Am I a month too late with these? Yes, yes I am. But have I been ahead of the curve on the Jeter negotiations? Yes, yes I have. Gotta take the good with the bad, people. And here are the winners:
MVP- Robinson Cano: The numbers, the awards, the consistency, the effortless fluidity of his game, the recognition from the media (finally), and the overall awesomeness. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Cano stepped out of the box to play a little jazz trumpet during an at-bat next season. He's that fucking good and that fucking cool.
/wishes I were actually Robinson Cano
Cy Young- Andy Pettitte: Maybe I'm taking CC for granted here, but my vote for team Cy Young would go to Andy. His numbers are equal to or better than CC's across the board except for strikeouts, and he would have finished somewhere around 18-19 wins if he played the whole season. Earlier in the year when CC was scuffling, Andy was the team's de facto ace and stopper, and since the AB4AR voting criteria includes the postseason and Andy was the only starter to pitch worth a damn in the postseason, he gets the nod.
Coach of The Year- Kevin Long: Since there is only one manager, we'll open up that award to whole coaching staff. And if you do that, there really isn't any competition for Long. Eiland's crew was hit-or-miss, Harkey's boys spit the bit in the postseason, and Joe kept his nose in his matchup book too many times to do actual managing, so it's Long's for the taking. His preseason work with Cano and Swish set them up for big years and his in-season work with Teix, C-Grand, A-Rod, Jeter, and Berkman produced positive results across the board.
Rookie of The Year- Ivan Nova: He showed flashes of brilliance in his outings both as a reliever and a starter and could be the team's 5th starter to open 2011 if Andy decides to hang 'em up. His stuff is above average, his approach is mature beyond his years, he just needs some more time and more experience to hone his craft and work on mixing his pitches up the 2nd and 3rd time through the order. A lot of people aren't as high on Nova as I am (as evidenced by my turning him into a member of AB4AR Photoshop Club) but he was the best of the bunch of rookies who all played minor roles this year and I think he could see some drastic improvement next year working with Larry Rothschild.
Comeback Player of The Year- Boone Logan: Not in the traditional sense of the award, since Logan came back from a Triple-A demotion earlier in the year, but after his return to the bullpen on July 17th, Logan was light years better than he was earlier in the year, locking down the LOOGY role and making everybody all but forget about Damaso Marte. A 25-game runless streak wasn't too shabby either.
Most Improved Player- Nick Swisher: After working extensively with Kevin Long in the offseason, Swisher came into camp in 2010 a new man with a new approach at the plate. All he did with that new approach in 2010 was improve on what had been his best career year in 2009 by setting new career highs in at-bats, hits, triples, batting average, and OPS, while also putting up 91 R, 33 2B, 29 HR, and 89 RBI. Swish excelled in multiple spots in the lineup and continued to play solid defense in right. This season was the final step in the evolution of Swish into a complete, All-Star-caliber player.
Best Roster Move- Kerry Wood Trade: The AB4AR version of Executive of The Year, this award goes to Cash for his pilfering of Kerry Wood from the Indians for Andrew Shive and Matt Cusick. All Wood did after becoming a Yankee was post a 0.69 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 26 innings while striking out 31 and ending the merry-go-round that had become the 8th-inning setup role. 8 innings of 2-run ball in the playoffs was pretty good too, especially considering what the rest of the 'pen did.
Least Valuable Player- A.J. Burnett: He had a lot of competition with Javy's awful year and Nick Johnson's no-show, but with the money invested in him and the fact that he started the season as the #2 starter, this award has to go to A.J. We've already beaten the all-time, Yankee history-horrible stats to death so we'll spare A.J. here on that. But I will take time out to kindly inform A.J. that if he thinks that team actually has faith in him because of Cash's visit before Thanksgiving then he's an idiot. If the team had faith in him, Cash wouldn't have wasted his holiday time with his family to come to A.J.'s home to tell him so. He probably did it to make sure A.J. hadn't killed himself.
So there you have it. Congratulations to all the winners (except A.J.). And hopefully all of you who didn't win this year use that snub as motivation for 2011.
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