As I had predicted, none of the Phillies got any of the top awards this off-season, but many came close. The Cy Young voting was at least interesting; 3 Phillies made the top 5 in voting with Roy Halladay coming in 2nd, Cliff Lee 3rd and Cole Hamels 5th. Not surprisingly, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw took home the award.
Kershaw was very deserving, although Halladay was a close runner-up. But having 3 Phillies in the top 5 is also quite an impressive feat.
Another Phillies pitcher came close to taking home some hardware as well. Vance Worley landed in 3rd place for Rookie of the Year behind two Braves, closer Craig Kimbrel and first baseman Freddie Freeman. I thought Freeman would be the winner, but 2nd place is not too shabby.
And of course, neither is 3rd place. Worley should be proud that on a staff with 4 ace starters, he not only held his own, he also got plenty of attention for a spectacular rookie season.
Also as I predicted, Charlie Manuel was overlooked for Manager of the Year…again. Yes, despite a Major League leading 102 wins, 5 straight division titles and a World Series, Manuel came in 4th place. The D-Backs skipper, Kirk Gibson, took first place.
Even crazier, Joe Maddon of the Rays won for the American league, making it TWO Manager of the Year awards in 4 years. Don’t get me wrong, I like Maddon. He is actually from the Philly area. And certainly, he deserves the honor. But it does seem like a real shame that Manuel cannot get any respect in the National League like Maddon does in the AL. Manuel beat Maddon in the 2008 World Series and has accomplished more overall.
But as is usually the case, Manuel just keeps getting shunned.
In other news, Brian Schneider will be the back-up back-stop once again in 2012. The one-year deal is worth $800,000. There is still no word on a deal for Jimmy Rollins. Stay tuned…
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography
Despite an early exit from the playoffs, the Phillies 102 regular season wins and stellar individual performances have earned some players much deserved honors.
Earlier this offseason, Placido Polanco was awarded a Gold Glove for his work at third base. Polly also won the award playing second base for the Tigers in 2007 and 2009. He and Darin Erstad are now the only two players in big league history to win a Gold Glove at multiple positions.
MLB.com also handed out awards on Monday. Ryan Howard was named the club’s Player of the Year, while right-hander Roy Halladay was chosen the team’s Pitcher of the Year. And rookie right-hander Vance Worley was voted the Breakout Player of the Year.
Not to be outdone, the Philadelphia chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America put its two cents in as well. Center-fielder Shane Victorino was the winner of the Mike Schmidt Award for Most Valuable Player and left-hander Cliff Lee received the Steve Carlton Award for Most Valuable pitcher.
The big awards come out next week which will include Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year and the Cy Young award. It is expect that many Phillies will be considered for these top honors, but realistically, none of them will win. Charlie Manuel is overlooked every year in the manager category; Worley will probably lose out to Freddie Freeman. As for the Cy Young, both Halladay and Lee will probably get passed over in favor of Clayton Kershaw who had 21 wins and an almost invisible 2.28 ERA.
Of course, anything can happen. But those are my predictions…how about you? Leave your best guess in the comments and we will see who gets it right.
And if anyone missed it, here is my annual Phillies Photo Tribute slideshow. Enjoy!
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Free agent signings officially kicked off today and one of the top needs for the Phillies is a third baseman. Although, do not expect them to jump too quickly; it will likely be a while before they settle on a player. The front runner appears to be Mark DeRosa (Cardinals). The Phils have courted him before and he should be within their price range. Plus, DeRosa is from the area, growing up in Passaic, New Jersey and attending the University of Pennsylvania.
The big free agent name at third appears to be Chone Figgins. However, Figgins also appears to be out of the Phillies price range. Placido Polanco is an option, but the Phillies would have to give up a 1st round draft choice to sign him. Adrian Beltre is another option, but he is defensively weaker than DeRosa. So, odds are pretty good on DeRosa, but who knows.
As for bullpen help, the pickings are slim. A few good options may be Mike Gonzalez (LHP) and Rafael Soriano (RHP), both from Atlanta. Rafael Betancourt, Jose Valverde, Octavio Dotel and Bob Howry are all good right-handers, but each is getting up there in age. Left-handed help is even scarcer, so let us hope Scott Eyre will return.
You probably know by now that Charlie Manuel came in 6th place for the Manager of the Year voting. That’s right, 6th place for taking his team to back-to-back World Series. But this is just one more revealing award that shows the idiocy of the voting process for these honors. No shock there. Jim Tracy of the Rockies took home the prize.
But if you would like to voice your opinion this awards season, log on at MLB.com and vote for the This Year in Baseball awards. Candidates include Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, JA Happ, Jayson Werth and even Emily, the cute little girl who tossed the ball her Daddy caught back towards the field. And of course, you can give props to Manuel for the TYIB manager award.
Photo by Jenn