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Thursday, November 07, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-7-2019

New York Tribune, November 7, 1919:

The fight against Ban Johnson, president of the American League…is very likely to result in the greatest upheaval in the history of the national game if the erstwhile Czar and his five henchmen do not quickly recede from their present attitude of defiance of civil and baseball law.

A new major circuit, built around the New York, Chicago and Boston clubs of the American League, backed by hundreds of millions of dollars and recognized as an equal by the National League, may be launched before next spring if Johnson’s supporters insist upon pressing existing litigation to the point of baseball wrecking.

Before he left for Chicago Wednesday afternoon Charles A. Comiskey, of the White Sox, declared most ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 10:13 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

David Cone ‘self-taught’ his way into Yankees pitching-coach interview

As the Yankees search for Larry Rothschild’s replacement they haven’t limited the focus to college pitching coaches who have strong analytical backgrounds.

The Yankees contacted David Cone and interviewed him late last week at Yankee Stadium for the position.

“It was all good. I’m thankful for the opportunity to talk to them. It was nice they called me in and wanted to talk,’’ Cone told The Post on Tuesday.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 08:17 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

BA: Automated Strike Zone Whiffs At Arizona Fall League

By the end, two things were clear: Pitchers with arsenals geared toward working from the top to the bottom of the strike zone were at a stark advantage, and nobody—neither hitters nor pitchers—was happy with TrackMan…...“I mean, I can’t complain against it, because it’s the ‘perfect’ strike zone, but baseball has always had human error in it, good and bad. I feel like, if you take that away from the game it’s changing the whole game. I’ll adapt to anything whether it happens.”...With that in mind, a pitch gets called a strike when “any part of the ball passes through any part of the strike zone.” That last part is the key. If a small piece of the baseball passes through a small piece of the strike zone, that’s a ...

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Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 07, 2019 at 08:17 AM | 95 comment(s)
  Beats: robo ump

Mookie Betts, Red Sox have not discussed contract extension

With J.D. Martinez not opting out of his Red Sox contract, all eyes now are on Mookie Betts.

Martinez’s commitment to Boston for 2020 adds to the speculation the Red Sox could choose to trade their superstar right fielder if the two sides can’t come to terms on a contract extension. Betts is set to become an unrestricted free agent after next season, and Sox president Sam Kennedy has admitted “it will be difficult” to keep both sluggers on the roster.

On Wednesday, Kennedy said the two sides have not discussed a possible extension yet this offseason.

“I’m sure we’ll have conversations at the appropriate time,” Kennedy said according to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com.

It’s always something to watch a train wreck in slow motion, ...

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QLE Posted: November 07, 2019 at 01:22 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts, red sox

Angels finalize new manager Maddon’s coaching staff for 2020

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels have finalized new manager Joe Maddon’s coaching staff for the 2020 season, including the retention of hitting coach Jeremy Reed and the hiring of new pitching coach Mickey Callaway.

The Angels announced the full staff Wednesday.

Brian Butterfield will be the Angels’ third base coach. The veteran infield coach spent the past two seasons working under Maddon in the same job for the Chicago Cubs.

He has also had a career marketing a diet plan, owning a karaoke bar, running a detective agency, and practicing personal injury law, among other disasters, to the delight of the British and weirdos like me.

 

QLE Posted: November 07, 2019 at 01:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, coaching staffs, joe maddon, mickey callaway

Strasburg, Soto share postseason MVP from New York writers

NEW YORK (AP) — Washington pitcher Stephen Strasburg and Nationals outfielder Juan Soto have been selected as joint winners of the Babe Ruth award as postseason MVP in voting by the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

They will be honored at the chapter’s 97th annual dinner on Jan. 25 in Manhattan.

Mets rookie Pete Alonso was named recipient of the Joe DiMaggio Toast of the Town award and the Ben Epstein/Dan Castellano Good Guy award on Wednesday. The Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu was selected New York player of the year.

Mets broadcaster Ron Darling, who returned to the TV booth in June following treatment for thyroid cancer, will receive the Arthur and Milton Richman You Gotta Have Heart award. Yankees ...

