Tuesday, November 28, 2006

2006 DIBS Awards

The Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes have issued the following press release:

DETROIT, Mich. — The Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes announced Tuesday (Nov. 28) the winners of the 2006 DIBS Awards. Shortstop Carlos Guillen was named the DIBS Player of the Year as voted on by DIBS members. Pitcher Kenny Rogers earned pitcher of the year honors with fellow starter Justin Verlander being recognized for his breakout season. In addition to the three regular season award winners, DIBS named Rogers its Postseason Performer.

Guillen earned the top honors after hitting .320 with 41 doubles while cracking the century mark in runs. The Tiger shortstop earned 13 first place votes and two second place votes.

Rogers posted a 17-8 record with a paltry 3.84 ERA, but that was the least of his contributions. His ability to teach and work with the young pitching staff proved equally as valuable to the Tigers run to a Wild Card. Rogers put an exclamation point on his season with three postseason wins, all shutouts while striking out 19 batters in 23.0 innings.

Verlander went 17-9 and a 3.63 ERA in his rookie campaign, tying Rogers for team lead in wins. He finished seventh in the American League in wins and ERA while earning Major League Baseball’s nod as Rookie of the Year.

Staff from 14 Tiger fan sites participated in the second annual award voting. Last year’s winners included Placido Polanco (Player), Jeremy Bonderman(Pitcher) and Chris Shelton (Breakout).

DIBS (Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes) are a collection of independent websites that cover the Detroit Tigers. Formed by Brian Borawski, Bill Ferris and Ryan Sosin in 2005 with the idea of uniting a community of fans and writers, DIBS is focused on improving and promoting the quality sports coverage taking place on the internet.

Player of the Year
(FP votes)
1. Carlos Gullen (14)
2. Magglio Ordonez (0)
3. Kenny Rogers (1)

Pitcher of the Year
(FP votes)
1. Kenny Rogers (9)
2. Justin Verlander (6)
3. Joel Zumaya (1)

Breakout Player of the Year
(FP votes)
1. Justin Verlander (9)
2. Joel Zumaya (5)
3. Curtis Granderson (2)

Postseason Performer
(FP votes)
1. Kenny Rogers (11)
2. Carlos Guillen (0)
3. Sean Casey (1)

The current members of DIBS:

Roar of the Tigers
Mack Avenue Tigers
Out of Bounds/Johnny Grubb
Sweatymen Endeavors
Wayne Fontes Experience
Beyond Boxscores
Daily Fungo
Detroit Tiger Tales
View From the Cheap Seats
Bless You Boys
Motown Sports Revival
Baseball by Paul
Mickey Tettleton Memorial Overpass
Leelanau Sports Guy
Detroit Tigers Weblog
Tigers Central

Here is how I voted:

Detroit Tigers Breakout Player of the Year

At the risk of being the only voter in the minority, I voted Joel Zumaya number one in this category. I guess that means that I think he should be the Rookie of the Year over Justin Verlander, too. Obviously that wasn’t going to happen. A starting pitcher always trumps a relief pitcher when it comes to head to head comparisons regardless of the merits of those comparisons. I don’t necessarily agree with that notion but that’s the way it is. My reasons for going with Zumaya are actually quite simple. I think he did his job significantly better than Justin Verlander did his job. I understand that starting pitchers throw more innings by a wide margin. I also understand that a starting pitcher has a much greater impact on a game than a relief pitcher. Every inning is as important as every other inning. If a starting pitcher throws six innings, he’ll have six times the impact on the game as a relief pitcher that throws one inning. However, nobody is going to say that Nate Robertson had a better season than Mariano Rivera in 2006. So, there is a point in which a relief pitcher, despite throwing less innings, can have a better season than a starting pitcher. The question is, at what point does that start? If you agree that Rivera had a better season than Robertson, then it doesn’t necessarily matter where it starts because the difference between Robertson and Rivera is almost exactly the same as the difference between Zumaya and Verlander. Check it out:


Nate Robertson----208.7------3.84------1.31------137----13-13
Mariano Rivera-----75.0------1.80--------.96--------55----5-5

Justin Verlander----186.0--------3.63------1.33------124-----17-9
Joel Zumaya----------83.3-------1.94-------1.18-------97------6-3

The belief that Verlander was the hands-down Rookie of the Year winner was widely held. I actually hadn’t heard any other candidates even discussed for the award after Jonathan Papelbon and Francisco Liriano were injured. Every time I’ve heard someone talk on TV about Verlander being the shoe-in for the ROY, I always wondered why nobody mentioned Zumaya. Zumaya did his job better than Verlander. Zumaya was more consistent while almost exclusively pitching in tight ball games. He held the Tigers bullpen together the entire season while Todd Jones and Fernando Rodney played “walk the leadoff man” as if it that was their job. For a rookie, Verlander had a great season. For an established major league pitcher, I think Verlander did his job slightly above average this season. He had a five-game stretch in June and July that really padded his season statistics. In those five starts, his ERA was .78 . That is remarkable. That was an important stretch for the Tigers no doubt. However, that accounted for only 1/6 of his starts this season. In his 25 other starts, his ERA was 4.27. Twenty-five starts have a heck of a lot more impact on a season than five starts. Zumaya’s ERA for the whole season was 1.94. It takes a tremendous level of consistency to pitch that well over 83 innings. As much as I enjoyed Verlander’s successful rookie season, I just think Zumaya did his job much better than Verlander did his. That’s why I have to give the Breakout Player of the Year award to Zoom-Zoom. I picked Marcus Thames over Granderson but either guy could really go there. I just thought phrase “break out” applied more to Thames since he had four seasons of anonymity before erupting for 26 home runs this season.

