5 MLB Awards They Should Do Away With
Major League Baseball gives out many awards every year, including the traditional ones like MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year.
They also give some awards that even diehard fans don't even know much of anything about (or the winners of the award).
This article takes a look at such five awards, including the Gold Glove, that should just be done away with or altered in some way in order to bring back some importance to awards that really matter.
The Gold Glove Award goes to the best fielder at each position in each league every year—however it doesn't feel like it is truly awarded to the best fielder anymore.
Instead, in today's game, the award seems to be partly based on a player's year at the plate in addition to his defensive work.
While this award should not be done away with like the others on this list, the current format does need to be completely done away with. In addition to bringing the emphasis back to defense, the new format of giving one award to each outfield position instead of selecting the three best outfielders in each league also waters down the significance of it.
For example, Shane Victorino deserved to win in National League center field without question, but Matt Kemp won because he had a historically great year at the plate in addition to a good year defensively. Brett Gardner was the deserving American League winner in left field, but the award went to Alex Gordon who had a much better year at the plate.
For the Gold Glove to get the same level of respect as the major awards, it needs to go to the most deserving defensive player, instead of the best defender who happened to have a decent year at the plate.
Like the Gold Glove, every year the Silver Slugger Award is given to the best hitter at each position in each league, with the American League giving an award to the designated hitter and the National League giving their award to the pitcher.
This award is certainly not an award that most fans really pay attention to—quick, name three of this year's winners without guessing. Still, fans remember the other award given out to the best player at each position: All-Star selections.
The Silver Slugger has only been in existence since 1980, so it's not exactly a traditional award. It just seems to be a redundant award with the All-Star Game already awarding the best player at each position, and the MVP going to the best hitter.
If this award was done away with next year, few would notice.
Lou Gehrig Award
The Lou Gehrig Award is given each year to the player who best exemplifies his character and integrity on and off the field; it was started in 1955 by the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.
This is one of the longest running awards that few people know of, and even fewer know the qualifications of the award. Since it isn't a performance-related award, some of the past winners include Mike Timlin in 2007, Jamie Moyer in 2003, and Todd Stottlemyre in 2000.
This award has a good intent, but the Roberto Clemente Award is the more recognized award for these purposes.
Since this award is basically an unknown among most fans, and it was started by a fraternity instead of by a baseball-related organization, it wouldn't really upset many if the Lou Gehrig Award was done away with.
Comeback Player of the Year
Every year each league awards a Comeback Player of the Year to the player who has "re-emerged on the baseball field during a given season." In other words, the player with the best season coming back from injury, a down year, or being out of the game.
This year's National League winner was Lance Berkman, a player who had an All-Star season with the Cardinals after an awful 2010. However, Ryan Vogelsong went from being out of the major leagues since 2006 to going 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA in nearly 180 innings for the San Francisco Giants.
Personally, a guy out of the league for the past four seasons, and one who hadn't started a game in the majors since 2004 is more deserving than one with a .781 OPS last year in 122 games.
Since this award doesn't get much attention and the also has a criteria which make it hard to give it to the most deserving player, fans don't really care much about this award.
Getting rid of an award that few really care about will help make the remaining awards that much more meaningful.
Hank Aaron Award
The Hank Aaron Award is given out the the best hitter in each league as selected by the fans and media. The award came into existence in 1999 to honor Aaron's 25th anniversary of passing Babe Ruth on the all time home run list.
While this award has a good purpose, it's basically a duplicate of the MVP Award—given to the each league's best hitter, with some exceptions being made for pitchers with outstanding seasons.
Doing away with the Hank Aaron Award makes sense considering it's a duplicate and still relatively new in baseball tradition.
Again, it's awards like this that have taken away attention from the major awards, which is why some would like a couple awards to be done away with.