed Johnson walk-off single---

July 29th - August 1st, 2008 --- The Cubs would face the Brewers in an important series that would ultimately give them the division lead for good.  A huge series sweep at Miller Park would keep the Brewers down and the Cubs up.
---Part of that series sweep---

August 3rd, 2008 --- Reed Johnson comes through once again.  Len, just take it away.
---Johnson go ahead homer---

August 8th, 2008 --- Hey hey!  Another Cubs walk-off!
---Hank White provides the heroics---

August 15th, 2008 --- Daryle Ward was really struggling up to this point.  The game is in Miami, Florida where the Cubs are facing the Florida Marlins.  D-Ward up at the plate in the ninth with a chance to at least make it a one run game.  Oh heck, let's take the lead.  No Len this time though..
---D-Ward comes through---

September 14th, 2008 --- Carlos Zambrano returns from 12 days of rest.  Hurricane Ike is striking upon Houston, Texas and moves this game to Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I do feel sorry for the situation in Houston and wish everyone down there the best as they continue to clean up.  Anyway, to the game, Zambrano throws his first career no-hitter.  Len Kasper with yet another great call.  I'm sorry, I don't have it. (edit: Thanks to donbedouin for finding the link)
---Zambrano no-hits Astros---
---Len's call---

September 15th, 2008 --- The Cubs gave up only one hit to the Astros in the 2 games at Miller Park.  The 3rd game will never be played, but it was still a great series for the Cubs.
---Lilly gives up one hit---

September 18th, 2008 --- Another series between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers.  Cubs and Brewers split the first two games.  In game 3, the Cubs were down 4 runs, but Geovany Soto solidifies the reasons that he should be the NL ROY.
---Game-tying 3 run blast---
---Lee finishes it off---

September 20th, 2008 --- The Chicago Cubs would clinch the NL Central by beating arch-rival St. Louis Cardinals 5 to 4.  A Ted Lilly suicide squeeze play would end up being the key play.  Here's their clincher (sorry, FOX TV had the game).
---Cubs Clinch!---

September 24th, 2008 --- Another Cubs comeback to top it all off.
---Lee's double---

And you know what?  The Cubs' season isn't finished yet.  We have 11 more wins to get, just 11 more.  I'm so excited for the postseason start.  Hope you enjoyed the year in review.  Another great year to store in Cubs fans' memory banks.
Category: MLB
Tags: Chicago, Cubs, Review, Year
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com