Baseball BeatOctober 26, 2004
IBWA Awards
By Rich Lederer

My ballot for the 2004 Internet Baseball Writers Association Awards is listed below the following descriptions and rules.

* PLAYER OF THE YEAR should go to the player you believe was the best in his league in 2004. Pitchers are eligible for this award.

* PITCHER OF THE YEAR should go to the pitcher you believe was the best in his league during in 2004.

* DEBUT OF THE YEAR should go to the player you believe had the best first major league season in his league in 2004. A player is eligible for this award if he is eligible for the BBWAA Rookie of the Year award.

* MANAGER OF THE YEAR should go to the person you believe was the best manager in his league in 2004.

* EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR should go to the person you believe was the best executive in his league in 2004.

For PLAYER OF THE YEAR you may vote for up to ten players, with points being awarded for 1st place, 2nd place, etc., on a 14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

For all other awards, you may vote for up to three players, with points being awarded for 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place on a 5-3-1 basis.

Your votes should take into account the players' performances during the 2004 regular season, and should NOT take into account players' performances during the post-season.

Ties are NOT ALLOWED in your voting. You must rank the players 1-10 or 1-3.



1. Barry Bonds
2. Albert Pujols
3. Adrian Beltre
4. Jim Edmonds
5. Scott Rolen
6. Mark Loretta
7. J.D. Drew
8. Lance Berkman
9. Bobby Abreu
10. Todd Helton

We should beat major league baseball to the punch by renaming the N.L. Player of the Year Award the Barry Bonds Award. Or we could just put him in his own league--you know, the American League, the National League, and the Barry Bonds League.


1. Vladimir Guerrero
2. Johan Santana
3. Manny Ramirez
4. Gary Sheffield
5. David Ortiz
6. Mariano Rivera
7. Carlos Guillen
8. Melvin Mora
9. Miguel Tejada
10. Alex Rodriguez

Guerrero went to the whip in the final week of the campaign to differentiate himself over Ramirez, Sheffield, and Ortiz. Some ballots probably won't even have Santana listed. However, I don't see how you can ignore him. His second half (13-0, 1.21) was just sick.


1. Randy Johnson
2. Roger Clemens
3. Ben Sheets

Clemens was phenomenal in his first year of retirement, but he was no match for Johnson. Whoever wins will join Bonds in the over-40 winners circle.


1. Johan Santana
2. Curt Schilling
3. Mariano Rivera

A no brainer.


1. Khalil Greene
2. Jason Bay
3. David Wright

Greene's position the deciding factor over Bay and his counting stats overwhelm Wright's slight advantage in rate stats.


1. Bobby Crosby
2. Zack Greinke
3. Shingo Takatsu

Greinke will have the most career value when it is all said and done.


1. Tony LaRussa
2. Bobby Cox
3. Jim Tracy

Hats off to all as I didn't pick any of these three to win their division.


1. Buck Showalter
2. Eric Wedge
3. Mike Scioscia

To be fair, Showalter should split his winnings with Teixeira-Soriano-Young-Blalock.


1. Walt Jocketty
2. Gerry Hunsicker
3. John Schuerholz

All three GMs made some important moves. Jocketty's in-season acquisition of Walker was huge as was getting Pujols to sign a long-term contract before the year began.


1. Dave Dombrowski
2. Brian Cashman
3. Theo Epstein

Dombrowski orchestrated one of the biggest year-over-year improvements in baseball history. How he convinced I-Rod to sign with the Tigers after losing 119 games the year before, I'll never know. And he totally ripped off Bavasi in the Guillen deal.

Agree? Disagree? Let's hear who you would have picked and why.

(Update: Check out TwinsFanDan's ballot at Will Carroll Presents... for another view on the subject.)


Like most of your picks, as they were pretty similar to my own. But I have a few bones to pick...

1. Mark Loretta over J.D. Drew. The difference between sixth and seventh doesn't matter much, but I might have even put Drew fifth on my ballot. Loretta was good, but some Brave player has to be given some credit.

2. TLR over Bobby Cox?!?!? Say it ain't so. Call it my Cubs-bias, but TLR did nothing, Jocketty and Dave Duncan did everything. Bobby Cox took a team that everyone promised wouldn't win this time, and won.

3. No Alan Trammell, but Eric Wedge? I guess your giving the Tigers improvements credit to Dave Dambrowski, but weren't you the one telling me about Omar Infante the other day? Only 1 playoff manager in your top 3?

