I am a much older and wiser man than I used to be and thus I no longer make a big fuss out of the actual vote tabulations when it comes to awards voting and that sort of thing.*
But some things are confusing, such as how Ian Kennedy got a first place vote for the NL Cy Young Award.
Not to slam Kennedy. Not to make a federal case out of it. Just noting that Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee all had, by just about every measure, a better year than Kennedy did and that Kennedy’s lone first place vote certainly seemed like an outlier. And when you see an outlier like that, it’s natural to want to know who cast it.
An Arizona guy, maybe? A bit of a homer vote? It’s happened before.
Not this time, though. The Kennedy voter was John Maffei of the North County Times near San Diego. Maffei doesn’t have a column up explaining his vote — voters certainly aren’t obligated to do so — but it does seem like a strange one.
*Note: this sentence will be deleted prior to the week-to-ten days I spend raging about the Hall of Fame voting.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.