Bringing Home the Hardware: MLB’s Top Honors

Luke Brown
Assistant Online Editor

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy: Clayton Kershaw Facebook Page
Photo Courtesy: Clayton Kershaw Facebook Page

Only one team won the 2014 MLB World Series, yet more than three weeks after the San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals on Oct. 29, fans who pledge their allegiance elsewhere have been able to proudly stick their chest outwards thanks to the 2014 Awards Week.

At the end of each season, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWA) vote and award the Manager of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP for both the American League (AL) and National League (NL).

Managers are usually given the blame when a team struggles, but do not get the fame when their team succeeds.

The Manager of the Year Award properly gives a manger from each division some much-deserved recognition.

Perhaps there was something in the D.C. area air as Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams and Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter were given the honors.

Williams inherited the solid Nationals roster in 2104, after Davey Johnson, who won the award with the Nationals in 2012, decided to retire. Nonetheless, Williams managed his team to a very solid record of 96-66. The Nationals were eliminated from the playoffs in the Divisional Series against the San Francisco Giants.

Showalter led his team to the same record of 96-66 in his fifth season as the team’s manager. Showalter has proven himself to be a great manager over the years, as he was also given the award in 1994, with the New York Yankees and in 2004 with the Texas Rangers. Perhaps the BBWAA will prematurely award the 58-year old Manager of the Year for 2024 because he has now won it in 1994, 2004, and 2014.

Both the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets missed out on postseason baseball in 2014, but with players like outfielder Jose Abreu and pitcher Jacob deGrom respectively, the two teams will likely see October baseball sooner rather than later.

Despite Abreu playing professionally in Cuba before successfully defecting from his homeland, he was still considered a rookie in 2014 by MLB standards at the age of 27. Abreu won the AL Rookie of the Year unanimously after posting superhero-type numbers.

He tied for fourth in the MLB with 36 homeruns, fifth in RBIs with 107, and tenth in batting average with a .317.

On the NL side of things, deGrom wasn’t a youngster by any standards, but took a different road to the show. After pitching at Stetson University, deGrom was drafted in 2010.

Finally he made it to the big leagues and performed exceptionally. He was 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.

Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber also pitched for Stetson University and also won an award. Kluber’s, however, was the Cy Young Award, which is awarded to the best pitcher each year. Kluber was 18-9 and for the Indians in 2014. He complemented that stellar record with an impressive 2.44 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw had a hard time carrying all of the hardware when he was awarded both the NL Cy Young Award and the NL MVP. Kershaw posted video games numbers throughout the 2014 campaign.

Every fifth day when it was his turn to pitch it was almost an automatic win for the left-hander. He was 21-3 while averaging fewer than two run over nine innings. He also allowed less than a base runner an inning, which I seemingly unheard of.

The MVP for the AL will also be in Los Angeles, as Los Angeles Angel of Anaheim outfielder Mike Trout was voted the best player by the BBWAA.

It turned out that the third time was the charm Trout, as the BBWA awarded the 23-year old the AL MVP in just his third full season in the MLB.

The previous two years Trout finished second in voting to Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera.

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