The First Annual TripleSteal Awards (American League)

<!-- Article Starts Here --!> With the 2000 seasonal awards starting to be handed out today, the TripleSteal writers decided to hold a vote of their own. Today we will present our picks for the American League. Here is what should happen...

MVP: Jason Giambi
The voting made it a three man race, with Giambi, Carlos Delgado, and Alex Rodriguez each getting a first place vote, but Giambi obtained a top three finish from each writer. In the two most important offensive measures, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, he finished first and third respectively. He was named to his first All Star team, and even fielded well, especially for a man his size. Looking both at his statistics and his play, you could see this coming - Giambi has improved across the board in every season of his career:


That's uncanny.

Vote Totals (first place votes in parentheses):
Jason Giambi - 31 (1)
Alex Rodriguez - 29 (1)
Carlos Delgado - 27 (1)
Frank Thomas - 19
Pedro Martinez - 16
Nomar Garciaparra - 11
Manny Ramirez - 10
Edgar Martinez - 8
Bernie Williams - 8
Troy Glaus - 7
Darin Erstad - 4
Derek Jeter - 4
Mike Sweeney - 3

Cy Young: Pedro Martinez
In a unanimous decision, Pedro Martinez is the winner of the AL Cy Young award, and all we can say is wow. He lead the league in ERA by nearly two runs, and his ERA was 185% below the league's - the greatest figure of the century. He allowed 5.3 hits per nine innings - the fourth best ratio of the century, and his walks plus hits per nine innings - 6.64, is the best in the history of baseball by a fair margin. And he did this is one of the greatest offensive eras in baseball history. Yeah, this guy is pretty good...

Vote Totals (first place votes in parentheses):
Pedro Martinez - 15 (3)
David Wells - 7
Mike Mussina - 3
Andy Pettitte - 1
Tim Hudson - 1

Rookie of the Year: Terrence Long
Terrence Long had a fine first season - he played 138 games as a rookie, playing a position (center field) of great importance to a playoff team in need of a strong defender to make up for the weaknesses of the 7 first base/DH types on the team. In that capacity he did well - center field in Oakland is large enough, but Long managed to patrol it, while straying into the gaps more than most center fielders would have to. He had a decent, if not amazing, season with the bat. The rookies in the American League were as distinguished as their National League conterparts, but Long held his own, and at 24 has a long career ahead of him. For fun, take a look at his rookie season and Wally Joyner's in 1986:


Vote Totals (first place votes in parentheses):
Terrence Long - 9 (1)
Mark Redman - 6 (1)
Kazuhiro Sasaki - 5 (1)
Barry Zito - 3
Mark Quinn - 3
Ben Molina - 1

Manager of the Year: Jerry Manuel
The White Sox surprised everyone this year, and Jerry Manuel will be given a lot of credit for that. The Manager of the Year award has become almost an automatic pick - give the award to the manager of the team that exceeded expectation the most, or, if a team had an incredible year (Yankees 1998), give it to the manager of the best team. While the success of the White Sox this season is perhaps not attributable to Manuel, he certainly fits into this new "definition" of who should win the award. In fairness to Manuel, he took a pitching staff of nobodies and managed to get the fourth best ERA in the league out of them. He managed a great bullpen, and was smart enough to move Keith Foulke into a bigger role, while keeping his innings pitched above the number normally thrown by a true closer (he threw 88 innings this season). And what can you say about that offense? Manuel's team managed to score the most runs in the league, and no one really knows how they did it. Well, let's give Manuel the benefit of the doubt and give him all the credit.

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