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First Half Baseball Awards and Musings.

What a first half of the 2011 MLB season.  There have been great plays, great games and great teams.  Here are the first half awards:

American League 1st Half MVP:  Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox- At the break, Gonzalez was hitting .354 with 17 homeruns and 77 rbi.  Without a doubt the best hitter in the first half of the season.  Amazing that the Red Sox started off so badly, now they are one of the teams to beat in the American League, mainly because of Gonzalez.  (Just missed:  Curtis Granderson, Asdrubal Cabrera)

National League 1sst Half MVP:  Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers- The Brew Crew have been some what of a surprise this season, staying near the top of the NL Central.  Prince Fielder has been a BIG reason why, pun intended.  Fielder batted .297 with 22 homeruns and 72 rbi in the first half of the season.  The Brewers just traded for Francisco Rodriguez and with Fielder’s help, they should make a run to the playoffs.  (Just missed:  Jose Reyes, Brian McCann, Ryan Howard)

American League 1st Half Cy Young Winner:  Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers– Verlander is a work horse that has the Tigers in playoff contention.  Verlander sported a 2.15 ERA, 12-4 record and 147 strikeouts.  Don’t overlook his .188 opponents batting average.  Unreal.  If that wasn’t enough for you, Verlander had a no hitter this year.  (Just missed:  C.C. Sabathia, Jared Weaver)

National League 1st Half Cy Young Winner:  Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies– The Phillies really had two nominees for this award, but Halladay is the first choice.  11-3 record in the first half, 2.45 ERA with 138 K’s.  Don’t forget the start in the All Star game.  Halladay is part of an amazing staff in Philly, and he is the head of the class.  (Just missed:  Cole Hamels, Jair Jurrjens)

American League 1st Half Surprise Team:  Cleveland Indians- The Tribe started the season white hot, but have cooled off as time moved on.  Asdrubal Cabrera has been a great leader on the field, and the pitching has been solid.  The Indians have a shot at the playoffs, but will have to hold off the Tigers, and maybe the White Sox.  (Just missed:  Tampa Bay Rays)

National League 1st Half Surprise Team:  Pittsburgh Pirates- The Pirates are the official team of the JWSB until they make the playoffs.  I do realize that could be years.  At the break, the Bucs were just one game behind perennial powerhouses St. Louis and Milwaukee.  No one really expects the Pirates to hang around much longer, no one except this guy.  (Just missed:  Arizona Diamondbacks)

American League 1st Half Rookie of the Year:  Jordan Walden, LA Angels of Anaheim– The Angels were a question mark coming into the season, but Walden has helped them stay in the AL West race.  Walden had 20 saves in the first half of the season, and 41 K’s in 33 innings of work.  (Just missed:  Michael Pineda)

National League 1st Half Rookie of the Year:  Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves- 28 saves in the first half.  Kimbrel is one of many stud arms for the Braves, but he has been very impressive this year.  (Just missed:  Freddie Freeman)

American League 1st Half Best Team:  Boston Red Sox- Not too long ago, we had the Red Sox in the “bottom four” in the Awesome Rankings.  Not anymore.  Adrian Gonzalez is working on his first MVP award and the pitching staff is throwing like they should.  Will be fun to watch the American League East unfold.

National League 1st Half Best Team:  Philadelphia Phillies- If someone would have told you in spring training that the Phillies would have had the best record in baseball at the break, you probably would have believe them.  No real surprise here.





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