Aside from getting to rock a World Series ring, the next best thing to take home at the end of the season is one of Major League Baseball's awards.
The Baseball Writers Association of America will soon have their say on who was the best in their respective categories.
Unfortunately, baseball bloggers such as myself do not officially get to cast ballots. Luckily, I am a member of the next best thing—the Baseball Bloggers Alliance!
Across the blogosphere over the next few weeks, we'll be casting their ballots in their respective leagues for Manager of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and the Most Valuable Player Award. Here are my choices:
American League Manager of the Year
3) Joe Girardi—New York Yankees
2) Ron Washington—Texas Rangers
1) Mike Scioscia—Los Angeles Angels
I imagine that the Writers will favour Girardi and his New York Yankees, however, my vote goes for Mike Scioscia.
Year in and year out, the Angels are contenders in the American League West, and to manage this team, especially after the loss of teammate Nick Adenhart, was especially difficult this season.
Scioscia is the cream of the crop when it comes to managers in the American League. Now if they could just make it past the Boston Red Sox in the playoffs!
American League Rookie of the Year
3) Jeff Niemann—Tampa Bay Rays
2) Noland Reimold—Baltimore Orioles
1) Andrew Bailey—Oakland A's
This is a very interesting award because almost none of the preseason favourites to win the ROY like David Price, Matt Weiters, or Travis Snider made the cut this year.
Although sometimes I think there is too much weight placed on closers, it's very difficult to ignore the stats put up by Andrew Bailey this year. He was thrust into the closer's role very early in Oakland and didn't look back the rest of the way.
American League Cy Young Award
3) Roy Halladay—Toronto Blue Jays
2) Felix Hernandez—Seattle Mariners
1) Zack Grienke—Kansas City Royals
This was another very tough category to choose a winner for.
With no clear-cut favourite and no 20-game winner, for me it came down to secondary stats. The writers carry a lot of weight on the win-loss records, but for me, that's almost irrelevant when it comes to the best pitchers in the league.
Greinke and Halladay both had six plus complete games, and all three had ERAs below three. It might have been because he faced weaker teams in the AL Central, but ultimately my Cy Young award vote goes to Zack Greinke.
American League Most Valuable Player
10) Zack Greinke—Kansas City Royals
9) Adam Lind—Toronto Blue Jays
8) Derek Jeter—New York Yankees
7) Jason Bay—Boston Red Sox
6) Evan Longoria—Tampa Bay Rays
5) Aaron Hill—Toronto Blue Jays
4) Kendry Morales—Los Angeles Angels
3) Miguel Cabrera—Detroit Tigers
2) Mark Teixeira—New York Yankees
1) Joe Mauer—Minnesota Twins
This decision was a no-brainer; Joe Mauer is the hands-down MVP of the American League. Not only did he pick up his third batting title this year, but if not for an injury that kept him sidelined until May, Mauer would have easily cleared 30 HR and 100 RBI.
Teixeira started off slow through April and mid-May and helped carried the Yankees to the postseason.
Mauer, on the other hand, performed consistently well, and it obviously helped that his team made the playoffs on game 163 of the regular season. For those reasons, I give the MVP to Joe Mauer.