Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It needs to be said

This probably has been addressed many times already. But I'm a busy guy and I really don't follow my team as closely as I should, so I probably missed it.

As you know, the Dodgers are fighting every day to avoid their second last place finish since the franchise moved from Brooklyn (and their third EVER). It appears as if the Padres will finish dead last as is their destiny. But the Dodgers periodically act like they really want to rent out the basement.

And that brings up this question:

Could the Dodgers become the first team to finish last and feature the league MVP and Cy Young Award winner?

Matt Kemp currently is in the top five in the National League in home runs, runs batted in, batting average, stolen bases, slugging percentage and on base-plus-slugging. He's second in homers and second in RBIs.

Clayton Kershaw is currently first in the National League in strikeouts and opponents' batting average. He's second in WHIP, third in wins, and sixth in ERA.

Both players are legitimate candidates for the league's highest honor for batter and pitcher. Kemp's leading competition for the MVP award is probably the Brewers' Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun. Kershaw's leading competition for the Cy Young is Roy Halladay, and maybe Cole Hamels and Ian Kennedy.

So, the question is, if the Dodgers finish last, how many writers' votes will go against L.A. because the team ended up at the bottom? That's got to lose Kemp and Kershaw votes. But how many?

Andre Dawson and Alex Rodriguez famously won the MVP award while playing for last-place teams. Steve Carlton won the Cy Young Award with last-place Philadelphia in 1972. Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young Award for the last-place Mariners (in a four-team division).

So, it does happen, although I think the season has to be crazy exceptional, like those of Rodriguez or Carlton. Otherwise, my guess is the writers will lean toward another player on another team in both awards races.

But given the season the Dodgers have had, wouldn't it be cool to say they had both the MVP and Cy Young winner?

Sort of?

OK, maybe not.

Anyway, both of the cards above came from Ted at Crinkly Wrappers. He also sent these cool cards:

Yup, an Astro to end it all.

Because it could be worse.

The Dodgers could be the Astros.


  1. Last year the baseball writers gave the Cy Young to Felix Hernandez of the Mariners and in 2009 to Zack Greinke of the Royals while they both played for some not-so-great offensive teams. There is hope for Kershaw in that regard.

  2. I don't think the Dodgers record will hurt Kershaw's Cy Young bid - if anything, it might help. ("Look how well he did pitching for a bad team.")

    Kemp will have a hard time winning the MVP on a last-place team. ("They finished in last place - they could have done that without him, so how valuable can he be?")

  3. without looking, when Andre Dawson won it it may have been the last time the right guy won.
    How many times has it gone to the best polayer and not the most valuble player ????

    There's a big difference that today's voter's ignore.

  4. I'm rooting for both as well.

    Kershaw (he's currently 3rd in the NL in wins) has a much tougher road to climb as Halladay, Hamels, Kennedy, Jair Jurrjens and Tim Lincecum all have legitimate chances for winning the award and all play for contenders.

    Kemp on the other hand is probably the clear favorite at the moment since he's a triple crown candidate. Fielder, Braun and Justin Upton are probably his only competition from baseball's contenders.

  5. Dodgers should move Mattingly to 3rd and let Wallach take over as Manager.

  6. Yep. Kershaw is third in wins. I'll fix that.

  7. Nice tie in with the Astros at the end there, it definitely made me chuckle. Glad you enjoyed the cards, the Kemp 75 mini was the one I had specifically in mind for you.

  8. The Dodgers could also be the Orioles, who have 0 postseason award candidates, so keep your chin up!

  9. Be thankful the Dodgers aren't the Astros. Thank God I've got the Phillies to cheer for.