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MVPLinks: Baseball Sighs in Favor of Greatness

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Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander are the CYA winners, with The One Great Award to given today

MLB Photos Archive
Don Baylor was the first League Most Valuable Player in franchise history, in 1979.
Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images

THE HOT CORNER

The MLB Cy Young Award winners were announced yesterday. Congratulations to Justin Verlander, American League Cy Young Award winner. And congratulations also to Jacob deGrom, National League Cy Young Award winner.

Verlander topped Gerrit Cole by exactly 4 voters. Each got 13 1st place votes and 13 2nd place votes. But 4 times additionally Verlander/Cole went 1/2. Pretty close.

deGrom, though? Yeegads it was a landslide. 29 1st place votes and then Mark Whicker, representing us here in SoCal. Whicker voted for Hyun-Jin Ryu as #1, clearly focusing on ERA. Ryu did end up coming in 2nd overall, ahead of Max Scherzer.

That outcome, Ryu above Scherzer, is kind of a big deal. Scherzer coming in 2nd in CYA voting is worth a $250,000 bonus. Scherzer coming in 3rd is worth $100,000. When the BBWAA first announced the results they had tabulated Scherzer into 2nd place. But there is this one guy, Eric Stephens, who happens to write for our sister SBN site that covers the Dodgers - True Blue LA - and IS a member of the BBWAA, happens to be better at math than the BBWAA team that did the initial tabulations and forced a correction. Maybe Scherzer will send Stephens will send him a Christmas card?.............

Me? My ballot showed me as a Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer kinda guy. Not even close. My IBWAA teammates went Verlander/deGrom just like the BBWAA.

Today is the Grand Anniversary of Mike Trout Day, when we learn whether or not The Greatest Of All Time takes yet another back seat to the rotating flavor of the day, or acquires yet another manufacture of the trophy that shall one day be named after him. It’s really either gonna be Mike Trout...or it’s gonna be this guy..., but it’s not gonna be this guy............


ANGELS

($$) ‘More flexible and more armed’ Angels feel their competitive window is now......Or, more explicitly by Billy Eppler: “I look at us as probably more flexible and more armed than we’ve been in three, four years. That’s how it feels to me.”...........How that is figured out eludes my pea brain.............

Scott Boras and Arte Moreno long ago made truce?...........

Dear Jared Diamond, here is something to think about. A player such as Mike Trout comes along infrequently. Extremely infrequent. Like so infrequent that the times and eras of his peers have zero bearing on the franchise infrastructure of today. That’s why the Ty Cobbs and Babe Ruths and Willie Mays were far less “wasted”...............Well, except for that 1918 Detroit Tigers team that won only 55 games in a league that had only 7 other teams of white guys...............


HOT STOVE ACTION AND OTHER RUMORS

It’s good to be king. Or, more accurately, it’s good to be the agent of a king’s ransom in market talent. Scott Boras is such an agent, and representing the hottest Free Agents makes him a very popular man right now...............But Boras stating that the next CBA must mandate competitive efforts by all teams is like asking for the sun to rise in the north. Much easier said than solved.............

Boras must have on staff somebody in marketing who writes his quips............He is loaded with Christmas similes...........But this one, about not waiting out the market for Gerrit Cole, might be the funniest..............And this one might be the most pointed............

Remember way back when the world kept chirping that the Angels should trade Mike Trout and grab a horde of talent so that all the World Series trophies would belong to Anaheim? Such now is the situation in Boston with Mookie Betts......($$) Which creates new fun and games of rosterbation.....But just as saner minds warned off such silly ideas concerning Trout, they do the same on behalf of the Red Sox holding onto Betts..............

MLB’s most problematic contracts: NL Central............

By the way, don’t lose sight of the fact that today is the day that Qualifying Offers have to be accepted, else they are officially declined.............


BASEBALL THINGS IN GENERAL

The Astros Scandal, Part V is just too fun to ignore. Now that the secret to one of their methods has been unlocked the army of Internet Investigators has gone charging into the breach, all sorts of episodes are being exposed. So except for that, most of the day I was tripping over a push back that it is all blown out of proportion because every team does it and has done it forever. I think the more important point that could be made is that the rules imposed proscribing the use of technology to steal signs was not in effect back in 2017............Since it was pre anti-tech rules, yes, the Astros should just come out and admit it. That is, of course, if they are certain that there could be no evidence of violating the anti-tech rules after those rules were imposed...........That might negaate some of the calls for the harshest of punishments. Such as suspending Jeff Luhnow. It’s a very rash notion, but MLB does have that power, if MLB can do that to none other than George Steinbrenner, it can do that to an office executive...........Whatever gets done, MLB should just act as quickly as can be done so that the brooms of Free Agent excitement can sweep it all back under the rug...........

There is a community of folk (perhaps with members on this very site) who are totally cool with the use of any all means to gain an edge within the game. One such person went totally into it during the ALCS when accusations against the Astros were rising to a furor. Totally into it, as in totally defending the Astros. Now that the world has had a chance to see and hear just how brazen the Houston system was, knowing full well that they were violating official rules quite recently mandated, well, it kinda forces some walking back of that earlier position.............

How is your conspiracy radar working this morning? Strong? Good. Recall that we had a great deal of scientific review to show that that the post-season baseballs used in games was markedly different than those used in the regular season. The implication was that MLB ‘de-juiced’ the balls so as to withdraw the home run frenzy that had warped the regular season and make for more compelling and suspenseful games. But what if it turns out that MLB can claim that the post-season baseballs provided for testing by Rawlings were accidentally provided from a leftover batch of 2018 postseason balls? Well, now, that would create just the opening for plausible denial wouldn’t it?...............

($$) - The most detailed review of the studies conducted on post-season baseball is here on TheAthletic. Extremely through presentation for us non-scientific fans. For those without subs, MLB is creating balls in batches with less uniform control than what one would wish, and the differences between batches are extreme enough to notice on the field of play. This is true for the 2019 post-season, and promises to remain true for the 2020 regular season............($$) And this is the follow-up, which pulls apart every thread of the conspiracy-inducing events I link to above this side of any pay wall. Rawlings gets backed into a corner. Either they sent physicist Katie Strang legit 2019 post-season baseballs and those are truly un-juiced, or they committed some level of fraud by misrepresenting MLB items to consumers as valid 2019 collectible merchandise..........

I was expecting turbulence up in San Francisco pertaining the hiring of Gabe Kapler as their manager, but that was to be once the season started. I completely overlooked how the faithful of SF, CA. would immediately launch themselves headfirst through the opening offered by that hiring to re-invigorate the Dodger MiLB sexual assault scandal, of which Kapler and Farhan Zaidi played central roles......But Zaidi got his wish, a GM to handle the odds and ends of things and a dugout boss with whom he can have a direct and amenable communications channel.

Tom Verducci pursues his lost cause for NL Manager of the Year, Craig Counsell. And a main reson of his is how the Brewers outperformed their Pythag, which must be all on the manager. Unfortunately, the BBWAA did not publish voter ballots back when Mike Scioscia was doing likewise. I am curious to know if Verducci was of the same mind then...............


STUFF

Mike Piazza has not done enough to ruin his good name in Italy already?.............Adam Eaton and Howie Kendrick doing the very good work of building baseball.............Chuck D, baseball stadium architect...............Todd Frazier is on a Thanksgiving mission: to rid his town of the dreaded wild turkey infestation...........