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QLE Posted: November 07, 2019 at 01:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: awards and honors, juan soto, stephen strasburg

2019 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award winners announced

On Tuesday, the winners of the 2019 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards were announced on MLB Network. Gold Gloves were handed out on Sunday, but Wilson has their own line of defensive awards. The differences between the two are that the Wilson awards are not as widely hailed and there’s only one winner at each position as opposed to the one from each league (two total) for the Gold Glove. The winners are determined by a formula that takes into account scouting information, basic fielding stats, and more advanced (Sabermetric) stats.

Your winners:

First base: Freddie Freeman, Braves
Second base: Kolten Wong, Cardinals
Shortstop: Andrelton Simmons, Angels
Third base: Matt Chapman, Athletics
Left field: David Peralta, Diamondbacks ...

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QLE Posted: November 07, 2019 at 12:54 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: awards and honors, defense, wilson defensive players of the year

Giants pare list of managerial candidates to Gabe Kapler, two bench coaches

The Giants’ managerial search is down to three candidates, and though the club hopes to make the hire soon, team officials do not feel bound by a deadline, The Chronicle has learned.

The finalists are former Phillies manager and Dodgers farm director Gabe Kapler, Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro. Royals quality-control coach Pedro Grifol, one of the first to interview, is no longer under consideration.

Six of the eight teams that had managerial openings have filled them, leaving only the Giants and the Pirates. The Pittsburgh search has been delayed by the hiring of a general manager and team president.

So, does that give them time for another round of interviews, or two?

QLE Posted: November 07, 2019 at 12:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gabe kapler, giants, joe espada, managerial search, matt quatraro

Cubs lower ticket prices by 2.5 percent but what does it really mean for fans?

The Chicago Cubs had a disappointing season on the field in 2019, but they may have found a way to make that up to some of their season ticket holders.

On Wednesday, the team announced that season ticket prices will be down an average of 2.5% going into the 2020 season. Cale Vennum, the Cubs vice president of ticketing, says some season ticket packages will be down as much as 6.5%.

“Our season ticket holders are obviously disappointed that we didn’t make the playoffs last year,” Vennum said Wednesday, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune. “But they look at this team and still see a roster they expect to be really competitive for 2020. The feedback we’ve gotten around (new manager) David Ross has been fantastic. Our fans are really ...

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QLE Posted: November 07, 2019 at 12:46 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, ticket prices

MLBPA investigation of Anthopoulos shows tension between owners, players

TORONTO – A window into the level of mistrust between players and owners in baseball opened at 5:59 p.m. ET Wednesday, when the Major League Baseball Players Association sent out a statement that threw a Molotov cocktail into the business of the off-season.

The union, executive director Tony Clark said in the release, is launching “an immediate investigation” into comments Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos made to reporters on a conference call earlier this week that “call into question the integrity of the entire free-agent system.”

“The clear description of club co-ordination is egregious,” Clark added.

Serious stuff, which makes you think that Anthopoulos, usually the careful and calculated sort, must have ...

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QLE Posted: November 07, 2019 at 12:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex anthopoulos, braves, collusion, free agency, mlbpa

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

MLBPA launching investigation after Braves GM’s statement suggests collusion

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark announced on Wednesday that his organization is launching an investigation into statements made by Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos this week regarding free agency.

Per the MLBPA statement, Anthopoulos told reporters that he had been in contact with other teams regarding free agency.

“Every day you get more information,’’ Anthopoulos said. “And we’ve had time to connect with 27 of the clubs – obviously the Astros and (Nationals) being in the World Series, they were tied up – but we had a chance to get a sense of what the other clubs are going to look to do in free agency, who might be available in trades.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 06, 2019 at 09:40 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: alex anthopoulos

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-6-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, November 6, 1919:

The serious breach between the Yankees and President Ban Johnson, of the American League, was widened [yesterday] when Johnson refused point blank to meet the joint National Commission committee of which Col. Jacob Rupert [sic], of the New York club is a member. Johnson’s action was a great surprise to the joint committee and his action may hold up the appointment of a new chairman of the National Commission to succeed August Herrmann of Cincinnati, indefinitely.
...
It is generally understood Johnson refused to meet with any committee of which Col. Ruppert is a member.
...
Johnson’s latest action means that the controversy over Carl Mays will interfere with the working of the entire major league ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 06, 2019 at 11:10 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

A’s promote Bobby Crosby in series of player development staff moves

The A’s are making some moves this offseason. But before they make a series of roster moves to their major league club, they’ve been keeping busy with the upcoming player development staff.

