Wednesday, November 6, 2013

2013 Team Awards: New York Yankees

In order to review the 2013 season, the crackpot staff of Off Base is handing out awards to each Major League team. Please send us $19.95 for the shipping and handling of your team's Hello Kitty stickers awards. Here are the Most Valuable Player, Least Valuable Player, Cy Young, Cy Yuck, Rookie of the Year and Reliever of the Year for the New York Yankees. *Guidelines, prices and participation may vary by author*

MVP: Robinson Cano

Cano, who collected a 7.6 WAR and put together a slash line of .314/.383/.516, was the Yankees' best player in 2013 and it wasn't even close. The team's second and third-best players were probably Brett Gardner, who is Brett Gardner, and Alfonso Soriano, who played in just 58 games.

Joba Chamberlain was the team's 813th-best player.

LVP: Tie: The people who put together the roster, Phil Hughes.

After the 2012 season ended, the Yankees put together a shopping list of needs for the '13 season. Unfortunately, they stole 165th Street Ricky's cart and did their shopping at an abandoned A&P. They inexplicably gave Ichiro Suzuki a two-year contract and kindly asked if he wouldn't mind making 555 plate appearances and putting together a .262/.297/.342 slash line while making $6.5 million in year one of the contract. He accepted the offer.

The Yankees also allowed Vernon Wells to come to the plate 458 times, Chris Stewart 340 times and Jayson Nix 303 times. That's 1,656 trips to the plate for a quartet of players that deserved to hit a total of once all season (seventh-inning double by Stewart in a late-August game against the Bluejays).

Also, the team thought Travis Hafner could be the regular DH, but after a fantastic April, funeral services for Hafner's hitting ability were held June 7.

Injuries didn't help - Mark Teixeira played in only 15 games, Derek Jeter in 17 games, Alex Rodriguez in 44 and Curtis Granderson got into just 61 games. Plus, Kevin Youkilis, who hilariously was expected to stay healthy for close to a full season even though he hadn't done that in five years, played in only 28 games.

And that's not even the Yankees' least most valuable player as Phil Hughes gave new meaning to the phrase "see that guy out there? I hate him".

The organization's one-time top pitching prospect, who is expected to finally reach his potential in 2037, flumbderd (adj.: to pitch like Phil Hughes) his way to a 5.19 ERA in 29 starts. Hughes also led the league in the following categories:

* Confused look-arounds (CLA) - 237

* On-mound sneezes - 13
* Starts against the Seattle Mariners of less than one inning and seven or more earned runs allowed  - 1

Plus, Hughes led the league in cumulative unable-tos (CUT) with 86:

- unable to put away journeymen middle infielders -26
- unable to throw anything but a flat fastball right down the middle of the plate - 59
- unable to escape the mouth of a hungry Joba Chamberlain - 1

Cy Young: Huroki Kuroda

As late as the early part of August Kuroda was considered one of the top candidates for the AL Cy Young, and after a July 31 start in which he shut out the Dodgers over seven innings, Kuroda's ERA was 2.38 and he had allowed two earned runs in 33 July innings. The right-hander seemed to wear down in August and September, but a season ERA of 3.31 and 3 1/2 times as many strikeouts as walks is very good for what was probably Kuroda's last in pinstripes.

Cy Yuck: CC Sabathia

Sabathia shockingly went from an ace and three top-5 Cy Young finishes in his first five years with the team to one of the league's worst starting pitchers in 2013, posting an ERA that was a run and a half higher than in '12 and giving up 28 home runs in 32 mostly-forgettable starts. Well, that's not entirely correct. I'm actually having a difficult time forgetting any of them.

ROY: Adam Warren

Warren turned out to be a dependable pitcher for the Yankees in 2013, compiling a 3.39 ERA in 77 pretty good innings. He came out of the bullpen in 32 games and started twice, including picking up a victory over Houston to start a three-game sweep in the final regular season series. People are still talking about that series at Minute Maid Park, mainly because another Yankees rookie, outfielder Zoilo Almonte, won't leave the field.

Reliever of the Year: Mariano Rivera

While one of my favorite all-time Yankees had another excellent season, I thought the timing was perfect for his retirement. At certain points in 2013 Rivera seemed like a real human boy with feelings, but despite a few hiccups - at one point in early-August he blew three consecutive save opportunities - Rivera still ended his final season with a 2.11 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in 60 games coming off major surgery.

I think he's a lock for his hometown Panama City's hall of fame.

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