WCT Baseball Preview: The Saga Continues
Baseball season is underway, and we here at WCT are psyched. In order to prepare for the season (and so that in October we can brag about how right we were in the spring) we will preview how we think the 2007 season will go.
Today: The Awards!
We swear we made these picks before the season started.
AL MVP: Travis Hafner – There are many statistical measures that would tell you that Hafner is the best offensive player in baseball. Last year he led the American League with a 1097 OPS, and even SCORED 100 runs (if you’ve seen “Pronk” run the bases, then you realize how remarkable it is that he scored that many times). We feel like the only reason he ended up eighth in the MVP balloting last year was because the Indians sucked (NOT because he is a designated hitter. But that is another post for another day). That being said, we think the Tribe will be better this year (you can go ahead and substitute “hope” for “think” if you want) and if he stays healthy, Hafner will be right in the middle of it and will garner the votes he needs.
One week in: If it never stops snowing in Cleveland, and if teammate and WCT punching-bag Grady Sizemore doesn’t stop upstaging him by hitting home runs every game, Hafner has no chance.
AL Cy Young : Chien-Ming Wang – This is one of the few guys who looks like he has a legitimate shot to toss a new hitter just about every time he takes the ball. We have never seen a sinkerballer who can control a game and frustrate the opposing team the Wang can. And with the Yankee offense scoring six runs a night, there is really no limit to his potential.
One week in: Wang is on the DL and is going to miss at least a month. Oops. Eh, Halladay, or Santana will end up taking it.
AL Rookie of the Year: Daisuke Matsuzaka – Why is it that in one breath people like Peter Gammons (who we respect, and agree with about 90% of the time) say that the Japanese league is somewhere between AAA and the majors, and in the next breath they say that if you consider Japanese players rookies you are disrespecting their league? If Ichiro can win ROY, why not Matsuzaka? Or as the Kansas City Royals Broadcasters called him Daisuke Matsui.
One week in: Seven innings, six hits, one earned run, one walk, and ten strikeouts Thursday against the Royals. Now lets see how he does against a major league lineup (Zing!). If he is as good as everyone says he is, he should win 16 games easily. There are also like five guys for the Devil Rays who could also take this award. If Matsuzaka doesn’t get the votes, look out for Elijah Dukes.
NL MVP: Jose Reyes – We actually could have gone with any of about three Mets (Carlos Beltran and David Wright being the others) but Reyes does so many things to impact a game its hard not to choose him. At the plate, on the basepaths, in the field, he is arguably the most complete player in the game.
One week in: Yes, its only been one week, but he is slugging .720.
NL Cy Young: Jason Schmidt – this is the one pick that we made that may be out of the ordinary. We see the Dodgers as one of the two best teams in the entire National League, so we think Schmidt will be another guy who will benefit from being on a team that makes the playoffs. We think he could have won this award a couple of times in the past if the Giants had been better.
One week in: Five innings, three hits, one earned run allowed. If he stays healthy, he could make us look very smart.
NL Rookie of the Year: Chris Young – No, not the 6’10” pitcher for the Padres, the 6’2” outfielder for the Diamondbacks. To be honest, we have no idea who this guy is. All we know is that Gammons loves him, and that’s good enough for us.
One week in: Young is only batting .182 so far, but he already has a home run and 8 RBI.