The team announced Tuesday some new and old faces will join the organization in a variety of roles.

The A’s have promoted former shortstop Bobby Crosby to manager of the High-A affiliate Stockton Ports. Crosby served as a coach for Double-A Midland last season.

Well, this answers the question as for whatever became of Bobby Crosby….

 

QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:19 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, bobby crosby

Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto believes Bryce Harper is misunderstood

Bryce Harper didn’t have a single plate appearance in the month of October. But, he was still a topic of discussion.

That’s because his former team, which he left last offseason, hoisted the World Series trophy not even a year after his departure. Though the focus should primarily be on the current members of the Washington Nationals who put together one of the most miraculous postseasons in recent history, Harper’s narrative was too much to be ignored.

Coming up with the Nationals as a teenager and quickly skyrocketing to a face of Major League Baseball, then leaving in free agency for the NL East rival Phillies didn’t sit well with many in the D.C. area.

On a national level, his vibrant, intense personality, paired with the $330 ...

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QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:14 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, j.t. realmuto

Strong ending helps World Series avoid record low viewership

NEW YORK (AP) — It may be no solace to the Houston Astros, but the Washington Nationals’ comeback win in the World Series helped baseball avoid a dubious record.

The series’ seventh and deciding game reached 23.2 million people, eclipsing even “Sunday Night Football” and enabling the Series to average just under 14 million viewers per game, the Nielsen company said. The last game drew nearly 7 million more viewers than any of the other games.

Through five games, the series was on pace to be the least-watched Fall Classic ever.

At least for another year, San Francisco’s four-game sweep of Detroit in 2012 keeps the record of least popular series ever. It averaged 12.66 million viewers.

One last ratings report- as a side ...

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QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, ratings, world series

One Free Agent Every MLB Team Should Sign

For a sample of this approach:

Arizona Diamondbacks

2019 Record: 85-77, 2nd Place in NL West

Positions of Need: CF/2B, RF, RP

Target: The Diamondbacks have a solid rotation and good, young hitters. Then there’s Ketel Marte, who can start at either second base or centerfield but not both. This free-agent class is thin at both positions, with perhaps their best option being the only non-National to homer off Gerrit Cole this postseason: Eric Sogard. Sogard isn’t a season-altering signing, but the 33-year-old nicknamed “Nerd Power” for his signature sports glasses is coming off his best season yet (.290/.353/.457, 2.6 bWAR). He’s from Phoenix, went to Arizona State and could be just the right guy while Arizona waits for prospect ...

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QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:00 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Super Two eligibility set at earliest point in a decade

MLB Trade Rumors reports that the Super Two cutoff has been set at two years and 115 days of service time. It’s the lowest the threshold has been set in a decade.

Super Two eligibility is a salary arbitration concept. All players who have zero to two years of service time are not arbitration eligible and thus have their salaries unilaterally set by their teams. All players with three years or more of service time — but who have not yet reached the six years required to become unrestricted free agents — are eligible for arbitration. By having one’s salary set via arbitration, their past performance is taken into account and they can begin to make some real money.

A small handful of players who have more than two years but less ...

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QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 12:56 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration, super two

Cardinals extend contracts of Mike Shildt, John Mozeliak, Mike Girsch

ST. LOUIS—Cardinals manager Mike Shildt has a new three-year contract through the 2022 season.

Shildt was hired in 2018 and his initial deal ran through 2020.

At its end-of-season news conference Tuesday, the team announced president of baseball operations John Mozeliak received a three-year extension through 2023. The Cardinals exercised a 2020 option on general manager Mike Girsch and gave him a two-year extension through 2022.

“What Mo and his group have accomplished since he took over in 2008 as the head of our baseball ops is pretty impressive,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said. “We’ve been in the playoffs seven times. We’ve had 12 consecutive winning seasons, two pennants, a world championship. ... We continue to have a ...

