The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 232 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.
2013 Connie Mack Award
The Baseball Bloggers Alliance holds annual award voting in various categories. The first of those awards, The Connie Mack Award, is given to the best manager in each league.
American League – John Farrell – Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox skipper won the closest of all the votes held by the BBA this year. Garnering 38% of the vote, Farrell held off the Cleveland Indians’ Terry Francona by less than 3%.
Farrell took over a Red Sox team that was in shambles and had just traded away a good portion of the roster to free up payroll. Expectations entering 2013 were low but the team wouldn’t be held down. Farrell, fresh from his work in Toronto, stepped in and helped right the ship. His leadership led the team to the American League’s best record at 97-65. He would continue that success into the postseason and help the team capture the eighth championship in team history.
National League – Clint Hurdle – Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates have steadily improved over the last few seasons but were left just short of a winning record each time. Still, the writing was on the wall and many felt this was the year Pittsburgh would compete late into the season. Those that believed in the Pirates were rewarded by a team that not only produced a winning record but nearly won their division and found themselves in the postseason. They defeated the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Wild Card Game in Pittsburgh to the delight of the home town crowd. Hurdle was the recipient of 79% of the vote from the BBA membership.
Previous Connie Mack Award Winners
2012: Bob Melvin, Oakland; Davey Johnson, Washington
2011: Joe Maddon, Tampa; Kirk Gibson, Arizona
2010: Ron Washington, Texas; Bud Black, San Diego
2009: Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles of Anaheim; Jim Tracy, Colorado
Willie Mays Award
The Willie Mays Award is given by the Alliance to the top rookie in each league every year.
American League – Wil Myers – Tampa Bay Rays
The center piece of the trade that sent James Shields to the Kansas City Royals, Myers was one of baseball’s top overall prospects going into the 2013 season. He would arrive on the scene in June and immediately show that the hype was worthy of his presence. Myers would finish the season hitting .293 with 13 home runs and 53 runs batted in while playing highlight reel defense. The Rays will feature Myers in the outfield for some time to come and his production will help fans accept the departure of Shields. Myers earned 95% of the BBA vote this year.
National League – Jose Fernandez – Miami Marlins
The National League winner had to withstand a late-season surge from Dodgers’ outfielder Yasiel Puig. Fernandez produced a season that could withstand Puig-mania and earned the BBA’s respect along the way with 71% of the vote.
Fernandez worked hard for an underwhelming group in Miami and often took things into his own hands to produce victory. His 12 wins and 2.19 earned run average over 28 starts was enough to garner a lot of attention for the youngster this year. Add his 187 strikeouts and a late-season no-hitter to the list and it became evident who the top rookie was in the National League in 2013.
Previous Willie Mays Award Winners
2012: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
2011: Eric Hosmer, Kansas City/Jeremy Hellickson Tampa Bay (tie); Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta
2010: Neftali Feliz, Texas; Buster Posey, San Francisco
2009: Andrew Bailey, Oakland; Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh
Goose Gossage Award
The Goose Gossage Award honors the best relief pitchers in Major League Baseball. The award is the only award given by the BBA to have been awarded to the same player in consecutive years. This year, that player adds a third consecutive award to his virtual trophy case.
National League – Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves
In 2011, Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel was awarded both the Goose Gossage and Willie Mays awards. Last season, Kimbrel received 87% of the vote to claim his second consecutive award as the National League’s premier relief pitcher. Kimbrel received an astonishing 90% of the vote from the Alliance to claim his third straight Goose Gossage Award. He would lead the National League in saves again this year, reaching the magical mark of 50 saves.
American League – Koji Uehara – Boston Red Sox
Uehara joined the Red Sox this season and became one of the most polarizing figures on the team. His 21 saves were a key part of the Red Sox success this year and his continued success throughout the postseason made him a star. His 52% of the BBA vote was good enough to hold off Greg Holland of the Kansas City Royals, who garnered 36% of the BBA support for his fine season.
Previous Goose Gossage Award Winners
2012: Fernando Rodney, Tampa Bay; Criag Kmbrel, Atlanta
2011: Jose Valverde, Detroit; Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta
2010: Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay; Brian Wilson, San Francisco
Walter Johnson Award
The Walter Johnson Award honors the pitcher in each league that excelled far beyond anyone else. This year’s award was a dominant choice in both leagues for the Alliance.
American league – Max Scherzer – Detroit Tigers
Scherzer’s sixth year in the league would easily be his most dominant. He led the American League with 21 wins as well as with a .875 winning percentage and 0.970 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched). He kept base runners off the base paths and away from scoring. A 2.90 earned run average would be backed up by 240 strikeouts over 214.1 innings. The Tigers’ pitcher was dominant throughout most of the season and the Alliance recognized that with 95% of their vote.
National League – Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
Not to be outdone, Kershaw garnered 98% of the vote on the National League side of the BBA. While Kershaw would not win many games this season, he would not yield many runs, either. He would lead the league with a 1.83 earned run average. He would also lead the league in strikeouts with 232 and 0.915 WHIP. Kershaw proved once again to be dominant and the BBA recognized that by making him the first two-time winner of the Johnson award.
Previous Walter Johnson Award Winners
2012: Justin Verlander, Detroit; R.A. Dickey, New York Mets
2011: Justin Verlander, Detroit; Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
2010: Felix Hernadez, Seattle; Roy Halladay, Philadelphia
2009: Zack Greinke, Kansas City; Tim Lincecum, San Francisco
Stan Musial Award
The Stan Musial Award, is given every year to the premier player in each league.
American league – Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Angels’ outfielder would garner his second-consecutive Musial Award by holding off the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera once again in 2013. His .323 batting average, 27 home runs, 97 runs batted in, and league leading 109 runs and 110 walks were enough to convince the Alliance that he deserved the award once again. Trout earned 65% of the Alliance vote while Cabrera would take the other 35%, marking the second straight year that the two players would receive the only votes.
National League – Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates phenomenal season comes to fruition for one of the team’s most consistent stars. McCutchen was the team’s leader on and off the field and the Alliance recognized his importance to the great run the Pirates produced. He would hit .317 with 21 home runs, 84 runs batted in, 97 runs, 38 doubles and 27 stolen bases for the Bucs. Cutch received 69% of the BBA vote to earn his first Musial award.
Previous Stan Musial Award Winners
2012: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
2011: Jose Bautista, Toronto; Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
2010: Josh Hamilton, Texas; Joey Votto, Cincinnati
2009: Joe Mauer, Minnesota; Albert Pujols, St. Louis