Tag Archives: Awards

Dorell’s MIP Case

Nope, Dorell Wright didn’t get a minor in possession. He’s 25 years old, so there’s no way he could even get one at this point. Dorell isn’t a household name, and unless you were a Heat or Warriors fan you still might not know that he even exists. The Warriors acquired him over the offseason for the next three years at a fairly cheap $11M. I had no idea what we got when we signed him, and have been in many a texting frenzies with the blog mates on how awesome he is for many of the Dubs games this year. I thought he was more of a defensive guy since all the reports that I read said that’s all he really was at the time the Warriors acquired him. Somehow, some way, he’s morphed into a knock down shooter (in best Mark Jackson voice). He currently leads the NBA in three pointers made (85), and is making up for the scoring punch to ab offense that lost Morrow, Azubuike, and Maggette this past season. So far this season, Dorell has gone up in every major category making him my hometown bias pick for, the most improved player. As his minutes went from 20 to nearly 39 per game he has doubled up in his averages in every major category. His points have more than doubled (7.1 to 15.7). His rebounds have nearly doubled from (3.3 to 6.2). His assists have more than doubled going from (1.3 to 3.1). His steals have gone up from (0.7 to 1.4). People might knock his field goal % dropping 5 points, but my reasoning for that is he’s taking a ton of threes (averaging 6 per game), which would lower anyone’s percentages a little. With all those threes he’s taking, he is 27th in the league in 3PT percentage, which makes me not care that his FG% overall has taken a little dip. There’s no signs of him slowing down since the W’s have no bench. Another reason to hand the award to Dorell is that he came out of nowhere to relevance this season. All the other guys I’m about to mention were all at least relatively known at the beginning of the year.

I guess there are some other candidates out there, but in my eyes none of them have improved from last season to this season as much as Dorell, but here are some that I think are in the running. Kevin Love is a beast that should be considered for the award, but at the same time we saw some of what he’s doing this year towards the end of last year, so does that really count as improved now that he’s getting the minutes and already showed us that he could do this? I say no, but it’s arguable. Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose are on the same plane in my book. Rose has had an amazing season, and shown that he is indeed fantasy relevant instead of just a good player he has been boosting his stats in nearly every area. Westbrook developed a jumper this summer and is scoring more, but both of these guys were stars already, and I commend them for their improvement, but it just isn’t significant enough of an improvement to earn the MIP award. I’d put Raymond Felton slightly above them, because he is improving tremendously in every category much like Dorell, but being in D’antoni’s system jumpstarted that more than anything. We all knew that Felton was solid, just not this good. An honorable mention for a guy on the radar is Paul Millsap. He started off the first month of the season like he was going to win the award, but has fallen back to earth a little now that Al Jefferson has figured out the Utah offense, and mans the post keeping Paul away from this award. Michael Beasley also made the honorable mention list. He was a bust in Miami, and now is a main cog in Minnesota and hasn’t had any legal troubles thus far. If he keeps it up he should be on the list with his teammate.

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Cahill’s a Contender, But It’s Felix’s Cy Young To Lose

I was all fired up to write a Cahill for the AL Cy Young Award last night, but sadly he got shelled for 8 runs by the Yankees. His ERA ended up ballooning from 2.43 to 2.82 dropping him from second to third in ERA. He held the lead in WHIP with an amazing 0.99, but that ballooned to 1.07 after last night, and now he’s now second behind Cliff Lee in that department. He was going to need to lead those key categories if he was going to have any chance in winning a Cy Young. Cahill missed April with an injury, so he had some ground to make up in innings pitched to be considered. Since he doesn’t strike out a lot of guys he needed to keep that ERA and WHIP down to get any Cy Young votes. He’s about as dominating a ground ball pitcher as you can be, but voters value K’s A LOT, so falling out of the lead of those two major categories might have pushed him out of the Cy talks. Until last night, he’d lasted five or more innings, and given up seven or fewer hits in all 23 of his starts. That was broken up yesterday, but the streak was still good enough for an Oakland record, which is surprising thinking of all the pitching greats that have donned the green and gold over the years. I ended up posting Stealing First Base last night, because I was rattled by this rare ugly start for our 22 year old sensation. If he’d shut down the Yankees, there would be more optimism in his Cy Young candidacy. At this moment, I can’t really put him at the top, so I’d probably drop him down to the second tier where I have CC, Bucholtz, and Wilson. He’s got a month left to get a new streak of zeros going, but the way Felix has been firing on all cylinders he’s the man to dethrone now.

