As humble information managers (read: librarian & records manager) in our day jobs, it delights us to no end to have our little blog be called an “online media outlet” in the company of some fantastic Nationals baseball blogs. Even more enjoyable is being able to participate in the biannual rites of prediction-making and survey-taking that we milk for as many posts as we can. The most recent of these was the 2011 DC-Internet Baseball Writers Association Player Achievement Awards. Want to know how we voted, and why we chose who we did? Then read on. We’ll be presenting our first, second, and third place choices, along with the consensus winners of the award from the DC-IBWA.
Goose Goslin MVP: Michael Morse
First Ladies’ Choice: Morse/Zimmerman/Espinosa
Has any player meant as much to the Nationals this year as Michael Morse? Not only did he hit a lot of home runs, but he managed to knock in a lot of runs, and play good defense at both 1B and LF, but he cheered the spirits of Natstown with his catchy at-bat music and initiation into the joys of “Beast Mode”.
Walter Johnson Starting Pitcher of the Year: Jordan Zimmermann
First Ladies’ Choice: Zimmermann/Lannan/Strasburg
Recovering from Tommy John surgery is a very big deal. Recovering and thriving the way that Jordan Zimmermann did is nothing short of fantastic. He has definitely earned his place in next year’s rotation.
Frederick “Firpo” Marberry RP: Tyler Clippard
First Ladies’ Choice: Clippard/Storen/Coffey
Who else would we choose? If you look at his stat line for this year, it’s just ridiculous. Clippard more than deserved his spot as an All-Star, and proved it from March to September.
Sam Rice Hitter of the Year: Michael Morse
First Ladies’ Choice: Morse/Zimmerman/Desmond
This award is for “all-around hitting, situational hitting and baserunning”. Well, if you look at the National League batting average leaderboard, who sits at number 9 this year? Michael Morse. In fact, go to the National League batting leaders page of Baseball Reference, and do a Ctrl-F search for “Morse”, and his name comes up a LOT, and not in any embarassing categories either (I’m looking at Espinosa and Werth in Strikeouts). Seriously good stuff.
Frank Howard Slugger of the Year: Michael Morse
First Ladies’ Choice: Morse/Zimmerman/Ramos
How many times can we lavish praise on Mikey-Mo? One more official award will do. When you’re on the big board for Slugging, OPS, Home Runs, Doubles and Extra Base Hits…that’s the very definition of a slugger of the year.
Joe Judge Defensive Player of the Year: Danny Espinosa
First Ladies’ Choice: Espinosa/Ankiel/Ramos
This is the time on FLoB where we remind ourselves that Danny Espinosa is a ROOKIE. Yes, he made quite a few errors, but how many other seemingly impossible defensive plays did he treat Nats fans to this season?
Mickey Vernon Comeback Player of the Year: Jordan Zimmermann
First Ladies’ Choice: Strasburg/Wang/Zimmermann
Here is the first place where the First Ladies differ from the final standings, and from the voting tally, we weren’t the only ones who thought Stephen Strasburg belonged at the top of the comeback standings. Our reasoning for putting Stras as our first place vote is simple: 1 year ago at this time, Stephen was recovering from Tommy John surgery. In less than a year, he came back, lit up the minor leagues, and showed the Nationals that he is back and perhaps a little wiser than before.
Josh Gibson Humanitarian Award: Ian Desmond
First Ladies’ Choice: Desmond/Zimmerman/Lannan
Ian Desmond is this year’s nominee from the Washington Nationals for the Roberto Clemente award, which is given for positive contributions both on and off the field. Desmond has given so much back to the DC community, a fact that is evident in the predominance of his face at Nationals community events. Surely there are easier ways for a young father to spend his free time and off days, but Ian simply proves that he is more than deserving of this award.
Minor League Player of the Year: Bryce Harper
First Ladies’ Choice: Lombardozzi/Peacock/Harper
One last award where the First Ladies didn’t go with the crowd. Yes, Harper was the obvious choice, but as good as he’s been, he’s still young, and he didn’t get past AA-ball this year (a purposeful decision by the Nats management). Instead, we went with Maggie’s gut instinct of Steve Lombardozzi, who despite a potentially disappointing month in the MLB, displayed spectacular potential in both Harrisburg and Syracuse. We look forward to seeing Steve develop.
Biggest Surprise: Michael Morse
First Ladies’ Choice: Morse (seconded by Coffey’s enthusiastic running)
There are few among us who once the regular season started were saying that Michael Morse would be the biggest contributor to the Nationals this season. Oh, how he proved us wrong.
Biggest Disappointment: Jayson Werth
First Ladies’ Choice: Werth
Jayson Werth made 10 million dollars this year. As an outfielder, was he worth that? Not really. As a batter, was he worth it? Definitely not. Here’s hoping this was just a fluke, and that he proves his mettle in the years to come.
Will Ryan Zimmerman sign a contract extention before end of 2012: Yes
First Ladies’ Answer: Yes
If the Nationals don’t sign him to an extension before the end of 2012, they are stupid. And we think [and hope] they aren’t stupid.
Who won’t be on the Nationals 2012 Roster:
First Ladies’ Answers: Slaten / Gorzelanny / Maya / H-Rod / Wang / Cora / LaRoche / Marrero / Bixler / Brown / Gomes
It’s not that we don’t like these guys (well…some of these guys). We just think that some make better trade bait, and some just don’t fit the direction that the team is headed. This will be something to re-evaluate in the spring.
Favorite Professional Nats Writer:
First Ladies’ Answer: Mark Zuckerman
He’s really good at what he does – concise, appropriately humorous, with lots of interesting posts. If you’re not reading his column, you should be.
Favorite Nats Blogger:
First Ladies’ Answer: Andrew Kinback, Nationals Inquisition
We love bloggers with a sense of humor, who alternately do and don’t take things too seriously. He’s also active on twitter (@natsnq), which makes for good in-game commentary.
What do you think? If you had a chance to vote too, where would you differ from our (or the group’s) picks? Any other players on the Nats that you think could make a good candidate for team MVP?