It may be one of the best times of the year for sports. Hockey is kicking into gear along with the NBA; college football and the NFL are all over the Top 10 on Sportscenter and the baseball season is wrapping up.
Actually, as far as I'm concerned, baseball is over. The Yankees have been eliminated and I have no one else to root against. But we must reward those players, that for 162 games this year, gave it their all.
Here's where it gets spicy. Sox versus Yanks. Big Papi versus A-Rod. "Big" is in his name for a reason. One statistic stands above the rest. Twenty of Papi's 47 dingers put the Red Sox in a position to win the game. I shouldn't have to say another word and my argument should win. Oh yeah, he led all of baseball with 148 RBIs. He was the most valuable player (to his team) this year. I don't care that he didn't play in the field. The Sox could have easily stuck him at first base. And you know what, he would have been a sub-par first baseman. But the fact is, no one would question that the MVP should go to him if he played in the field, even if he was below average. David Ortiz only helped his team. A-Rod, as much as I hate him, had an excellent year. He only notched 11 errors on the year. But those 11 errors hurt his team. Ortiz didn't do that.
The race for the NL MVP is pretty tight as well. The obvious choice is Albert Pujols, but the logical choice is Andrew Jones. Jones led the majors in home runs with 51, and the NL in RBIs with 128. But numbers don't say everything. If they did, I would give the award to Pujols. Jones' leadership is irreplaceable and unmistakable. He, along with the other vets, brought in a new crop of rookies and turned them into winners. When Chipper Jones went down with an injury early in the year, who carried the division-winning Braves? Andrew did. Pujols is an amazing player with amazing stats, but the bottom line is that the Cardinals' roster is loaded and they could've won without him.
On a lighter note, I have some suggestions for MLB. Here are a couple awards that should be handed out this year.
AL CY YOUNG
I'll start small and then go big. The American League Cy Young should not, and will not, go to a Yankee – particularly Mariano Rivera. My vote goes to Bartolo Colon of the Anaheim Angels. He was 21-8 this year with a 3.48 ERA, while striking out 157 batters. Yes, his statistics are by no means spectacular, but they are good enough this year. I can't give the Cy Young to a guy who pitched less than 100 innings, even if that's his job.
NL CY YOUNG
The National League Cy Young should go to Roger Clemens. Forget his record of 13-8; that can be blamed on his teammates. Look at what he did. Clemens threw 211 innings this year but remarkably had a meager 1.89 ERA. The award shouldn't go to him just because he is 43 years old and doing the things he is. Point is he only allowed 44 earned runs this year and his road ERA was 0.37. Are you kidding me? Houston scored three runs or less in 20 of his starts this year. The Rocket was the most dominant pitcher in baseball while playing against guys young enough to be his son. Major League Baseball needs to consider renaming the award.
The Jenny Craig Award
Mr. Jason Giambi. I didn't even recognize him. He lost so much weight after coming off those steroids. But good for him, he had a great comeback year.
The 'I Wish My Bat was Corked (again) Award'
The lovely Sammy Sosa, this one's for you. Batting .221 with 14 home runs and 45 RBI won't garnish the nickname 'Slammin Sammy' for much longer.
Scott Bondy is the Collegian's associated managing editor for sports and special sections.