Friday, March 27, 2009

Guide Preview: Award Preview

As a wrap-up to the last six weeks of Guide Previews, I figured it would be a good idea to take a look at how each magazine predicted the upcoming postseason, from World Series participants to awards. As with every other guide preview, it's important to note that none of these magazines are very prescient with their predictions.

More importantly, I recognize that none of these predictions actually mean anything, and so comparing them isn't quite as important as, say, discovering Ty Cobb's true number of hits. But that doesn't mean it's not a fun thing to do, or that it's not at least a little useful. For example, I can look back at the mid-90s Sporting News yearbooks and see that, for three years in a row at least, Delino Deshields was considered the best second-baseman in the National League. It may not be all that important or earth-shattering, but it does give us some context. Plus, it's just fun to look back and say "Really? They thought Justin Verlander was going to be last year's Cy Young?!" Who doesn't like that?

So, without further ado, here's the list of predicted postseason awards and World Series participants from last year and this year.

 World Series Participants
Sporting NewsAthlonLindy's
2008Red Sox over Cubs
Red Sox over Diamondbacks
Tigers & Phillies
2009Yankees over Cubs
Red Sox over Phillies
Yankees & Cubs


Sporting NewsAthlonLindy's
2008Magglio Ordonez (AL) & Mark Teixeira (NL)
David Ortiz (AL) & Ryan Howard (NL)
Grady Sizemore (AL) & David Wright (NL)
2009Evan Longoria (AL) & Albert Pujols (NL)
Alex Rodriguez (AL) & Hanley Ramirez (NL)
Mark Teixeira (AL) & Hanley Ramirez (NL)

Cy Young

Sporting NewsAthlonLindy's
2008Josh Beckett (AL) & Carlos Zambrano (NL)
Justin Verlander (AL) & Brandon Webb (NL)
Justin Verlander (AL) & Carlos Zambrano (NL)
2009CC Sabathia (AL) & Johan Santana (NL)
Jonathan Papelbon (AL) & Johan Santana (NL)
Jon Lester (AL) & Cole Hamels (NL)

Rookie of the Year

Sporting NewsAthlonLindy's
2008Evan Longoria (AL) & Cameron Maybin (NL)
Jacoby Ellsbury (AL) & Kosuke Fukudome (NL)
Evan Longoria (AL) & Jay Bruce (NL)
2009David Price (AL) & Tommy Hanson (NL)
David Price (AL) & Cameron Maybin (NL)
Matt Wieters (AL) & Colby Rasmus (NL)

Some quick thoughts: There weren't a lot of quality predictions from last year. Lindy's and TSN did well with the Evan Longoria as ROY pick, but Lindy's was the only magazine to correctly choose either of the World Series participants. Not that some of their other choices were poor - Howard finished second in the MVP voting last year, and Webb did well in the Cy voting. And you can't really argue with a Sizemore or Wright pick. They just didn't work out.

As for this upcoming season, both TSN and Lindy's seem to be pretty high on the Yankees and Cubs. In the MVP voting, it seems pretty clear that Hanley Ramirez is held in pretty high esteem, as are Pujols, Longoria, and Teixeira. And I guess Johan's second half really impressed everyone, as it's pretty obvious that the writers believe in him again. The ROY predictions are the most interesting, though. With all the press that Wieters is getting, I'd have suspected him to get more support. I guess it just seemed more likely that ALCS hero David Price would get a little more playing time. There is absolutely no consensus on the NL ROY, though.

So we've now seen what the three main preview magazines think of each of the thirty major league teams, and how they view the postseason, awards and all. There's not much left to do then in this last week before Opening Day except sit and wait for the first pitch and come up with our own predictions. After all, we've spent the last 5 months discussing and analyzing all of the offseason moves - it's only natural to have an opinion on how the season will play out. All of that can wait until next week, though. In the meantime, enjoy the postseason preview above, and let me know your thoughts if you have them.

1 comment:

The Common Man said...

Lar, I have really enjoyed these previews, and the synthesis of the info you have gathered. I've also really enjoyed laughing at some of the more amusing predictions. Twins in first place. Not bloody likely, says this Twins fan.