Ken Davidoff's midseason MLB awards
Newsday's Ken Davidoff unveils his All-Star break awards. The envelopes, please:
American League Most Valuable Player: Jose Bautista, Toronto
What can you say? He’s the most dominant offensive player in baseball. Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera, Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez and the Yankees’ Curtis Granderson also are super-awesome.
National League MVP: Matt Kemp, Dodgers
He deserves extra credit for ignoring all of the Frank McCourt-fueled nonsense going on around him. Props as well to Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun, Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen and the Mets’ Jose Reyes.
NL LVP: Jayson Werth, Washington
$126 million doesn’t get you as much as it used to. Philadelphia’s Raul Ibanez and the Dodgers’ Matt Loney are no prizes, either.
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Detroit
He went at least six innings in each of his first 19 starts. Boston’s Josh Beckett and the Angels’ Jered Weaver have excelled in this Year of the Pitcher.
AL Belly Itcher: John Lackey, Boston
He’s looking like the worst acquisition of the Theo Epstein era. Cleveland’s Fausto Carmona and former Yankee Phil Coke of Detroit turned into major liabilities.
AL Manager: Manny Acta, Cleveland
The Indians came from nowhere to leap atop the winnable AL Central. Acta has strong people skills and utilizes statistical analysis in his decision-making. The Yankees’ Joe Girardi, Tampa Bay’s Joe Maddon and the Angels’ Mike Scioscia have shined.
AL Mis-manager: Bob Geren, Oakland (fired)
You know things aren’t going well when your players publicly rip you. Toronto rookie skipper John Farrell has received shaky reviews.
NL Mis-manager: Jim Riggleman, Washington (quit)
The baseball world is still baffled by Riggleman’s decision. Chicago’s Mike Quade, in his first full season, and Dodgers freshman Don Mattingly really have struggled.
AL Front Office: Yankees
After getting jilted by Cliff Lee and Andy Pettitte, they found a pair of revival candidates in Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, not to mention catcher Russell Martin and a deep bullpen. Boston (Gonzalez) and Texas (Adrian Beltre) also look savvy.
AL "The Office": Oakland
The A’s tried to acquire Beltre and Lance Berkman last winter and wound up settling for Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham. They need a new stadium. Tough winters, too, for the White Sox and Minnesota.
NL "The Office": Dodgers
Forgetting even about the disaster that is McCourt, his baseball operations people re-signed Ted Lilly and brought in Jon Garland and Juan Uribe. Yeesh. Florida’s moves backfired, while Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is in real trouble.