LIVE VIDEO: NewsChannel 5 at Five    Watch
 

USA TODAY Sports' Nightengale unveils his award winners

6:21 AM, Sep 25, 2013   |    comments
Sep 15, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) hits a home run against the Seattle Mariners at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Like The Cardinal Nation Show on Facebook.

Like KSDK Sports on Facebook.

Follow The Cardinal Nation Show on Twitter.

Follow KSDK Sports on Twitter.

Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports

The pressure, tension and trauma of the final days of the regular season are upon us.

We're immersed in nasty and spiteful name calling, and there's enough venom going on in Twitter exchanges to make world wrestling promoters blush.

This has nothing to do with the pennant races, with all of the playoff entrants decided except for the two American League wild-card slots.

This has everything to do with the Baseball Writers Association of America's award ballots, due after the final regular-season game.

So here we go, unveiling this year's award winners, and bracing ourselves for hostility and resentment - and that's just from friends and family.

AL MVP
The numbers say:
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels outfielder; and Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics third baseman. Trout is hitting .325 with 26 homers, 92 RBI with a .992 on-base plus slugging (OPS). He leads the baseball world with a 9.1 WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Donaldson is right there with him, hitting .307 with 24 homers and 92 RBI and is second with a 8.1 WAR.

The standings say: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers third baseman. He and Donaldson are the only legitimate MVP candidates whose teams will be in the postseason.

What I say: Cabrera, who will win the batting title again with a .350 average, and leads the league with 137 RBI along with a mind-boggling 1.092 OPS. Simply, when you're the greatest hitter in the game and lead your team to division titles, you deserve the MVP.

NL MVP
The numbers say: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman. He's winning two-thirds of the Triple Crown, leading the National League with 35 homers and 123 RBI, while hitting .304.

The standings say: Yadier Molina, catcher, and Matt Carpenter, second base, St. Louis Cardinals. Carpenter is putting up the best numbers by a Cardinals second baseman since Rogers Hornsby. Molina, considered the greatest defensive catcher since Johnny Bench, is batting .314.

What I say: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder. McCutchen, carried this team on the field and in the clubhouse. He aired out his teammates, telling them mediocrity would no longer be accepted, and batted .319 with 20 homers, 82 RBI, 181 hits and 94 runs. 

AL CY YOUNG
The numbers say: Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers. Darvish leads the league with 260 strikeouts and a .193 opposing batting average.

The standings say: Max Scherzer, Tigers; Bartolo Colon, A's. Each pitched their teams to division titles. Colon leads the league with a 2.64 ERA and is tied for the league lead with three shutouts. Scherzer is baseball's lone 20-game winner.

What I say: Scherzer. In a landslide. Enough with the criticism of his high run support and no complete games. I'll take the guy who's 20-3 with a 3.00 ERA, who has pitched 2071/3 innings, lasting at least six innings in 27 of 31 starts. You can't win 20 games unless you constantly put your team in position to win.

NL CY YOUNG
The numbers say
: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers. He leads the league with a ridiculous 1.88 ERA, in strikeouts with 224, and a 0.92 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched).

The standings say: Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves. He has saved a career-high 49 games with a 1.27 ERA and 0.91 WHIP.

What I say: Kershaw. In a unanimous vote. He's also the first pitcher to lead the NL in ERA for three consecutive seasons since a fellow named Greg Maddux.

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
What the numbers say
: Wil Myers, outfielder, and Chris Archer, pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays. Myers has played only a half-season but has 13 homers and 51 RBI. Archer has won nine games with a 3.21 ERA.

What the standings say: Jose Iglesias, shortstop, Tigers. He not only helped vault the Boston Red Sox to first place in the AL East before being traded but is bailing out the Tigers after Jhonny Peralta's suspension.

What I say: Iglesias. Maybe he won't be a career .310 hitter, but he better clear shelf space for those Gold Glove Awards coming his way.

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

The numbers say: Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins. The 21-year-old was 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA and led the league with a .182 opposing batting average, ranking third among all starters with a 6.6 WAR.

The standings say: Yasiel Puig, Dodgers. He nearly saved their season after his May call-up. Puig, in between visits to the Playboy mansion, is hitting .327 with a .397 on-base and .544 slugging percentage.

What I say: Fernandez. When you can go 9-0 with a 1.19 ERA at home while playing for the worst team in the NL, you deserve to strut after homers, let alone victories.

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
What the numbers say: Boston's John Farrell, who inherited a 93-loss team, led the Red Sox to the AL East title with 95 victories and counting.

What the standings say: Any manager in the playoffs.

What I say: Farrell was instrumental in resurrecting the clubhouse culture after last year's mutiny against manager Bobby Valentine. Apologies to the Cleveland Indians' Terry Francona.

NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
What the numbers say: Don Mattingly, Dodgers. Nearly fired in May, he turned the Dodgers into a juggernaut, reeling off 42 wins in 50 games.

What I say: Clint Hurdle, Pirates. He was the right man for the job of ending 20 years of losing and securing a playoff berth.

Most Watched Videos