Thursday, November 15, 2007

AL and NL Cy Young Award Winners. AL and NL Managers of the Year. Barry Bonds Indicted!

More post-season awards were handed out during the last couple of days...

San Diego's Jake Peavy won the NL Cy Young Award with all 32 first-place votes, easily beating last year's winner, second place finisher Brandon Webb of Arizona. Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia won the AL Cy Young Award over second place finisher Josh Beckett of the WORLD SERIES CHAMPION BOSTON RED SOX! It is hard to be too upset at this result. Sabathia posted eerily similar numbers to Beckett's. Both pitchers had roughly 5-1 strikeout to walk ratios. Beckett had 20 wins, Sabathia 19. Beckett's ERA was 3.27, Sabathia's was 3.21.

I think the thing that swung the voters was the four extra starts and 40 extra innings Sabathia logged. Still, one could argue that someone with 20 wins in 30 starts is a better pitcher than one who wins 19 in 34 starts, especially when Beckett had 17 starts against teams with .500 records or better and went 11-4 in those games. Sabathia went 7-3 in just 12 starts against teams that went .500 or better, but the results are what they are. Well done C.C. and Josh.

The AL and NL Manager of the Year awards went to Cleveland's Eric Wedge and Arizona's Bob Melvin, two former catchers who guided their clubs to division titles. Wedge rode an impressive offense, led by Grady Sizemore, Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner, and an awesome one-two punch in starting pitching with Sabathia and last season's failed closer Fausto Carmona, who became a monster this season, to the AL Central crown. Melvin somehow brought his team to the NL West title despite having seen his club get outscored by a total of 20 runs.

And for those who hate Barry Bonds, news of his indictment today for perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to a grand jury will no doubt warm your little asterisk-laden hearts. But seriously, what do we know know that we didn't know before? Here's a quote from the article in the link:

"During the criminal investigation, evidence was obtained including positive tests for the presence of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing substances for Bonds and other athletes," the indictment read.

Really? Then why weren't these results made public, and why wasn't Bonds suspended? More from the article:

The indictment culminated a four-year investigation into steroid use by elite athletes.

John Burris, one of Bonds' attorneys, did not know of the indictment before being alerted by The Associated Press. He said he would immediately call Bonds to notify him. "I'm surprised," Burris said, "but there's been an effort to get Barry for a long time. I'm curious what evidence they have now they didn't have before."

Color me curious too. If this evidence has been around for four years, why the hell hasn't anyone acted on it? Is this a big bluff by MLB and George Mitchell? Will Barry cop a plea, if guilty, and roll over on some of his fellow players? But wait, here is something else from the article that bothers me:

Speculation of his impending indictment had mounted for more than a year. In July 2006, the U.S. attorney in San Francisco took the unusual step of going public with the investigation. After the previous panel's 18-month term expired, he announced he was handing it off to a new grand jury.

It seems to me that if this was truly an open-and-shut case, that this indictment should have been handed down while the first grand jury was in session. Maybe this is legitimate, maybe not, but it still smells a bit fishy. Hey, if Barry was on the juice, he deserves our scorn and ridicule (though what we do with his records is beyond me at this time).

At any rate, this development, along with the usual post-season moves, plus A-Rod's impending mega-deal, will make this a more "interesting" off season than usual, primarily because Barry wants to play ball next season, and, as a free agent, would probably sign with an AL club so he could DH. That scenario is obviously in jeopardy now.

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