If the game is 90 percent pitching…

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How is .270 with 14 homers and 63 RBI more valuable than 13-6 with a 3.94 ERA or 6-3 with 26 saves and a 1.84 ERA?
I don’t even want to get into the more complicated statistics, because the voters clearly aren’t. But Gordon Beckham has now won AL top rookie honors from The Sporting News and the Players Choice Awards.
Of course, both are voted on by players, so Beckham wasn’t likely to win one and not the other.
I just don’t see how he deserved to win either.
Beckham is going to be a very good regular for a long time, but he didn’t truly set himself apart offensively or defensively this year. His counting stats are completely unremarkable, and an 808 OPS over the course of 103 games isn’t what one expects to see from a serious Rookie of the Year contender.
Niemann was certainly more valuable with his 180 2/3 innings of above average pitching. Bailey was arguably the game’s most valuable reliever. He finished fourth in baseball in relief innings pitched, and he was fourth in ERA and first in WHIP amongst relievers with 60 innings pitched.
I’d also put Elvis Andrus above Beckham with his .267/.329/.373 line in 480 at-bats and his impressive defense at shortstop, but that’s a closer call. Bailey is the rookie most deserving of all of this hardware. He’s not going to have the same kind of career of Beckham, but he was the most effective player this year.

Theo Epstein on sportswriters: “The life of a sportswriter is pretty lonely. You kind of work by yourself, sit there by yourself…”

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 07:  Chicago Cubs general manager Theo Epstein stands on the field during batting practice before the game between the Chicago Cubs and the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field on October 7, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Rick Morissey of the Chicago Sun-Times published an article on Sunday giving a bit of insight into Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. When Epsten was younger, he dabbled in sportswriting, but quickly realized the trade wasn’t for him.

As Morissey details, when Epstein was 19 years old writing for Yale’s student newspaper, he wrote an article suggesting the school’s football coach should be fired during what would become a 3-7 season. Epstein was told during the meeting that one writer would defend the coach and one would call for his job. “It was a lesson in the way that the world of journalism sometimes works. It was an eye-opener for me. I regret it, and I’ve happily moved on.”

Epstein continued, “I realized I didn’t want to be a sportswriter when I was interning with the Orioles back in ’92, ’93, ’94. I did do a lot of media-relations stuff, and I saw that the life of a sportswriter is pretty lonely. You kind of work by yourself, sit there by yourself in the press box, go back to the hotel bar. Not to generalize.” He added, “But I really respect writing and respect sportswriters.”

He’s not wrong, and he seems to have found his calling as a front office executive. His Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945.

Jason Kipnis injured his ankle celebrating the pennant with Francisco Lindor

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 17:  Jose Ramirez #11, Francisco Lindor #12, Jason Kipnis #22 and Mike Napoli #26 of the Cleveland Indians celebrate after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays with a score of 4 to 2 in game three of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 17, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis tweeted on Sunday, “Got a little too close to [Francisco Lindor] during the celebration!! Freak accident but should be good to go by Tuesday! #cantkeepmeoutofthisgame!”

Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.

Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.