American League MVP
There are years where the MVP race is so close you wish there were two to give out; an absolute crime to the one who doesn't get it.
This is not one of those years.
Forget the DH argument. If David Ortiz had started every game at first base, I would still give this award to Alex Rodriguez.
A-Rod beat out Big Papi in batting average, runs, hits, home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and stolen bases. Everyone is ranting and raving about Ortiz's clutch hits, 20 home runs that either tied or gave his team the lead. They're right, I mean, A-Rod did only hit 19 of his own in that same category.
Okay, now remember the DH argument. A-Rod has to work on his Gold Glove defense during practice and the off-season, while Big Papi spends 100 percent of his time on his swing.
A-Rod was the highest paid major leaguer this year, making $25 million dollars, and he played like it.
National League MVP
Albert Pujols was an absolute machine for the best team in the National League. He was second in the NL in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, batting average and RBI. He led the entire major league in runs with 129. I could be the only guy left on the planet and not score that much.
Here's another stat to think about. The two major contenders for the NL MVP other than Pujols are definitely guys who go down swinging. Andrew Jones struck out 112 times this year, Derrek Lee fanned 109 times. Pujols struck out only 65 times all season. At the very least this guy is going to get the ball into play and give his team a chance to succeed.
Pujols is the obvious winner here, the best player on the best team in the NL.
American League Cy Young
I'm so sick of this argument that these players need to come from winning teams to win awards. That's why we have the World Series, folks. When it comes to the MVP and Cy Young you give it to the best individual.
In this year's case the undisputed best pitcher in the AL was Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins. The Twins barely won half their games this year, and yet Santana still managed to post 16 wins, tied for fifth in the AL.
He led the league in strikeouts (238) and opponent's batting average (.210), and was second in ERA (2.87). He was also the club's main workhorse pitching 231.2 innings, second most in the AL.
The Twins aren't winners but this guy is. Give him the award.
National League Cy Young
Twenty-one wins in one season is great. Five losses is ridiculous. Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals did both this season.
How do you only lose five games? True it doesn't hurt to have the Cardinals' lineup supporting you. But starting pitcher Jason Marquis has the same lineup backing him up, and he lost 14.
Carpenter is second in the NL in strikeouts (213) and innings pitched (241.2). He's been the closest thing to a sure win this year since Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson's rampage in Arizona.
Cool as a Cucumber Award
To Ozzie Guillen for his amazing, seed-spitting performance in Game 3 of the ALDS. In the bottom of the sixth, the Boston Red Sox had the bases loaded with no outs and their captain, Jason Varitek, at the plate.
For the next 21 pitches baseball fans across the country jumped, screamed and fainted while Guillen spat seeds and examined his fingernails.
He must have known something we didn't. Orlando Hernandez sat down the Red Sox in order.
Comeback Player of the Year
To Babe Ruth for not allowing one year to stand in his way of keeping the famous curse on the Boston Red Sox. After a promising start for them and a disappointing start for their archrivals, the Yankees, the Red Sox had repeat-itis too early. After losing their lead and barely grabbing the wild card, the Sox didn't put up much of a fight to their White counterparts. Injuries and poor play down the stretch plagued the team.
Welcome back Babe.
Brett Okamoto is the Collegian's sports editor.