MLB Midseason Award Winners: MVP


There was no baseball yesterday. There is no baseball today. There will be baseball tomorrow, but not until 7:05 PM, so it’s basically three days without anyone throwing a pitch in anger. Let’s kill the time, then, by arguing about who, if the season ended today, would be your award winners. First up: the MVP Award.  


Until May 28 this was Mike Trout‘s award to lose, as he was hitting a monster .337/.461/.742 and, once again, playing superior defense in center field. Heck, if there was justice in the world it’d be his fourth or fifth MVP award. Some people argue six. I mean, he’s the best player in baseball, full stop, so they’re not silly arguments. Injuries happen, however, and if Trout’s wrist injury is going to prevent him from winning the actual MVP Award come November — and I suspect it is, barring a historic second half run that propels the Angels into serious contention — he’s certainly out of the running for the first half award.

It’s hard to argue in favor of anyone other than Aaron Judge here. He leads all of baseball with 30 homers, leads all of baseball in on-base and slugging percentage, is fifth in batting average and seventh in RBI. In just the American League he’s near the top in all three triple crown categories, trailing Nelson Cruz by a handful of RBI and Jose Altuve by 18 points of batting average. I doubt he seriously challenges for the Triple Crown — Altuve is the best hitter-for-average on the planet these days — but it’s a monster season all the same. If you want to throw in the intangible stuff, the Yankees have been relevant all season, defying expectations of a down year, at least until the past couple of weeks. That’s largely on Judge’s shoulders and he’ll get — and deserve — credit for that.

With a nod of respect to Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Mookie Betts and perhaps Chris Sale, there’s not a serious answer other than The Judge.



A much more interesting race here as there are an easy half dozen dudes who could win it without anyone having a right to get too upset. Joey Votto (.315/.427/.631), Paul Goldschmidt (.312/.428/.577), Bryce Harper (.325/.431/.590) and Justin Turner (.377/.473/.583) are all strong candidates. Votto leads Harper and Goldschmidt in OPS, but not by a ton. Turner is having a phenomenal year, though he is jusssst short of having enough plate appearances to qualify among the league leaders). If you want to throw in the soft factors, Turner is playing for the best team in the NL, Harper’s Nats are running away with the East and the the Diamondbacks have been surprisingly competitive.

But they’re not the only ones worth discussing! Corey Seager and Daniel Murphy, each top-three MVP finishers last year, are having strong seasons. Harper’s other teammates, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon, are turning fantastic campaigns. Nolan Arenado has been flashing gold glove defense to go along with his .905 OPS. Both Max Scherzer — yet another Nat? Jeez! — and Clayton Kershaw are having wonderful years that, in the ordinary course, would thrust a pitcher into the MVP conversation.

There aren’t many wrong answers here. If Turner keeps up his phenomenal pace and breaks into the qualifiers he’s probably the best pick for the full-season MVP. That’s a big if, so let’s just revisit him in November. At the half season mark I’m gonna go with Harper, but my lord, it’s a tossup. You can’t go wrong with any of these guys.

Wayne Huizenga, founding owner of the Marlins, dies at 80

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MIAMI (AP) H. Wayne Huizenga, a college dropout who built a business empire that included Blockbuster Entertainment, AutoNation and three professional sports franchises, has died. He was 80.

Huizenga (HY’-zing-ah) died Thursday night at his home, Valerie Hinkell, a longtime assistant, said when reached at the family residence Friday. She gave no details on a cause of death.

Starting with a single garbage truck in 1968, Huzienga built Waste Management Inc. into a Fortune 500 company. He purchased independent sanitation engineering companies, and by the time he took the company public in 1972, he had completed the acquisition of 133 small-time haulers. By 1983, Waste Management was the largest waste disposal company in the United States.

The business model worked again with Blockbuster Video, which he started in 1985 and built into the leading movie rental chain nine years later. In 1996, he formed AutoNation and built it into a Fortune 500 company.

Huizenga was founding owner of baseball’s Florida Marlins and the NHL Florida Panthers – expansion teams that played their first games in 1993. He bought the NFL Miami Dolphins and their stadium for $168 million in 1994 from the children of founder Joe Robbie, but had sold all three teams by 2009.

The Marlins won the 1997 World Series, and the Panthers reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996, but Huizenga’s beloved Dolphins never reached a Super Bowl while he owned the team.

“If I have one disappointment, the disappointment would be that we did not bring a championship home,” Huizenga said shortly after he sold the Dolphins to New York real estate billionaire Stephen Ross. “It’s something we failed to do.”

Huizenga earned an almost cult-like following among business investors who watched him build Blockbuster Entertainment into the leading video rental chain by snapping up competitors. He cracked Forbes’ list of the 100 richest Americans, becoming chairman of Republic Services, one of the nation’s top waste management companies, and AutoNation, the nation’s largest automotive retailer. In 2013, Forbes estimated his wealth at $2.5 billion.

For a time, Huizenga was also a favorite with South Florida sports fans, drawing cheers and autograph seekers in public. The crowd roared when he danced the hokey pokey on the field during an early Marlins game. He went on a spending spree to build a veteran team that won the World Series in the franchise’s fifth year.

But his popularity plummeted when he ordered the roster dismantled after that season. He was frustrated by poor attendance and his failure to swing a deal for a new ballpark built with taxpayer money.

Many South Florida fans never forgave him for breaking up the championship team. Huizenga drew boos when introduced at Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino’s retirement celebration in 2000, and kept a lower public profile after that.

In 2009, Huizenga said he regretted ordering the Marlins’ payroll purge.

“We lost $34 million the year we won the World Series, and I just said, `You know what, I’m not going to do that,”‘ Huizenga said. “If I had it to do over again, I’d say, `OK, we’ll go one more year.”‘

He sold the Marlins in 1999 to John Henry, and sold the Panthers in 2001, unhappy with rising NHL player salaries and the stock price for the team’s public company.

Huizenga’s first sports love was the Dolphins – he had been a season-ticket holder since their first season in 1966. But he fared better in the NFL as a businessman than as a sports fan.

He turned a nifty profit by selling the Dolphins and their stadium for $1.1 billion, nearly seven times what he paid to become sole owner. But he knew the bottom line in the NFL is championships, and his Dolphins perennially came up short.

Huizenga earned a reputation as a hands-off owner and won raves from many loyal employees, even though he made six coaching changes. He eased Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Shula into retirement in early 1996, and Jimmy Johnson, Dave Wannstedt, interim coach Jim Bates, Nick Saban, Cam Cameron and Tony Sporano followed as coach.

Harry Wayne Huizenga was born in the Chicago suburbs on Dec. 29, 1937, to a family of garbage haulers. He began his business career in Pompano Beach in 1962, driving a garbage truck from 2 a.m. to noon each day for $500 a month.

One customer successfully sued Huizenga, saying that in an argument over a delinquent account, Huizenga injured him by grabbing his testicles – an allegation Huizenga always denied.

“I never did that. The guy was a deputy cop. It was his word against mine, a young kid,” he told Fortune magazine in 1996.

Huizenga was a five-time recipient of Financial World magazine’s “CEO of the Year” award, and was the Ernst & Young “2005 World Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Regarding his business acumen, Huzienga said: “You just have to be in the right place at the right time. It can only happen in America.”

In September 1960, he married Joyce VanderWagon. Together they had two children, Wayne Jr. and Scott. They divorced in 1966. Wayne married his second wife, Marti Goldsby, in April 1972. She died in 2017.

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