I’m new to the Baseball Writers Association of America, so it’s hardly my place to start suggesting significant changes. I’ll leave that to Jayson Stark, who wrote today that the BBWAA should consider adding an annual award for the top releif pitchers in each league. From his article:
Once again last season, one of the most dominating pitchers — and one of the biggest difference-makers — of modern times didn’t win a single major award.
Not a Cy Young. Not an MVP. Not a Nobel Prize. Not even a People’s Choice Award.
But then, that’s nothing new for Mariano Rivera. He may be directly responsible for putting five World Series rings on the fingers of his good friends, Derek Jeter and George M. Steinbrenner 3rd. But clearly, baseball seems incapable of finding an award that the greatest closer in history is allowed to win.
Stark breaks his argument into three parts, I think the third is the most important: Because relief pitching is here to stay.
The bullpen is not a novelty. Pitchers are being drafted — and drafted early – specifically for their ability to pitch the late innings. Their impact is significant, and while I’ve never been one to get too wrapped up in awards, the chance to recognize the best each season doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
Some other news and notes as we head into the weekend…
• One of the Oakland A’s top prospects is leaving the game to enter the priesthood. Grant Desme was the only 30-30 player in the minors last season. Baseball America named him the No. 8 prospect in the Oakland system noting, “he earns praise for his leadership.”
• Curtis Granderson on wearing the NY on his hat: “When you wear it, man, it’s something. It pops.”
• Jose Contreras is heading for Philadelphia.
• The Yankees are said to be one of the teams that have talked to Jim Edmonds. For whatever it’s worth, here’s my take on Edmonds: He hasn’t played since 2008, so it’s hard to imagine him getting anything more than a non-roster invitation. Given that situation, I imagine he’ll end up somewhere familiar, either with the Cardinals (who could use a lefty corner outfielder off the bench) or with the Angels (who just traded away Gary Matthews Jr.). It would certainly be a no-risk addition for the Yankees, but I would be surprised to see it happen.