1) Joel Zumaya

2) Justin Verlander

3) Marcus Thames

Detroit Tigers Player of the Year

I made a post towards the end of the regular season lambasting Carlos Guillen for his porous defense. He really was awful defensively this year. His throws were frustratingly inaccurate. His fielding was marginal at best. I just had an uncomfortable feeling whenever the ball was hit to Guillen. I made the comment that people should not overlook his defense when considering him for Tiger of the Year. Unfortunately, there isn’t another contender even close to Guillen. He was more efficient and productive than any other Tiger by a long shot. Magglio Ordonez was the next most efficient and productive by a long shot. After that, it’s between Craig Monroe, Brandon Inge, Curtis Granderson, and Pudge Rodriguez. Placido Polanco was an important piece in 2006 but he missed close to 1/3 of the season. Despite a slow start, I have to go with Craig Monroe due to his run production and defense in left field. I could have gone with Kenny Rogers first but I only looked at batters for this category.

Here is how Guillen dominated the stat sheet:

Batting Average:

1 Carlos Guillen----.320
2 Pudge Rodriguez-.300
3 Magglio Ordonez-.298


1 Carlos Guillen----.920
2 Magglio Ordonez-.827
3 Craig Monroe-----.783


1 Carlos Guillen-----100
2 Curtis Granderson—90
3 Craig Monroe--------89


1 Carlos Guillen-----.400
2 Magglio Ordonez--.350
3 Curtis Granderson-.335


1 Carlos Guillen--------20
2 Curtis Granderson-----8
3 Pudge Rodriguez-----8

1) Carlos Guillen

2) Magglio Ordonez

3) Craig Monroe

Detroit Tigers Pitcher of the Year

This is by far the hardest category to judge. At some point in 2006, each Tigers starter was the best on the staff. Likewise, at some point in 2006, each Tigers starter was the worst on the staff. I have three spots for four deserving players. The four that I’m considering are Kenny Rogers, Joel Zumaya, Justin Verlander, and Jeremy Bonderman. Comparing Verlander and Bonderman yields some interesting results. Bonderman has Verlander beat in Games Started, WHIP, K’s, K/9, BB/9, Quality Starts, Home Runs allowed, Batting Average Against, and Losses. Verlander has Bonderman beat in Wins and ERA. I also think Verlander’s ERA is slightly misleading. His ERA over 25 of his 30 starts his season was 4.27. I understand that you can do the same thing for any pitcher to prove a point. But, in Verlander’s case, there really is something there. He was very good for part of the season but he was simply average for the vast majority of the season. The same can be said for Bonderman. I honestly have no idea who to choose out of those two. I have to go with Zumaya over both since I picked Zumaya over Verlander in the Breakout Player of the Year voting. I think I’ll cheat a bit and a give a tie for third place to Jeremy Bonderman and Justin Verlander. First and second place go to Kenny Rogers and Joel Zumaya although I’m not certain as to how the order should go. Rogers’ final ERA wasn’t that impressive at 3.84. But, he had the exact opposite five-game stretch that Verlander had. Over five games in June/July, Rogers posted an ERA of 11.14. In his 29 other starts, he posted a fantastic ERA of 3.00. Over his last ten starts of the regular season, Rogers posted an astounding 2.56 ERA. Rogers posted six wins after August 16. The Tigers as a team won only 16 games after August 16. Rogers was also the All-Star game starter. Other than that five-game stretch in June-July, Rogers truly had a remarkable season. I think Rogers had a bigger impact on 2006 than Joel Zumaya. So, I’m going with Kenny Rogers as the Tigers Pitcher of the Year (and that doesn’t even include the postseason!)

1) Kenny Rogers

2) Joel Zumaya

3) (tie) Jeremy Bonderman
3) (tie) Justin Verlander

Detroit Tigers Top Postseason Performer

This is the easiest category to rank. Kenny Rogers is easily the Playoff Performer of the Year. He turned in one of the finest playoff performances in MLB history. The second spot is a tough call between Jeremy Bonderman and Sean Casey. I have to give Casey the edge for his heroic performance in the World Series. “Bondo” was unbelievable in game four against the Yankees while his other two starts were pretty good. I don’t have much else to say about this except to thank Kenny Rogers and Sean Casey for showing up big-time in the World Series.

1) Kenny Rogers

2) Sean Casey

3) Jeremy Bonderman

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