I had Tram and Dombrowski third on my ballot. And I guess I'm still caught up by Billy Beane's mystique, because I had him first. He loses Tejada, yet still wins 91 games and almost wins the division. We'll see how long he can ride those arms I guess.

On a similar note, I didn't give Terry Ryan the credit he probably deserves for the same reason.

In July Bill Bavasi made the remark on local Seattle radio that Guillen and Freddy Garcia were the most overpaid players in all of baseball...twice.

Nothing came from the Tigers trade to the Mariners. From the Garcia trade, Miguel Olivo is not a major league catcher and the Ms gave up on him in September. Reed can hit but is not a center fielder. The third guy was suspended most of the summer.

This is a somber time to be a Ms fan.

I argued with TFD, now I'll argue with you ...

Actually, I agree with you more than TFD, but you still think Tony Larussa deserves more consideration than Bobby Cox. If I look at your MVP list, I see three of TLRs players in the top five. He should win with the line-up he's got. It's not a reason to make him manager of the year, it's a reason to fire him if he doesn't. Granted I see JD Drew in there, but remember that St. Louis let him go. I don't know why the sudden improvement in Drew, could it be because his new manager is a motivator, something TLR is not? Whatever ...

and since were on the subject of MOY ... why didn't you give any props to Alan Trammel. If Dombrowski is EOY for the turnaround, shouldn't Trammel get some of the glory? Besides, I don't remember their being a long line of GMs waiting to sign IRod.

And speaking of EOY ... I'll wait until Brian Cashman has to worry about budget before I'd put him on a ballot.

Since most take Manager of the Year to be the Manager of the team that we thought would suck but turned out good, rather than actually who managed well, I think the NL should be Tracy, Cox, and Garner.

All Tony LaRussa did was pencil in the same lineup every day trot out the same rotation every 5 days, and use the same bullpen rotation. Any manager this side of single A could do that. Tracy had to suffer through sporadic starting pitching which was often injured or ineffective, keep his team together after the July 31st trades that supposedly cost them their heart and soul in LoDuca and rethink his bullpen during a tough pennant run.

Cox did his usual magnificent job and Garner had many of the same issues as Tracy. LaRussa was blessed with health, last year his team was not and they finished 3rd.

Personally I don't think Garner is a good manager but he did a good job this year which is what the award is for.

Jim... Edmonds...

No love for Ichiro!?

Cashman? What exactly did he do this year? Contreras for Loaiza? Gordon/Quantrill failed because he got nobody else. Sheffield and A-Rod weren't his deal. Brown for Weaver was hardly difficult or great. Olerud and Sturtze were good moves -- that must be it.

I actually have a lot of respect for Cashman and the crap he has to deal with. This just wasn't his (or the Yankees') year.

Everyone seems more interested in the off-the-field awards--an area that I view as much more nebulous when it comes to evaluating the merits of the various candidates.

I guess I don't feel strongly enough about my Manager and Executive of the Year awards or even the categories themselves to argue with any of your choices. But I value all of your contributions nonetheless. Thanks.

To the person questionning Mark Loretta over J.D. Drew. Mark had a great year, but he works for the low profile Padres and doesn't get the press other players do. In my mind he was the MVP of the team this year.

But I won't fight that one - the one I feel strongest about is Kahlil Greene. It was such a joy watching him this year. He loves the game, is committed to the game and is one of the most graceful players on the field today.

Jason Bay - well he wasn't that good with the Padres last year, and he did have a good year, but he just doesn't have Kahlil's talent.

I think Eric Gagne deserves consideration for the NL Pitcher of the Year. Does 84 consecutive saves and only 2 blown all year count for nothing?

Re Gagne deserving consideration for NL Pitcher of the Year, I think the world of him. Unfortunately, we were only allowed three picks.

Gagne had a very good year for a relief pitcher. However, we were not voting for the lifetime achievement award. He did NOT have 84 consecutive saves in 2004. The fact that he saved so many last year is simply irrelevant to this year's balloting.

My top three choices--Johnson, Clemens, and Sheets--all had very good years as starting pitchers. The biggest difference between these three and Gagne is the very relevant fact that each of the starters threw approximately 150 more innings than Gagne. There is a lot of value wrapped in getting an additional 450 outs over the course of a season.

Furthermore, unlike 2003 when Gagne won the Cy Young Award, his ERA this year was not so low as to be in an entirely different world than the rest of the leading pitchers. Don't get me wrong though. Had we been allowed to select ten pitchers rather than three, I most definitely would have included Gagne on my ballot.

Ichiro Suzuki please....................