|  Baseball Index  |  Peter Gammons Bio


Tejada carried A's through crucial stretch

Special to

Sept. 24

The book of lists ...

Most Valuable Player
Jason Giambi has never voted or dissected the voting process, but he is right when he says that the Henry Aaron Award is for the best player. The MVP, when possible, is about valued impact winning, and while Alex Rodriguez was unquestionably the best player in the American League this season and may have produced the most Sabermetric wins, the Rangers were out of it by May. Yes, he probably should have won it in Seattle in '96.

Miguel Tejada
Miguel Tejada's MVP case is helped by a .371 average with runners in scoring position.

But when the A's made their charge, Miguel Tejada carried what otherwise was an inconsistent, erratic offense, with one dramatic, impact moment -- offensively and defensively -- after another, right down to the game-tying ninth-inning homer in Seattle on Thursday that clinched first place and made Oakland a 100-game winner for the second straight season. He hasn't missed a game since April of 2000. Sometimes most valuable involves the magical, and Tejada had a magical season.

Barry Bonds ascended past magic a long, long time ago.

American League
1. Miguel Tejada, Oakland
2. Alex Rodriguez, Texas
3. Garret Anderson, Anaheim
4. Alfonso Soriano, New York
5. Jason Giambi, New York

National League
1. Barry Bonds, San Francisco
2. John Smoltz, Atlanta
3. Albert Pujols, St. Louis
4. Eric Gagne, Los Angeles
5. Shawn Green, Los Angeles

Cy Young Award
American League
1. Pedro Martinez, Boston
2. Barry Zito, Oakland
3. Derek Lowe, Boston

National League
1. Randy Johnson, Arizona
(tie) Curt Schilling, Arizona
3. Roy Oswalt, Houston

Schilling for one half and then Johnson for the other carried the D-Backs, and while Johnson's stats are better and he's likely to win, isn't there a way to fix the vote? The AL vote is a mass of conflicting thoughts, and poor Derek Lowe would have won it in a walk last season. Zito's argument is that he was more reliable (Lowe and Martinez both pitched nearly twice as often on more than four days' rest), had more quality starts, his record against teams still in the playoff hunt on Sept. 27 was far better and he was unbeaten down the stretch while pitching Oakland to first place in what was, by far, the best division in the league.

Pedro's argument is that 1) he led the league in ERA, strikeouts and lowest OPS against; 2) it took him until late April to be right; and 3) he is the best damn pitcher in the league. In this case, Zito may be the victim of being on the same staff as two other Cy Young runners-up, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder. But bet on Zito winning, and, hey, anyone who votes for him may be right. I could change my mind tomorrow morning.

Rookie of the Year
American League
1. Eric Hinske, Toronto
2. Rodrigo Lopez, Baltimore
3. Bobby Kielty, Minnesota

National League
1. Jason Jennings, Colorado
2. Damian Moss, Atlanta
3. Brad Wilkerson, Montreal

Most indispensible players
This is for players who went underneath the MVP radar, yet were indispensable to their teams, in terms of performance, energy and reliability.

American League
1. Corey Koskie, Minnesota
2. David Eckstein, Anaheim
3. Billy Koch, Oakland
4. Tim Wakefield, Boston
5. Mike Stanton, New York

National League
1. Junior Spivey, Arizona
2. Edgar Renteria, St. Louis
3. Mike Remlinger, Atlanta
4. Benito Santiago, San Francisco
5. Hideo Nomo, Los Angeles

Roy Halladay
Roy Halladay has logged over 230 innings while going 18-7 with a 3.03 ERA.

Players whose exceptional seasons went under the radar
American League
1. Roy Halladay, Toronto
2. Aubrey Huff, Tampa Bay
3. Adam Kennedy, Anaheim
4. Joel Pineiro, Seattle
5. Bobby Kielty, Minnesota

National League
1. Brian Giles, Pittsburgh
2. Bobby Abreu, Philadelphia
3. Tomo Ohka, Montreal
4. Richie Sexson, Brewers
5. A.J. Burnett, Florida

Biggest surprises
1. Alfonso Soriano, Yankees. Not this good. Great.
2. Eric Gagne, Los Angeles.
3. Chris Hammond, Atlanta. Just because he'd pitched one of the last four years ...
4. David Eckstein, Anaheim.
5. Rodrigo Lopez, Baltimore. Released in San Diego throwing 88. Now throws 95.
6. Andy Benes, St.Louis.
7. Jason Simontacci, St. Louis. Two Independent Leagues, the Italian National Team ...
8. Randy Winn, Tampa Bay
9. Tomo Ohka, Montreal. The Expos' best starter.
10. Josh Fogg, Pittsburgh.
11. The Brothers Franco, Atlanta.
12. Paul Byrd, Kansas City.
13. Everyday Eddie Guardardo, Minnesota.
14. Scott Spiezio, Anaheim.
15. Jacques Jones, Minnesota.

