2011 MLB Awards. The 2011 New York Yankees, who on paper, were the best team in the American League were shut out in winning the AL MVP, AL Cy Young Award, AL Rookie of the Year, AL Manager of the Year, AL Comeback Player, Hank Aaron Award, and AL Gold Gloves. Only the AL Silver Sluggers and the Player’s Choice Awards had any Yankees representation. Does this symbolize baseball’s parity, which Bud Selig has been preaching for years? Or does it show anti-Yankees bias? Let’s take a look.
2011 AL MVP
This was a Justin Verlander media wack-fest. There’s no denying that Verlander was the best pitcher, but other men such as Clayton Kershaw, Jake Peavy, and Johan Santana won the Pitcher Triple Crown of Wins, ERA, and Strikeouts and didn’t take both Cy Young and MVP. With such a good crop of hitters in the American League, it’s not like he didn’t have competition. Ironically, he was just OK in the post-season.
Let’s use Wins Over Replacement (WAR) which is a catch-all value stat to compare the vote-getters:
Verlander: 8.6 WAR
Ellsbury: 7.2 WAR
Jose Bautista: 8.5 WAR
Curtis Granderson: 5.4 oWAR (WAR doesn’t like Curtis’ defense, which is dumb)
Miguel Cabrera: 7.8 oWAR (His total WAR is 7.1 due to poor defense)
Okay, so maybe I’ll eat some crow. But what doesn’t make sense is why Ellsbury got so many votes over Bautista. You see, the reason why Verlander won the MVP is because the Tigers won the AL Central (fellow Triple Crown winner Clayton Kershaw’s Dodgers did not win the AL West). If voters gave him credit for that, why give Ellsbury any credit- the Red Sox had a historical collapse. Why doesn’t Granderson get credit for being the best hitter on the best team? Ultimately, I won’t argue the winner because Verlander does have the top WAR. However, the fact that Granderson finished 4th with such a spectacular all-around year (LEADER in RBI and RUNS, 41HR, 25 Steals) for a 1st place team is…very weird. Before you argue that Robinson Cano took votes away, Adrian Gonzalez took votes away from Jacob, too, so it’s a wash.
2011 AL Cy Young Award
Verlander: 8.6 WAR, Triple Crown
Jered Weaver: 6.6 WAR, 18-8, 2.41, 198 K, 235.2 IP
James Shields: 6.1 WAR, 16-12, 2.82, 225 K, 249.1 IP
CC Sabathia: 6.9 WAR, 19-8, 3.00, 230 K, 237.1 IP
Jose Valverde: 2.7 WAR, 49/49 Saves
I knew something was wrong with CC Sabathia finishing in 4th place. Voters once again penalized him for having an ERA of 3 and totally ignored his wins. James Shields was fantastic last year, but only an anti-Yankees voter would pick him over CC.
2011 AL Rookie of the Year
Jeremy Hellickson: 4.2 WAR
Mark Trumbo: 2.1 WAR
Eric Hosmer: 1.3 WAR
Ivan Nova: 3.6 WAR
Michael Pineda: 2.8
Again, one of the reasons why I wrote this article was to see if there was any NY anti-bias, because something seemed odd about Granderson, CC, and Nova finishing 4th in voting. Nova should have finished at least in 2nd place, with his 16-4, 3.70 ERA.
2011 AL Manager of the Year
Have no problem with this list except for Manny Acta finishing ahead of Joe Girardi. Was I sleeping through the Cleveland Indians resurgence? Did they win the Wild Card? Let me check. Nope. They finished 80-82, 15 games out. Sure they improved from 69-93, mostly due to the Twins finally sucking. But it does not appear that Joe Girardi can ever win Manager of the Year with the Yankees. After all, he had the best record, and won the AL East instead of the Wild Card, like in 2010. In fact, since expectations are so high, there is no scenario under which he can win it. After all, in 2008 the Yanks had their worst season in modern times, and Joe won the World Series in 2009 with the best team since 1998. Yet the writers voted for Mike Scioscia.
AL 2011 Gold Glove AwardsNo Yankees player won the Gold Glove Award for defense this year. Brett Gardner got jobbed. He was universally regarded by announcers as being the best fielder, and the stats backed it up. He was so good in left, that he was overqualified. Is Adrian Gonzalez better than Mark Teixeira?
AL 2011 Silver Slugger Awards
Here, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson were recognized for being the best hitters by their respective positions.
AL 2011 Comeback Player of the Year I can’t easily find the Comeback Player of the Year voting totals. All I know is that Ellsbury won it, and Bartolo Colon says hi. Ellsbury was injured in 2010 and came back better than ever. Colon was OUT OF BASEBALL for years and for a while was vintage Colon. Total anti-Yankees bias there.
AL Players Choice Awards Voted by their peers, Verlander won Outstanding Pitcher, Granderson won Outstanding Hitter, and Ellsbury won Comeback Player.
Right there is the proof that Granderson’s 4th place MVP finish was an injustice.
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