If it was decided today, I’d would crown King Felix with the AL Cy Young. He’s been phenomenal after a so-so May. If he played for any team but Seattle, he’d at least have 15 wins. If he was on the Yankees he’d probably have as many wins if not more than CC’s 18. A 10-10 record isn’t anything to write home about, but I care a lot more about the pure pitching numbers, and the 24 year old is having another great season. He’s lost a number of games where his team only scored one run for him or in some cases was completely shut out. Nothing surprising coming out of Seattle since they own the lowest total amount of runs scored in all of baseball. They can’t even score as much as Pittsburgh! Just checking out his game log, it tells the story of his lack of run support. Quality start after quality start, and nothing in the win column to show for it. Over his last 15 starts he’s pitched at least 6.2 innings, and has given up only three runs three times, and two or less runs in the other twelve starts. He’s currently second in K’s (192), second in ERA (2.47), third in WHIP (1.11), leads in IP (204.1), and is holding hitters to a .225 BA (sixth best in the AL). I’ve found myself feeling sorry for the guy. Every time he goes out there he gets the least run support of any of the candidates, and the Seattle crowd knows it, giving him standing ovations even when he leaves the game behind on the scoreboard, because they know they are watching a great pitcher that gave them everything he had. Maybe I’m picking him because I thought he deserved it last year or because he’s on one of my fantasy teams. If it weren’t for Greinke’s freakish year that made Felix an afterthought when the award was handed out, he could be going for back to back awards. Even Greinke got better run support in his Cy Young season last year than Felix has had these past two seasons. I know the award isn’t given out based on a two year period, but consistency can be taken into considered in a year that the award could go either way. Kind of like when Kobe and Barkley won their MVP awards in the NBA. Kobe wasn’t the overly obvious choice for the award, but sometimes you have to reward someone that is at the top for an extended period of time. Same went for Barkley, they might have been tired of giving it to Jordan,  so they threw in a change up and gave it to the big man who finished runner up a few times. If Felix keeps doing what he’s been doing, he should win the award! Now that I’ve said all that, I bet Felix gets blown up by the Angels tonight…


Mid-Season MLB Awards

It’s amazing the ebbs and flows I go through with baseball season, and it’s pretty consistent nearly every year. For the first month and a half I can’t get enough, I watch every pitch I can even for games that I don’t really care about (like NL games), and then I’ll realize how many games they still have to play, and only check box scores for a month or so. Now that Lebronapalooza is over, and we’ve hit the All-Star break, I’m back to full force on baseball. Now it’s about time to break down who the first half award winners are, well, the award winners in my book that is.

AL MVP – Miguel Cabrera (.346/.423/.651, 22 HR, 77 RBI)

Not a tough choice at the midpoint. Miggy has come out focused from his alcohol rehab program this offseason, and leads in two of the three triple crown categories. If you can make a case for Morneau, Cano, Hamilton, or Youkilis there might be some room for debate, but in my eyes this isn’t really a close vote if there was a vote held now.

NL MVP- Albert Pujols, by default (.308/.416/.576, 21 HR, 64 RBI)

I can’t really say I’m even sold on my selection, but Albert has to win by default. He’s in the running every year, and has finished in the top five 11 times. I’m sure he’s going to go through a stretch where teams will opt to not pitch to him because he’s on fire. I’ve seen a few lists that have David Wright as the next in line under Albert, but I think that’s the New York hype machine pumping up their golden boy even though he’s having a good year, I don’t think it’s an MVP season. Adrian Gonzalez has put up some big numbers despite having nobody around him for protection. Joey Votto and Scott Rolen are also nice choices, and are surprisingly keeping Cincy relevant. I also really like Carlos Gonzalez to make a push for MVP, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him in the discussions at seasons end.