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QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 12:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, john mozeliak, mike girsch, mike shildt

Get ready for another cold offseason

It’s pretty early in the offseason. Teams can’t even sign free agents yet. But they are signaling to the public that, haha, no way do they plan to spend much money this winter.

First the Cardinals who, based on their far-from-impressive NLCS showing strike pretty much everyone as a club that, while good, needs to make some additions to take things to the next level. Will they be spending? From the Athletic:

The Cardinals have practically no financial flexibility, if history is a guide . . . The only way the Cardinals take on significant salary is to trade a major league player or two — and most of their highest-paid players are virtually unmovable — or convince the owners to spend well beyond what they have spent before . . . ...

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QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 12:51 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dodgers, gerrit cole, hot stove, real estate

Athletics Hire Adam Rosales As Minor League Coach

Longtime utility infielder Adam Rosales looks to have called his playing career quits, as the Athletics announced today that he’s been hired as a coach with the team’s affiliate in the Rookie-level Arizona League. The 36-year-old Rosales hasn’t appeared in the Majors since 2018, but he split the 2019 campaign between the Triple-A affiliates for the Twins and Indians after signing a minor league pact with Minnesota last winter.

Today’s appointment seemingly marks the beginning of a new career track for the 11-year Major League veteran. It’s no surprise to see that the Athletics were the team to give Rosales his first coaching gig, as he spent more time as a player with the Athletics than he did with any other team.

Originally a ...

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QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 12:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: adam rosales, coaching, retirement

MLB commissioner says automated strike zone an option when ‘time is right’

An automated strike zone could be inching closer to becoming a reality in Major League Baseball.

In a recent appearance on MLB Network, commissioner Rob Manfred stated that the technology used for the automated strike zone was due for a large upgrade this winter and that further testing and preparation will take place during the 2020 season.

The goal? Get everyone as comfortable with the system as possible so that the MLB can comfortably implement an automated system when the “time is right.”

Mind you, Manfred being who he is, this could very well mean “never”.....

 

QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 12:23 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: automated strike zone, manfred is thinking about it

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-5-2019

Pittsburgh Press, November 5, 1919:

PROBING SERIOUS CHARGES

Owner Charles A. Comiskey, of the Chicago Whitesox, and the members of the National commission, are quietly investigating scandalous stories involving the American league champions in the recent world’s series. A Chicago sporting writer the other day published a bitter attack on several members of the Whitesox who were mentioned by name.
...
No accusations reflecting on the honesty of the Chicago players appeared in this, but the sporting paper threatened to make further disclosures that would compel the governors of the sport to take drastic action.

Meh. It’s probably nothing.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 09:54 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Yankees fail to make qualifying offer to Gregorius

NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees failed to make a $17.8 million qualifying offer to Didi Gregorius and will not receive draft-pick compensation if the free-agent shortstop signs with another team.

Gregorius, who turns 30 in February, came back from Tommy John surgery in early June and hit .238 with 16 homers and 61 RBIs in 82 games.

If New York doesn’t re-sign Gregorius, it could move Gleyber Torres from second to shortstop, make DJ LeMahieu the regular second baseman and allocate more payroll to starting pitching.

Tyler Lyons, who earned a spot on the Yankees’ postseason roster as a left-handed reliever, refused an outright assignment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and elected to become a free agent.

Mind you, would you make such ...

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QLE Posted: November 05, 2019 at 12:44 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: didi gregorius, qualifying offers, yankees

Beltrán: Need to be “best friend” to Mets’ GM as manager

NEW YORK (AP) — Carlos Beltrán was back in familiar blue pinstripes Monday, buttoning up a New York Mets uniform while standing next to his new boss, Brodie Van Wagenen.

The first-time manager is taking over following a tenuous season at Citi Field, and his plan to calm the clubhouse works from the top down. That means Van Wagenen isn’t just getting a new employee.

“When you’re a manager, literally, your GM has to be your best friend,” he said.

Beltrán was introduced as Mets manager by Van Wagenen and Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon during a news conference in Queens. Beltrán, who spent seven of his 20 seasons as a player with the Mets, identified inconsistency as the culprit for New York’s rocky and ...

