The view from the bench

Paul Salomon

AL MVP
They said – Alex Rodriguez
I say – Alex Rodriguez
If you’re looking for the best offensive season award, that’s called the Hank Aaron Award. No matter what Big Papi does, he doesn’t offer you the base stealing, and he doesn’t offer you the Gold Glove caliber defense that Rodriguez does. Despite being a postseason curse, A-Rod had another amazing regular season, and he is the most valuable player in the league.AL Cy Young
They said – Bartolo Colon
I say – Mariano Rivera
Yeah, they missed this one. Bartolo was 21-8 with a 3.48 ERA, 157 K, and only 43 BB. His wins are great, but despite going 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA in August, his season ERA isn’t truly dominant. He was the 222.2 IP workhorse for the division champ Angels of Anaheim, but too inconsistent.
Look at Mo Rivera. He was 7-4 with a league-leading 1.38 ERA and a ridiculous .87 WHIP. After blowing his first two saves, Rivera didn’t miss another one for four months. Not what Eric Gagne did when he won the Cy Young, but without Mariano shutting it down, there’s no way the Yankees would have squeaked into the playoffs. He deserves it.

NL MVP
They said – Albert Pujols
I say – Albert Pujols
They got this one WAY right. If you’re thinking Derrek Lee, you’re a dreaming Cubs fan. He was great, but he wasn’t as good as Pujols, and his team went no place. You might be thinking Andruw Jones because he was more valuable to his team. But that’s not what this award is about. Jones led the league in HR and RBI, but he hit .263. That’s barely decent in this league, and that won’t cut it.
Now look at Albert. He was 1st in R, 2nd in Avg., 2nd in RBI, and 3rd in HR. He has been without a doubt the most consistent great hitter in the league. He just keeps on hitting. He gives you absolutely everything, and with Barry out of the question, he finally gets his turn.

NL Cy Young
They said – Chris Carpenter
I say – Chris Carpenter
Well, Dontrelle is a really good choice. The argument is basically one more win with less run support; 4.87 RPG vs. 5.51. His final ERA of 2.63 outdid Carpy’s 2.83, because after the Cardinals became the first team in baseball to clinch their division (in part because of Carpy), Chris had a couple uncharacteristic starts.
Here’s the fact of the matter: Chris didn’t lose a start for 16 straight. He had more innings pitched and five fewer losses. The Cardinals knew for the heart of their season that when he was on the mound they would win. And they basically did. He was their workhorse, and he absolutely held this team.

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