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For twenty years, Pittsburghers have been waiting for someone like Andrew McCutchen.
Special considerations hand this award to the Pirates center fielder.
See, regardless of what the various people who have mismanaged the Pirates over the past twenty years love to claim, Pittsburgh is a town that loves baseball and supports their Pirates through thick and thin.
Those fans, who have been ignored and outright neglected by three straight ownership groups, deserve a top-tier player (actually, they really deserve a winning team, but that might interfere with Mr. Nutting’s bottom line).
McCutchen runs away with the inaugural NL Pedro despite a top-notch field.
-R.A. Dickey, New York Mets. Love the knuckleball and perhaps no knuckleballer has had a season as superb as Dickey had with the Mets. Here we have the case of a very hard-working pitcher who has paid his dues and finally found his stride. He throws the dancing pitch, picking up the helm from Tim Wakefield almost instantly upon Wakefield’s retirement.
-Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals. The controversy about the Strasburg Shutdown made every pitch he threw more intriguing, but obviously he deserves more credit than that. What’s entertaining in pitching? Power pitchers who make opponents look bad with incredible stuff.
-Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals. For one, the kid is decidedly unrefined, which we expect in our nineteen year olds. Face it: Reckless baseball is entertaining baseball, regardless of what the numbers tell us. Few people across baseball look like they’re having more fun.
-Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds. Smoke-throwers like Chapman make the most entertaining relief pitchers, because they are extremely unpredictable. Chapman only struggled for a very brief period around midseason and his emergence as a closer has propelled Cincinnati back into the postseason.