Some things to read while dealing with disappointment.
If it's the middle of November, it's awards season in Major League Baseball, and the action kicked off last night with the announcement of the American League and National League Rookie of the Year winners. Angels mutant wonderboy Mike Trout was the runaway winner in the AL, claiming the No. 1 vote on every writer's ballot to become the second Angel named after a fish to win the award unanimously.
The NL race was quite a bit closer, as Nationals rookie and eyeblack afficianado Bryce Harper snuck past Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley: Harper garnered 16 first-place votes and finished with 112 points, while Miley got the top ranking on 12 ballots and wound up with 105 points.
Apparently feeling there's a lack of public shaming involved in their award announcements, the Baseball Writers Association of America, for some reason,* is releasing the individual writer ballots for the various awards this season. The AL ROY ballots are a yawner, of course, but there's a bit of intrigue on the NL side: Cincinnati rookie Todd Frazier received three first-place votes (one from the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Erardi) and Colorado backstop Wilin Rosario somehow earned top billing from ESPNdeportes.com's Enrique Rojas.
* M'self, I like to believe they're trolling Ken Tremendous and trying to instigate the resurrection of Fire Joe Morgan.
That No. 1 vote for Rosario was sort of significant, in the end, because it pushed him ahead of Brewers rookie Norichika Aoki into fourth place. Nori was named on seven ballots, getting two second-place votes and five third-place votes to tally 11 points, while Rosario's first-place vote (he was only named on four ballots total) gave him 12 points.
A bit of reaction to Nori's finish:
- Adam McCalvy notes that Aoki is the seventh Japanese player to finish in the top 10 in Rookie of the Year balloting, and the first Japanese position player to receive ROY votes since Seattle's Kenji Johjima in 2006.
- At Disciples of Uecker, Jaymes Langrehr observes that Aoki is the first Brewer to get ROY votes since Casey McGehee in 2009. McGehee also finished in fifth place.
- Behind the JS paywall, Tom Haudricourt writes that Nori received second-place votes from the Wisconsin State Journal's Dennis Semrau and USA Today's Paul White.
With the Rookie of the Year Awards handed out, attention turns to the silliest prize handed out by the BBWAA, the Manager of the Year Award. If you care about these things (and you shouldn't), Buck Showalter is considered the favorite in the American League following the Orioles' run to the playoffs, while Davey Johnson's candidacy looks strong in the NL.
There are a number of reasons why the Manager of the Year Award is dumb, of course -- and don't take my word for it: Aaron Gleeman compiled a lengthy list of skippers who were gassed within a couple years of taking home the hardware -- but the primary one is this: DUSTY BAKER HAS WON THE AWARD THREE FREAKING TIMES.
Speaking of people who (allegedly) do dumb things: it was an eventful day for former Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez yesterday, who was the subject of our MVBrewers series and then was in a Waukesha County courtroom yesterday afternoon for the initial appearance on the misdemeanor complaint filed against him following a domestic incident in September.
(Permit me this brief legal tangent on that link from TMJ4: entering a "not guilty" plea at your initial appearance does not mean that a person is "going to trial." That's what happens at the initial appearance of 90% of misdemeanor cases. I realize "RODRIGUEZ HAS EXCEEDINGLY ORDINARY COURT APPEARANCE" doesn't suck in the same number of page views, but still.)
Around the Arizona Fall League:
- Stop me if you've heard this one before: Josh Prince had a good day. Kid ripped a triple as part of 2-3 day, and he's now hitting .405 for the Desert Dogs.
- Big Johnny Hellweg showed good stuff in closing out Phoenix's win, leading Baseball America's Peter Wardell to wonder if the Brewers will groom Hellweg as a reliever or a starter.
- Nick Bucci, on the other hand, didn't have a very good outing for the Dogs, giving up four runs (three earned) and walking four in three innings of action.
From the transaction roll:
- Braves: Named former Brewer Randy Ready manager of the AAA Gwinnett Braves.
- Rangers: Signed a slew of players to minor-league contracts, the most notable of which is probably LHP Neal Cotts.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to calm mother down again.