AL Cy Young – Jon Lester (11-3, 120 IP, 2.78 ERA, 124K, 1.09 WHIP)

David Price had the lead for much of the year, but Lester now leads him in K’s, innings pitched, and has a  lower WHIP which I always find more impressive than win totals, so I gave Lester the nod. Cliff Lee’s six complete games is amazing for this point in the season, so he has to be thrown into the top three as well. Pettite is an intreguing candidate, but I like a Cy Young to have lots of K’s…

NL Cy Young – Josh Johnson (9-3, 122 IP, 1.70 ERA, 123K, 0.96 WHIP)

Most people have been picking Ubaldo Jimenez, but I actually have Halladay and Wainwright ahead of Ubaldo at the moment. I’ve never been an advocate of looking at a pitchers record and weighing it like some do with the award. Josh is tops in the league in ERA and WHIP, and opponents BA is a ridiculous .203. This is a WIDE open race, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone that I didn’t even mention winning this award.

AL Rookie of the half – Brennan Boesch (12 HR’s, 48 RBI, .345 BA)

Austin Jackson (Brennan’s teammate) and Neftali Feliz have been subperb rookies this year, but Brennan has been that much better than them. I didn’t really even know who he was before the year started, but have a feeling we will be hearing about him a lot in years to come as he’s a 6’6” 25 year old with tons of potential.

NL Rookie of the half – Jaime Garcia (8-4, 2.17 ERA, 99 2/3 IP, 80 K’s, 1.25 WHIP)

It was a tough call between Jaime and Heyward. I was pretty close to picking Heyward, but since he hasn’t played over the last month I DQ’d him for the moment. It’s going to be a tight race at the end of the season, but if Jason puts up the same numbers he did in the first half, I’m sure he’ll get the award. Tyler Colvin, Gaby Sanchez, and Mike Leake are also playing good enough to garner some attention as well.

Comeback player – Alex Rios (.305/.361/.518, 15 HR, 49 RBI, 23 SB)

As recently as last year I ripped Rios and his former teammate Vernon Wells for having two of the worst contracts in all of baseball. They must’ve read my post and gotten pissed because both are having big seasons. Rios has reformed himself into that potential we always knew he always had, and is on the hottest team in the league right now. If he can keep it up, the Sox could be a lot to deal with in the playoffs, and has made the AL Central more interesting than most would’ve thought a couple months into the season.


It’s (Almost) Official: Tyreke Evans to be Named NBA Rookie of the Year

It may not be a secret, but chances are you heard it here first. Not that it’s tremendously unpredictable, but Tyreke Evans will be presented with the NBA Rookie of the Year trophy on Thursday. Today, the Sacramento Kings issued a press release announcing a “Major NBA Award Presentation” tomorrow. Unless Carl Landry is winning the MVP, one can only guess what this press conference entails. Unfortunately, this writer will be unable to attend the press conference due to other work obligations, but this announcement comes as little surprise to anyone on this panel. Evans became just the fourth player in NBA history to average more than 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in his rookie season, joining the likes of Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and Lebron James. It is truly an honor well-deserved. Congratulations Tyreke on a great rookie campaign.


Grammy Night, And The Award Goes To Bar’ Bo’ Sa’

I’m not much of a movie buff, but I did catch a few of the flicks this year including Avatar. I was actually slightly disappointed with the 3D as I was hoping they would’ve made it more Disney style. You know, like in Captain EO and the parts when the stuff in the film feels like it’s flying at you, and you find your self flinching or wanting to grab something that isn’t there. Avatar was more 3D from the screen and back. I want it to come at me! Maybe I had too high expectations, but all in all it was a pretty good movie. I think it’s ridiculous that some people want to join the Navi culture, but if anyone would fit in with them it’s probably the tallest of our species, NBA players. I remember when this clip first came out, I thought this has Nash inspiration written all over it. If you were a player, how could you not like playing in Phoenix!?! You have Nash, the most ridiculous man in the world, great weather, a free flowing offense to pad those stats in, and you don’t even have to play defense. Even the fans are pretty good sports like this guy who got a face full of iron! Then you get Barbosa dressing up on the plane and scaring teammates (Lopez’s reaction was priceless). I most likely won’t catch any of the show tonight, but I’ll predict that Avatar gets at least six awards, and one will be best spinoff, by the Phoenix Suns.