At this time, here is the competition, look at the father of the game.
AL Most Valuable Player: Judge carries the Yankees. He entered the weekend with 55 home runs, 19 more than anyone else in the majors. It controls all the advanced statistics. Judge deserves extra credit for his performance in the heats.
But are we being too casual given that Ohtani has had an incredible season? His OPS is close to .900, he has 60 extra-base hits, and he leads the Angels on the mound with 136 innings. What is more valuable than doing all that?
The judge is the winner, that’s for sure. But if the roles are reversed and Ohtani becomes a two-way star in New York, I suspect he’ll win even for a losing team.
NL Most Valuable Player: Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt This one seems a lock. He leads the league in WAR, OPS and RBIs, and can claim the home run crown.
Goldschmidt finished second in MVP voting twice earlier in his career. This season should put him on top.
AL Cy Young: This was a contest between Justin Verlander and Shane McClanahan before both went on the injured list. That could open the door for Dylan Chase, who has allowed two earned runs over his last 23 innings to cut his ERA to 2.06. He also has a huge lead in WAR.
Verlander’s teammate Framber Valdez has gone at least six innings in 26 of his starts and allowed two or fewer earned runs 18 times.
At 39, Verlander is an emotional favorite. But the stop is set to steal the prize.
NL Cy Young: This one seems to be in the hands of Miami ace Sandy Alcantara, who is 12-7 with a 2.43 ERA through 28 starts and 196⅔ innings.
Alcantara is a traditional workhorse while less demanding for starters and this resonates with selectors.
Max Fred, Zach Gallen, Carlos Rodon and Julio Urias will get support.
Rookie of the Year: It’s hard to imagine Julio Rodriguez not winning. The dynamic Seattle outfielder showcased power and speed for a team that looked to end a playoff drought dating back to 2001.
Orioles pitcher Adley Rutschman could prove to be the best player in this class over time. But Rodriguez played 31 more games.
NL Rookie of the Year: This one goes to Atlanta’s rookie, possibly right-hander Spencer Strider. But a good case can be made for outfielder Michael Harris II.
Strider, 23, is 10-4 with a 2.69 ERA in 29 games. The Braves did a good job of adapting him to the majors through the bullpen and then made him a starter in late May early June. He is 9-3, 2.80 since.
Harris is a game-changing player on offense with 15 homers and 16 stolen bases. Retaining those starters could be key as the Braves look to become their first repeat champion since the 1998-2000 Yankees.
Manager of the Year: This is my favorite award this season and the BBWAA asks us not to pre-announce our choices. Hope the doubt isn’t too much for you.
NL Manager of the Year: Buck Showalter’s presence changed how the Mets started their career. The unsuccessful team turned around.
But 36-year-old rookie manager Ollie Marmol of the Cardinals deserves a big boost.
Managing a team with the likes of Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols and Adam Wainwright, Marmol led the Cardinals to a tactical stranglehold on the NL Central after Mike Schilt’s incredible shooting.
Hook should be fine for 2023.
Tanner Houck went from “ready to take the mound” to “needs season-ending back surgery” in 48 hours.
Ideally, Houck is one of the late-inning relievers next season. But can the Red Sox count on that as they build a record for a lumbar discectomy performed at Massachusetts General Hospital on Tuesday?
Yes, Dr. Frank P. Cammissa Jr., MD, director of HSS Spine at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
“He should be fully active and ready for spring training,” Cammissa told the Globe. “He has a lot of time to heal.”
Cammissa, a Red Sox fan from Waterbury, Conn., has a long history of treating MLB, NHL, NBA and NFL athletes.
Acknowledging that he didn’t know the specifics on Hock, Camisa said a discectomy is microsurgery to treat a herniated disc. The pressure of the cartilage on the nerve peels off.
“Even for medicine, it’s unlikely that he’s going to have a problem,” Kammissa said.
Hawk has a 3.02 ERA in 53 games (20 starts) over the past three seasons.
A few other observations on the Red Sox:
▪ Bobby Dahlbeck finished last season with 51 extra base hits, 78 RBIs and a .792 OPS over 133 games, and it doesn’t look like he has a future with the Sox.
Dahlbeck got off to a slow start this season and never really recovered. Once the Sox started trying other players at first base, it only got worse. Dahlbeck was an everyday player going back to high school. Trying to stay in the rhythm of playing at times was something he had never done.
The best move for both parties may be a trade. Of course, Dalbec isn’t expected to fetch much in return, but he’s better off not bidding on it. There are certainly teams out there — the Angels, Cubs, Marlins and Tigers come to mind — that would give Dahlbeck a prime chance.
Third base may be where he fits best. His arm plays and Dahlbeck seems more comfortable on the left side of the field, even playing shortstop in the game.
He’s waiting to hit a 30-home run in the right spot.
▪ The Rays announced a crowd of 8,069 for Tuesday night’s game against the Red Sox. Discounted games under Covid protocols Since June 8, 1999 in Montreal, 7,233 people turned out at the Stade Olympique, the smallest crowd to see Felipe Alou beat the Sox 5-1.
It seems like a safe guess that Jason Varitek was the only one at both games.
▪ Hearing that the Phillies would be suitors if the Sox let Xander Bogaerts hit the open market.
▪ Tim Wakefield recently appeared on Sean Casey’s podcast, “The Mayor’s Office.”
Wakefield said he worried he would run from Boston after allowing Aaron Boone’s game-winning homer in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
“To be honest, I thought I was the next Bill Baker because I knew the history of Boston,” Wakefield said. “I mean, I got on the bus. [after the game] Talk to my husband and go: This is not good. We have to get out of town. We must return to Florida immediately.’
