Despite what you hear, the Major League Baseball All-Star break does not mark the midway point of the season. Heck, the Midsummer Classic is held three weeks shy of midsummer.
But the break does provide baseball fans the opportunity to look ahead and to reflect. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting some analyst giving you his midseason awards. And as a Diamondback fan or follower, you might have realized that no Snakes are being recognized as award winners.
Well, that’s because MLB only hands out gold medals. If this were the Olympics, the Diamondbacks would be well represented on the medal stand…
MVP: Paul Goldschmidt. The silver.
I know Silverschmidt doesn’t have the same ring to it, just as a movie villain named Silvermember would have never sounded right yelling out “I love Siiilllver!” But on the bright side, the Lone Ranger never cried out, “Hi-Ho Gold. Away!” and let’s face it, Bing Crosby never gave a tinker’s damn about gold bells.
If I would have told Diamondback fans that Paul Goldschmidt would be leading the National League in RBI at the break, playing in the All-Star game, and would be deep in the mix for NL MVP, they would have accepted my preseason proposal in a heartbeat. So, cherish this silver medal I’ve fictionally draped about Goldy’s neck, and let’s all rejoice with a schmoke and a pancake.
Here’s your MVP vote as of right now:
Gold – Yadier Molina, St. Louis
Silver – Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona
Bronze – Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado
CY YOUNG: Patrick Corbin. Silver.
Corbin’s case for Cy Young is actually better than Goldschmidt’s for MVP. The young left-hander ranks first in the National League in win percentage (11-1), second in wins, third in ERA and sixth in WHIP. Adam Wainwright of St. Louis and L.A.’s Clayton Kershaw both have better numbers across the board, but neither pitcher has been asked to carry his team’s rotation like Corbin has. Currently, Corbin is the only D-backs starter with an ERA under 4.00, and his team is somehow in first place! To emphasize that point: All five starters in the Pirates rotation have an ERA under 4.00, and Pittsburgh sits in second place within their division.
Gold – Adam Wainwright, St. Louis
Silver – Patrick Corbin, Arizona
Bronze – Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles
MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Kirk Gibson. Yep, silver.
Could Gibby actually win his second Manager of the Year Award in just three seasons as a Major League skipper? The short answer — absolutely. The long answer — the Diamondbacks would have to hold off the Dodgers and (because I won’t count them out) Giants in the second half, AND the Pirates would have to fade out of the race. This award is unquestionably Clint Hurdle’s to lose. Pittsburgh was holding the best record in baseball not long ago. Pittsburgh! (Of course, I predicted they’d be a playoff team) But considering the injuries, a Major-League-high in blown saves and the dreadful starting pitching, Gibson has done his best job yet as a manager. And if Sunday’s on-the-mound butt chewing of Ian Kennedy happens to turn the pitcher’s season around, the writers won’t forget that moment when the time comes to vote.
But for now…
Gold – Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh
Silver – Kirk Gibson, Arizona
Bronze – Larry Cooper, San Diego (Robert Guillaume’s character brought the Padres back from last place in 1979 because he trusted a batboy with a heart of gold. And personally, I just don’t think Cooper has ever gotten his due. Plus, the 2013 Manager of the Year Award is currently a two-man race, so why mention anyone else?)
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Didi Gregorius. Out of medal contention.
The shortstop began his career with a bang, but the average is down to .277 and further struggles could get him sent down to the minors. Furthermore, the NL Rookie of the Year race is absolutely loaded this year. Gregorius might not even be ranked in the top ten.
Gold – Shelby Miller, St. Louis
Silver – Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles
Bronze – Jose Fernandez, Miami
4. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles
5. Julio Teheran, Atlanta
6. Evan Gattis, Atlanta
7. Marcel Ozuna, Miami
8. Jedd Gyorko, San Diego
9. Nolan Arenado, Colorado
10. Didi Gregorius, Arizona
11. (and flying up the charts) Anthony Rendon, Washington