The Internet Baseball Writers Association (IBWA), of which I am a proud member, released their first annual baseball awards. Here are the results. Unlike most other awards, the IBWA got the awards right. No Juan Gone over A-Rod type, eyebrow-raising decisions here.
The awards might not be as widely covered but with the idiotic cronyism and flock mentality of the baseball writers in selecting their awards, they need someone to keep them in line.
The AL ranking were a bit dicier. Gary Sheffield led the AL in WS but ended up much lower in VORP. Averaging the rankings would place him about sixth. I felt it was only fair that the leaders in the two categories should rank 1-2, so I moved him up.
In the managers categories, I voted for the manager who got the most with the least talent.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
1. John Schuerholz
2. Walt Jocketty
3. Paul DePodesta
Schuerholz had to be rewarding for continuing to win a division while losing a good deal of a his core talent and for doing it by believing in many players (Hampton, Drew, Estrada, Franco, Thomson, etc.) that no one else did. Jocketty: a) same as second point for Schuerholz and b) shoring up the hole he created by trading Drew by getting Larry Walker. DePodesta for his cajones in addressing his starting pitching problems (i.e., by getting Brad Penny) by putting his division lead on the line.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
1. Terry Ryan
2. Dave Dombrowski
3. Chuck Lamar
This was the hardest category. I went with the execs who had the most successes without the glaring errors. I wanted to vote for Theo Epstein but the A-Rod and Nomar sagas prevented me from doing so. I wanted to vote for Bill Stoneman, but didn't because a) he signed Jose Guillen and b) he released him for basically nothing with two weeks left in the season in the middle of a playoff race. I wanted to vote for Brian Cashman but given that the Yankees were unable to make the Randy Johnson trade (and the fact that the Yankee minor-league system is in shambles), I couldn't. Mark Shapiro? Remember the Milton Bradley situation? Bily Beane? Can I borrow a closer please? John Hart? Remember the A-Rod closeout sale?
Ryan has the best group of young players possibly in baseball. Dombroski took a team from historically bad to respectable. Lamar fleeced the Mets for Scott Kazmir and has a good group of young talent. [By the way, I realized that my ballot got truncated in transit when I retrieved the email. The AL Exec of the Year was not included, so my votes are not in the IBWA totals for this category.]