“Then they invited me back to the Writers’ Dinner that winter and I went on stage and got a standing ovation. There was just a lot of applause and I knew I was welcome at that point.
The Sox beat the Yankees in the ALCS the following season. Wakefield called Joe Torre from the Yankees clubhouse to congratulate him, he said.
“And he said, ‘Wake up, I wanted to personally congratulate you on winning the ALCS here. I’ve watched you from the field for years. I am very honored. To you and Johnny Damon, who I respect so much, please tell him, I wish you the best of luck in the World Series and I just want you to have fun.’
“After that we became very good friends. I have a lot of respect for him,” Wakefield said.
▪ David Ortiz joins Globe Summit on Friday. The free virtual event features several Boston-area newsmakers. To register, go to globesummit2022.splashthat.com.
Davi remembers meeting the queen
Dwight Evans members of the day. It was May 15, 1991. He was playing for the Orioles, in what proved to be the last season, when Queen Elizabeth II came to a game at Memorial Stadium.
Evans and his teammates lined up in the dirt to greet their majesty. But not before strict rules are given.
“There were protocols,” Evans said. “You can’t touch her or hold her. We just walked away and I said hello. She nodded, nodding slightly.
The Queen was accompanied by President George HW Bush and Barbara Bush along with Prince Philip to watch the Orioles play the Athletics. Players from both teams met her.
“She was very kind,” Evans said. “What a life she had and what an example she was.”
News reports at the time showed the Queen wearing gloves and smiling as she met the players. Cal Ripken Jr. And a few shook her hand, including Tony La Russa.
The queen met Reggie Jackson, who was Oakland’s coach at the time. In the year One wonders if she thought that was fun, having played Mr. October in the 1988 comedy “Put Your Guns Away.”
Larry Lucchino, former Oriole president, had an interesting task that day. Joe DiMaggio, who was on the team’s board of directors, asked Queen to sign a ball for him.
Queen said Charles Steinberg, who signed the ball, was working for the Orioles at the time.
That ball is worth a lot to the current guy.
Friday’s decision by MLB’s new competition committee in 2023 is in favor of limits on shifts and slightly larger bases. In the minor leagues, the Pete Hour has been widely praised for improving the pace of play and increasing movement. Basically, the pitcher will have a 15 second base empty and a 20 second runner between pitches. The rule’s success hinges on the umpires’ willingness to call strikes on overtime pitchers. The minor leagues adjusted quickly and so did the major leagues. The new shift rule requires two infielders at each second base because a pitch is released when the pitcher has both feet on the dirt when he is on the wheel. The league telling teams how to play defense is tricky. But the game is about which team has the best data analyst, not the fielders. Is this what we want? Baseball needs a better product and this looks like a step in that direction… Dodgers closer Craig Kimbrel found a unique solution to the struggle: a new catch-up song. Kimbrel is now coming out of the bullpen to Idina Menzel’s version of “Let It Go” from the “Frozen” animated movie. August 21 started with all the Dodgers changing their songs to celebrate Women’s Day at Dodger Stadium. Kimbrel let his wife Ashley choose the song. He had a perfect innings that day and has been with it ever since. Kimrell pitched 6⅓ scoreless innings after changing his tune, walking two and striking out six. His ERA dropped from 4.36 to 3.88. It’s exciting to see a strong man coming to sing that teenage girls love. Kimbrel ranks seventh at .394, recently passing Dennis Eckersley.. The Yankees placed DJ LeMahieu on the injured list with a swollen right toe. Chances are it’s out of date. “There’s that risk,” manager Aaron Boone said. The Yankees are so beat that lights-out shortstop Isiah Keener-Falefa got his first shutout win in his five-year career Thursday.. Yadier Molina recently got his second start in a showing off Carlton Fisk. Molina entered the weekend with 2,100. Fisk had 2,097. Another Pudge, Ivan Rodriguez, holds the record with 2,346 … Forgive our angst over Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz. But the 23-year-old accomplished another feat on Tuesday when he hit a 422-foot home run to right field out of PNC Park and into the Allegheny River. He was 3 for 5 in an 8-2 loss against the Mets. The average exit velocity of four balls was 112.1 miles per hour… baseball pitches often don’t make sense. The bench-clearing incident between the Blue Jays and Orioles on Tuesday was particularly unusual. Brian Baker He pitched one inning for the Blue Jays in 2021, then was claimed by the Orioles in November. Baker has faced the Jays five times since then and took a look in the dugout after they left. The Jays climbed out of the hole when Baker did it again Tuesday. “When you see the guy, it’s disrespectful,” Vladimir Guerrero Jr. said. “I mean, maybe you think you’re a superhero or something? What’s wrong with me? But yes, he crossed the line. Baker allowed four earned runs over 6⅔ innings against the Blue Jays…Tiger infielder Cody Clemens, son of the Rockets, has a 4.50 ERA in six games on the mound. On Monday, Shohei Ohtani got his first career home run when he hit a third strikeout on a 68 mph fastball. To confirm the ball, Clemens saved it and Otani signed it. Also, “What a disgusting sound!” He wrote. Clemons’ fastball this season was a 73.4 mph “fastball.” But despite not inheriting his father’s arm, Cody leads the family with three home runs. Roger had 31 career hits but no home runs… Happy birthday to former Red Sox center fielders Ellis Burks (58) and Jacoby Ellsbury (39). Burks played for the Sox from 1987-92 and 11 games in 2004. He had 352 career home runs and 181 stolen bases. He is one of 21 players to reach those milestones, 10 of whom are in the Hall of Fame. Ellsbury was a prolific player in Boston from 2007-13, then fell off the statistical cliff after signing a seven-year, $153 million deal with the Yankees.
Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.