Monday, October 4, 2004
Award winners for 2004
By Peter Gammons
Special to ESPN.com
Some MVP races are won in the final three weeks, which is precisely what Vladimir Guerrero did in carrying the Angels to the AL West title.
Over the entire season, Mariano Rivera may have held together the league's best regular-season team when the pitching staff became tattered and they couldn't afford to lose the tough games, but Guerrero's 11 homers and 1.160 OPS as the Angels chased down the A's with a number of injuries will almost certainly win him the award. In end the, only Manny Ramirez and Travis Hafner had higher OPS numbers, but no one could top his stretch of clutch production to get to the playoffs.
As for Barry Bonds, there is a good reason the Giants on Sunday played their 12th meaningless game in eight years, and that reason is the most dominant player of his time.
One man's thoughts:
Most impressive post-August callups
Jason Kubel, OF, Minnesota
David Wright, 3B, Mets
B.J. Upton, 3B, Tampa Bay
Jeff Francis, LHP, Colorado
Grady Sizemore, OF, Cleveland
Russ Adams, SS, Toronto
Clint Barmes, SS, Colorado
Bobby Madritsch, LHP, Seattle
Nick Swisher, OF, Oakland
Dallas McPherson, 3B, Anaheim
The Mets won't have fun, fun, fun until Daddy takes the Lear Jet away. Omar Minaya is a very good evaluator, but Junior Wilpon made trades and blamed Jim Duquette. Between Junior and their New York PR guy, the Mets provide us all with a ton of laughs. Right now I'd bet on Jose Reyes going to Texas for Alfonso Soriano, to play right, with Omar-favorite Orlando Cabrera signing with them for $32 million and four years.
Adam Dunn had the guts to set the strikeout record. No ducking. That .955 OPS is far more impressive than the strikeouts are embarrassing.
MLB has assured that the Washington Lobbyists will not be among the bidders for free agents, since there won't be any ownership in place in the shopping season.
Jeff Kent is going to Cooperstown, but A's owner Steve Schott wouldn't spring for $1.7 million to pick him up for the stretch, blowing postseason revenues.
MLB may be ready for Schott to move to Las Vegas in two years.
Milton Bradley's unfortunate explosion may be the best thing that ever happened to him, because now he knows the demons with which he must deal.
The Texas Rangers went all the way to the final week in contention with two pitchers who threw 100 innings. And with all the roster shuffling, John Hart and Jon Daniels lost one player on waivers -- Sam Narron to Milwaukee.