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Midseason Baseball Awards
July 6, 2011 - Seth Staskey
Some 4 months ago in this space, I offered my pre-season baseball predictions. Here we are quickly approaching the all-star break and all of my division picks are quite realistic.
However, my individual awards are basically shot. Buster Posey is out for the season after his horrific collision at home plate, Ubaldo Jimenez of Colorado hasn't been anywhere near the same; Joe Maurer has spent time on the DL. The only one legitimately close to coming true is C.C. Sabathia, who has been lights out especially the last five outings or so.
I am sticking with all my picks from the earlier blog on the postseason. I still like Boston to win the AL East. The Red Sox have the Yankees' number. The Tigers will eventually catch and pass Cleveland though the Indians are my second best story of the first half and Texas is still the most talented team in the AL West.
In the National League, Philadelphia's pitching is still off the charts, but Atlanta is right with it. These two have certainly proven that they're the top two teams in the National League throughout the first half and the Braves have done so with prized acquisition Dan Uggla hitting less than his weight and Jason Heyward spending a lot of time on the DL.
In the NL Central, the Cardinals have a slim lead of 1.5 games (on July 6) over the PIRATES. Yes, those Pirates from Pittsburgh. The Pirates have been the best story in baseball, bar none. Clint Hurdle gets my midseason Manager of the Year vote in the NL for the work he's done. He's got the Pirates believing they're supposed to win each time they set foot on the field. They've not had such a mentality in the last few years.
In the NL West, the Giants have pitched it great again, but their offense has been in a season-long funk. The Diamondbacks have been another great story. Coming out of nowhere under Kirk Gibson, the Diamondbacks are right in the thick of the race.
My individual awards go to: NL MVP -- Matt Kemp, Dodgers Cy Young -- Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta (Close vote over Roy Halladay, Philadelphia). Rookie of the Year -- Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Manager of the Year -- Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh
AL MVP -- Jose Bautista, Toronto (I am firmly believing this guy is the real deal). Cy Young -- Justin Verlander, Detroit; Manager of the Year -- Manny Acta, Cleveland
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