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QLE Posted: November 05, 2019 at 12:40 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: brodie van wagenen, carlos beltran, mets being mets

10 players receive qualifying offers

Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that 10 players have received qualifying offers worth $17.8 million each: Josh Donaldson, Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, Gerrit Cole, José Abreu, Jake Odorizzi, Madison Bumgarner, Zack Wheeler, Will Smith, and Marcell Ozuna.

The players have 10 days to accept or reject the qualifying offer. Accepting means they are back under contract with the offering team for the 2020 season; rejecting means they become a free agent with draft pick compensation attached to them.

We have talked in the past about how the QO system has hampered free agency. Teams that sign a player who rejected a QO must forfeit at least one draft pick. Teams losing a player who rejected their QO receive at least one draft ...

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Braves re-sign outfielder Nick Markakis to one-year deal

The Braves retained outfielder Nick Markakis on a one-year, $4 million deal Monday, the deadline for the team to decide on his $6 million club option.

Markakis was paid his $2 million buyout and signed for $4 million, giving him equal earnings he would’ve received if his option was picked up.

The move, which mirrors how the Braves handled catcher Tyler Flowers’ option earlier in the day, saves $2 million on payroll. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal was the first to report Markakis’ new deal.

Markakis, who turns 36 this month, has patrolled the Braves outfield since 2015. He handled both corner spots in 2019.

The Bill Buckner of our times keeps rolling along….

 

QLE Posted: November 05, 2019 at 12:27 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, nick markakis

Yoenis Cespedes Still Rehabbing Ankle Injury, Status for 2020 Season Unknown

After missing the entire 2019 season due to injuries, New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes could miss all of 2020 as well.

General manager Brodie Van Wagenen said Monday the team is unsure if he will play next year, per Tim Healey of Newsday.

“I don’t have enough information to predict when he’s going to be back,” Van Wagenen said, per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

The GM noted the All-Star is rehabbing but it’s “too early to tell” if he will return for the 2020 season.

Well, Brodie Van Wagenen has only one person to blame for being caught in this contractual situation….

 

QLE Posted: November 05, 2019 at 12:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, yoenis cespedes

Orioles’ Chris Davis sets record with $3M donation to University of Maryland Children’s Hospital

Baltimore Orioles fans should give first baseman Chris Davis some more slack in 2020. Davis — who is derided in Baltimore for his lucrative contract — made a record-breaking donation to the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital on Monday.

Davis and his wife, Jill, donated $3 million to the hospital. That set a record for the biggest donation ever from a Baltimore athlete.

The 33-year-old Davis signed a seven-year, $161 million deal with the Orioles prior to the 2016 season. Davis has struggled since signing that deal, posting a .198/.294/.385 slash line over the past four seasons.

 

 

QLE Posted: November 05, 2019 at 12:16 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: charity, chris davis

J.D. Martinez doesn’t opt out of contract with Red Sox

J.D. Martinez did not opt out of his contract with the Boston Red Sox.

By remaining with the Red Sox, Martinez can earn $62.5 million over the next three years: $23.75 million for 2020 and $19,375,000 for both 2021 and 2022. He also has the option to opt out after each of the next two seasons, as long as he does not spend a lengthy period on the injured list.

“J.D. has advised me that his decision is about assuring that he plays for a competitive team and wanting to continue to play in a place where he knows that he can be highly productive,” Scott Boras, Martinez’s agent, told The Boston Globe.

Over the past three seasons, Martinez leads the league in home runs with 124 and is second in RBIs at 339, batting average at .313, slugging ...

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QLE Posted: November 05, 2019 at 12:14 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: j.d. martinez, opt-outs, red sox

The MVP, Cy, Rookie, Manager finalists are ...

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America honors are the centerpiece of awards season, and the field of finalists for this hallowed hardware—the Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year Awards—is now officially narrowed down to a select few.

Voting for the BBWAA Awards took place at the conclusion of the regular season (meaning postseason performance does not come into play), and the top three vote-getters for each award were announced on MLB Network on Monday night.

Here’s a rundown of who is in the running and when the award winners will be announced

So, what broader meaning can we obtain from this list of finalists?

 

QLE Posted: November 05, 2019 at 12:09 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: awards and honors, cy young award, finalists, manager of the year, mvp, rookie of the year

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