The results of the 3rd annual Brewers Blogosphere Awards were released on Disciples of Uecker today. Nick Michalski, Kevan Feyzi, and yours truly all cast ballots on behalf of The Brewers Bar, which we’ll publish, along with explanations, today. Here’s mine:
Braun and Ramirez, in my opinion, were both fairly uncontroversial choices, but I struggled with the third-place slot quite a bit. Jonathan Lucroy, Yovani Gallardo, and Corey Hart all got at least some consideration, but I ultimately settled on Aoki because of his position (centerfield versus first base) and the fact that he was healthy all year.
Needless to say, Gallardo got my vote for number-one, and no relievers appeared on my ballot. Beyond that, I was a little unsure about this category, especially regarding Zack Greinke – there isn’t really a precedent in the voting for players being traded midseason. Ultimately, I chose quantity over quality by putting Estrada over Greinke for the second spot. Greinke does rate better by the major variations of WAR, but I had some reservations about putting him ahead of Estrada when nearly 40% of Greinke’s innings were thrown for the Angels. However, Greinke still seemed like a clear choice over Shaun Marcum, who missed nearly as much time as him due to injury and had a FIP that was over a run-and-a-half higher.
All of these choices seemed pretty straightforward to me, and I didn’t even wrestle with the order too much. Ramirez and Aoki were essentially no-brainers after my MVP picks, though I might have put Fiers ahead of Aoki if the awards were done in July. I did at least consider Jim Henderson and Jean Segura, but they simply didn’t spend enough time in the majors to be on par with Fiers, in my mind.
This category is very dependent on your personal definition of “unsung”, but I felt that Lucroy’s offensive breakout was met with surprisingly little attention, whether it be due to his injury, his contract, or the equally surprising competence of his counterpart Martin Maldonado. Similarly, Gomez’s defense is almost perpetually undervalued, and there are still plenty of people who don’t realize that he hit nineteen home runs this year. Estrada was very good for most of the year, and I felt that was obscured somewhat by the fact that so many of his best starts were later ruined by the relievers that succeeded him.
I had to sneak in one serious vote here. Braun not only had to deal with a positive PED test last year that was, as far as we can tell, bogus, but played the whole season under the weight of boos and thinly-veiled remarks that were wholly undeserved. All the while, he handled himself with a class that should make us all proud to have stuck behind him over the last year. As for second place, the @BestFansStLouis twitter account absolutely needed to be featured. The work they do to showcase the tweets of true Cardinal fans everywhere is both commendable and a service to us all. Last but not least, I felt that Yuniesky Betancourt deserved a vote for spending the whole season with a team that was not the Brewers.
A big thanks is due to Jaymes for putting this together every year. (Also, since this idea is, to my understanding, almost the direct result of their decision to vote Casey McGehee team MVP in 2010, I suppose the Milwaukee Chapter of the BBWAA deserves some credit as well.) These awards are something I look forward to seeing and participating in each year, and I’m sure there are plenty of other bloggers who feel the same way.