I can't pick Derek Lowe or Odalis Perez as surprises since I picked them each to win 16 games in March. One vote was cast for Vladimir Guerrero's learned plate discipline -- 84 walks and counting.

Biggest disappointments
1. The New York Mets, with Roger Cedeno, Robby Alomar, Jeromy Burnitz the leading votegetters.
2. Mike Hampton, Colorado.
3. Sean Burroughs and Hank Blalock, rookie third basemen. Now, Burroughs had a bad shoulder, and will be back.
4. Aramis Ramirez, Pittsburgh.
5. Mike Cameron, Seattle.
6. Daryle Ward and Richard Hidalgo, Houston. The sound of thunder, how far off ...
7. Tony Clark, Boston.
8. Doug Davis, Texas. Not to mention Chan Ho Park.
9. Dmitri Young, Detroit.
10. Barry Larkin, Cincinnati. Will the Reds sign Neifi Perez when he gets non-tendered?
11. Frank Thomas, White Sox. Hello, diminished performance clauses.
12. Freddy Garcia, Seattle.
13. Jeff Cirllo, Seattle. 14 RBIs in second half.
14. Sidney Ponson, Baltimore. The statute of limitations is about to expire.
15. Ryan Dempster, Florida-Cincinnati.

Players who came up in the second half that could be impact players
-- Josh Phelps, Toronto.
-- John Lackey and Francisco Rodriguez, Anaheim. Cutters from Hades.
-- Brandon Phillips, Victor Martinez, Jason Davis and Cliff Lee, Cleveland. Every one of them received votes.
-- Runelvys Hernandez, Kansas City. The Royals showed a half-dozen exceptional young arms.
-- Oliver Perez and Jake Peavy, San Diego.
-- John Patterson, Arizona.
-- Marlon Byrd and Brett Myers, Philadelphia.
-- Bobby Hill, Cubs.
-- Colby Lewis, Texas.
-- Joe Borchard, White Sox.
-- Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay.

Three Asian stars likely to come west this winter
1. Closer Akinori Otsuka, Kintetsu Buffalos, Japan. 18-for-19 closing with 1.25 ERA and 48 K's in 36 IP this season after an ankle injury. Club announced he is being posted for sale to U.S. club.

2. 1B Jae Hong Park, Hyundai, Korean League. All-time Korean home run leader.

3. SS Kazuo Matsui, Seibu Lions. Has to decide whether or not to be posted this winter or come as a free agent next winter; but club will post him if he desires.

Superstar OF Hideki Matsui is a free agent, but the Yomiuri Giants will consider retaining him for the future integrity of Japanese baseball, and conventional wisdom is that he will not come to the United States.

Organizations best at developing All-Star players
Active players who have been All-Stars. Player must have originally signed with that organization.

1. New York Yankees (14). Brad Ausmus, Carl Everett, Jorge Posada, Cristian Guzman, Mike Lowell, Alfonso Soriano, Fred McGriff, Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Jose Rijo, Eric Milton, Al Leiter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera.
2. Atlanta Braves (13)
3. Seattle Mariners(12)
Texas Rangers (12)
5. Montreal Expos (11)
6. Cleveland Indians (10)
Los Angeles Dodgers (10)
Oakland Athletics (10)
Minnesota Twins (10)
10. Chicago White Sox (9)
Boston Red Sox (9)
Houston Astros (9)
13. Anaheim Angels (8)
14. Toronto Blue Jays (7)
Philadelphia Phillies (7)
16. Kansas City Royals (6)
Cincinnati Reds (6)
San Diego Padres (6)
Milwaukee Brewers (6)
20. Pittsburgh Pirates (5)
New York Mets (5)
Florida Marlins (5)
Chicago Cubs (5)
San Francisco Giants (5)
25. Detroit Tigers (4)
St. Louis Cardinals(4)
27. Arizona Diamondbacks (3)
Baltimore Orioles (3)
28. Colorado Rockies (1)
30. Tampa Bay Devil Rays (0)

The Orioles, Cubs, Padres, Giants and, of course, Rays, do not have one self-developed All-Star player on their rosters.

Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories

Stark: And the winners are ...

Dan Patrick: 2002 MLB Awards

Peter Gammons Archive Help | Advertiser Info | Contact Us | Tools | Site Map | Jobs at
Copyright ©2002 ESPN Internet Ventures. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and Safety Information are applicable to this site.