Major League Baseball revealed its 2010 Silver Slugger Award recipients this evening during a one-hour special on MLB Network. It’s the kind of show that would be far better suited for the announcement of Gold Gloves — you know, with highlights of great plays and range breakdowns — but MLBN probably had better programming lined up earlier this week when those awards were given out. Like a replay of the 1985 ALDS. Or something.
The National League recipients:
1B Albert Pujols
2B Dan Uggla
3B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Troy Tulowitzki
OF Ryan Braun
OF Matt Holliday
OF Carlos Gonzalez
P Yovani Gallardo
Reds first baseman Joey Votto outproduced Pujols this year in most of baseball’s meaningful offensive stat categories, including OPS, but Silver Sluggers are decided by MLB managers and coaches, and they obviously don’t take the voting process seriously enough to look into such things.
Gallardo, the NL’s winner at pitcher, registered a cool 837 OPS, four home runs and 10 RBI in 63 at-bats this year for the Brewers.
And the American League recipients:
1B Miguel Cabrera
2B Robinson Cano
3B Adrian Beltre
SS Alexei Ramirez
OF Jose Bautista
OF Carl Crawford
OF Josh Hamilton
DH Vladimir Guerrero
Ramirez hit just .282/.313/.431 for the White Sox this season, but there aren’t a ton of highly productive shortstops in the American League these days and his 18 homers and 70 RBI are what carried him to the hardware. It was his first Silver Slugger Award.
Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:
The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.
The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.
I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.
In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.
The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.
The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.
Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.