Santana top choice for AL Cy Young


The baseball season has ended.

Now it is time to look at the best players of the 2004 season. Here are my thoughts on who should win baseball’s awards: MVP, Cy Young and Manager of the Year.

American League MVP: This award is between New York Yankees’ Gary Sheffield, Anaheim Angels’ Vladimir Guerrero and Boston Red Sox’s Manny Ramirez. David Ortiz and Ichiro Suzuki wil get a few votes, but Sheffield, Guerrero and Ramirez will get the most.

I think Manny Ramirez will win the MVP. He won the World Series MVP and I think he will take the regular season MVP as well.

The Boston Red Sox did not win their division, but they had the second best record in the AL, so the team’s record will not hurt Manny.

Ramirez had a very good season, leading the league in multiple categories.

Manny was first in slugging percentage, first in OPS, slugging percentage plus on base percentage, and first in home runs. He was also third in RBI.

Sheffield led his team to the best record in baseball, but did not have an outstanding individual year and had help from around him.

Guerrero led his team to the division title without much help, but he did not lead the league in any category.

The National League MVP race is also between three people: San Francisco Giants’ Barry Bonds, St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols and Los Angeles Dodgers’ Adrian Beltre. Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds may also receive some votes, but the race is between the first three.

My pick is Barry Bonds. Nobody in baseball means more to their team than Bonds. Without Bonds, the Giants would not be a good team. He was fourth in home runs but led the league in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, walks – regular and intentional and on base percentage, OBP. He led the league by a huge margin in walks, OPS and OBP. No other player had an OBS over .500, and Barry’s was over .600.

The AL Cy Young Race is between two pitchers: Minnesota Twins’ Johann Santana and Boston Red Sox’s Curt Schilling. This is a tight race. Santana was first in ERA and strikeouts while Schilling was first in wins. Schilling was second in ERA and third in strikeouts. Santana was second in wins. Both had remarkable years.

My pick for the award is Santana. He led the league in two of the three major categories and was second in the other one. He also had more innings pitched and allowed fewer hits than Schilling. I think the biggest factor is that he did not lose a game the second half of the year.

Four pitchers in the NL have a legitimate chance to win the NL Cy Young Award. The Houston Astros have two candidates: Roy Oswalt and Roger Clemens. Jason Schmidt of the San Francisco Giants and Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks are the other two.

I believe that Randy Johnson deserves to win the award. He had the best individual season of any of the pitchers. He was on a terrible team and that will hurt him. I do not think he will win, but he is my pick to win. He led the league in strikeouts and ERA. Despite being on a terrible team, he managed to tie for fifth in wins, with 16. He barely had a winning record because his team was horrendous and he lost 14 games.

The AL Manager of the Year should be Buck Showalter of the Texas Rangers. Texas was an awful team last year, then they traded the reigning MVP, Alex Rodriquez. After the trade they went on to have a drastic improvement. They were in contention in the AL West for most of the year.

The NL Manager of the Year should be Tony LaRussa, of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals were supposed to finish third in their division and the Cubs and Astros were supposed to finish ahead of them. The Cardinals won their division by 13 games, the largest margin in baseball. The Cardinals was a team that was not supposed to be in the playoffs and they made it to the World Series.