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Aaron Judge, Cody Bellinger win 2017 Rookie of the Year Awards

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As expected, Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger won the Rookie of the Year Awards unanimously in their respective leagues, as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Judge, 25, hit .284/.422/.627 with 52 home runs, 114 RBI, and 128 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. He led the American League in home runs, runs scored, and walks (127). Judge made the AL All-Star team during the summer and just took home a Silver Slugger Award. He’s a major contender for the AL MVP Award as well.

Judge is the first Yankee to win the Rookie of the Year Award since Derek Jeter in 1996.

Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi finished in second place with 23 second-place votes and six third-place votes. Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini finished third with five second-place votes and 16 third-place votes. Other players receiving votes included the Athletics’ Matt Olson, the Astros’ Yuli Gurriel, and the Yankees’ Jordan Montgomery.

Bellinger, 22, hit .267/.352/.581 with 39 home runs, 97 RBI, and 87 runs scored in 548 plate appearances. He didn’t lead the league in any categories, but he also didn’t debut until April 25.

Dodger rookies have won the award in back-to-back years. Shortstop Corey Seager took home the honor in 2016. Prior to that, the last team to have back-to-back ROY Award winners were the 2004-05 Athletics with Bobby Crosby and Huston Street. The Dodgers, of course, have kind of made the ROY their thing as their players won the award five years running from 1992-96: Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi, Hideo Nomo, and Todd Hollandsworth.

Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong finished second in balloting with 15 second-place votes and 11 third-place votes. Pirates first baseman Josh Bell finished third with 10 second-place votes and two third-place votes. Others receiving votes included the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins, the Rockies’ German Marquez and Kyle Freeland, the Padres’ Manuel Margot, the Reds’ Luis Castillo, and the Cubs’ Ian Happ.

The 2017 Rookie of the Year Awards mark the first time both winners won the award unanimously since 1997 (Scott Rolen, Nomar Garciaparra). It also happened in 1993 (Mike Piazza, Tim Salmon), and in 1987 (Benito Santiago, Mark McGwire).

Jeff Wilpon reminds Mets fans that insuring David Wright “is not cheap”

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It’s can’t be easy being a Mets fan. Your team plays in the biggest city in America and should, theoretically, have big payrolls and always be in contention. They aren’t, however, partially because of horrendous luck and ill-timed injuries, partially because of poor baseball decisions and partially because the team’s ownership got taken down by a Ponzi scheme that, one would think anyway, sophisticated businessmen would recognize as a Ponzi scheme. We’ll leave that go, though.

What Mets fans are left with are (a) occasional windows of contention, such as we saw in 2014-16; (b) times of frustrating austerity on the part of ownership when, one would hope anyway, some money would be spent; (c) an inordinate focus on tabloidy and scandalous nonsense which just always seems to surround the club; and (c) a lot of disappointment.

You can file this latest bit under any of or many of the above categories, but it is uniquely Mets.

Team president Jeff Wilpon spoke to the press this afternoon about team payroll. In talking about payroll, David Wright‘s salary was included despite the fact that he may never play again and despite the fact that insurance is picking up most of the tab. Wilpon’s comment:

I’m guessing every team has a line item, someplace, about the costs of insurance. They’re businesses after all, and all businesses have to deal with that. They do not talk about it as a barrier to spending more money on players to the press, however, as they likely know that fans want to be told a story of hope and baseball-driven decisions heading into a new season and do not want to hear about all of the reasons the club will not spend any money despite sitting in a huge market.

This doesn’t change a thing about what the Mets were going to do or not do, but it does have the added bonus of making Mets fans roll their eyes and ask themselves what they did to deserve these owners. And that, more than almost anything, is the essence of Mets fandom these days.