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Sports Then and Now



Recapping MLB’s 2010 Award Winners 3

Posted on November 26, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Joey Votto earned MVP honors after leading the Reds to the playoffs.

The 2010 Major League Baseball Award season is now history. Here is a rundown of the choices and my input on whether the right players were selected.

Rookie of the Year
National League: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants; American League: Neftali Feliz, Texas Rangers

Based on value to teams and performance over the second half of the 2010 season it is very difficult to argue with the two picks for Rookie of the Year.

You kinda had a sense that Buster Posey was going to be an impact player for the San Francisco Giants when he was called up in late May and promptly had six hits in his first two games and posted seven multi-hit games in his first 12 games. He went on to hit .305 and serve as a major catalyst for the late season surge of the World Series Champions.

What is interesting about his selection over Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves is that Heyward got so much publicity early, but by mid-season you almost forgot he was a rookie. Heyward had a great rookie season with a .277 batting average, 18 home runs and 72 RBI. On a team that lost offensive power to injuries on a regular basis, he had a solid rookie season and was definitely a key reason they made the playoffs.

However, at the end of the day the choice of Posey was the right one. It is ironic that neither of the two most celebrated Atlanta Braves rookies of the last two decades, Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward received Rookie of the Year honors. Jones finished second to Hideo Nomo in 1995.

Given the sizzle and star power of the two major candidates in the National League, the American League Rookie of the Year race was basically made up of unknowns. Read the rest of this entry →

Felix Hernandez is AL’s Top Pitcher; What Would Cy Young Think? 2

Posted on November 18, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Felix Hernandez claimed his first Cy Young Award despite winning only 13 games in 2010.

How ironic is it that an award named for a pitcher who won 511 games, including more than 30 on five occasions, has now been awarded to a starting pitcher who won 13 games in a season? That is the question that can now be raised following the selection of Felix Hernandez as winner of the 2010 American League Cy Young Award.

Playing for a team that won only 61 games, Hernandez posted a 13-12 record with a league-best 2.27 earned run average. It was his low ERA, rather than his lack of victories that made him the overwhelming choice of voters for the award.

This marks the third straight year and fourth time in the last five years that the American League Cy Young Award winner has also led the league in ERA. In 2006 (Johann Santana) and 2008 (Cliff Lee), the pitcher also led the league in wins. However, that has not been the case the last two years when first Zack Greinke with 16 wins and now Hernandez has set a new AL record for fewest wins by a starting pitcher who wins the Cy Young.

In many respects, it is a predictable trend given the changing landscape for starting pitchers over the last couple decades.  Because starting pitchers now typically are asked to only pitch five to seven quality innings per start, their ability to personally control win-loss records has declined. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

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