Thursday, October 25, 2012

How To Be Comeback Player of the Year

AL Comeback Player of the year. Joe Nathan? Nope. Kendrys Morales? Negative. Fernando Rodney won the MLB's voting and Adam Dunn took home the Sporting News' hardware. Of which, neither player actually had to "comeback" from, well, anything.

Let's start with Fernando Rodney who also won the Fireman of the Year award. Rodney was as lights out as you could possibly be this year. posting a 0.77 ERA and converting 48 of 48 save opportunities. This season was a far cry from the previous two seasons he spent in Anaheim, the last of which he was relegated to mop up duty. However, that is where it should end. Reliever of the Year. All he had to come back from after the last two years was just being bad at baseball, but he did have an amazing year, so I'll buy it.

Adam Dunn on the other hand, has absolutely no business winning the Sporting News' Comeback Player of the Year award. Dunn was terrible in his first season with the White Sox last year posting a .159/.292/.277 slash line. Somewhere, Mario Mendoza is laughing at you Adam. Adam Dunn's 2012 line, .204/.333/.468 with 41 HR and 96 RBI's. Damn you RBI's. Shiny counting stats win again. Apparently the voters failed to notice that the Big Donkey led the league in strikeouts with 222 (which is also his career high). For contrast, Kendrys Morlaes' slash line was .273/.320/.467. Oh yeah, and Morales had to come back from a career threatening leg injury, not that that matters or anything. 

At least the National League voters got it right with Buster Posey taking home both the MLB and Sporting News awards. After getting nuked at the plate last year, some didn't think he could come back as a catcher. Not only did he come back as a catcher, but he is also right in the thick of the MVP race in the NL. Well done Buster, well done. It's just too bad the two different players won in the AL who did not embody the idea of overcoming adversity to actually come back. 

My prediction for next year; Justin Smoak in the AL, because Jacoby Ellsbury set the "Coming back while still arbitration eligible" precedent. Xavier Nady in the NL, because someone has to actually deserve it.

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