Saturday, December 01, 2007

2007 DIBS Awards

Press Release

Nov. 29, 2007
For immediate release

Verlander top pitcher, Granderson breakout player

DETROIT — The Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes are proud to announce the results of the 2007 DIBS Awards balloting.

DIBS (Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes) is a collection of independent Web sites 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.

Magglio Ordonez was selected by 14 of 16 DIBS voters as the player of the year. The Tigers’ right fielder finished second in Most Valuable Player balloting by baseball writers this season. His .434 on-base-percentage coupled with a .595 slugging (1.029 OPS) made Ordonez a force at the plate all season. He hit 28 home runs and 54 doubles to go with 139 RBI. Curtis Granderson received the remaining two first-place votes. His 20 stolen bases, 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 home runs season put him in rare air, allowing him to join just Willie Mays and Frank “Wildfire” Schulte at the time. A left-handed center fielder, Granderson got on base a .361 rate and slugged .552 (.913OPS). Placido Polanco, who completed an errorless season at second base, placed third overall with two second-place votes an 11 third.

Right-handed starter Justin Verlander was the unanimous selection for Tigers pitcher of the year. His no-hitter pitched against Milwaukee June 12 is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the Tigers season, but he was consistent throughout the year and finished 18-6 with an ERA of 3.66 and 1.23 WHIP. He struck out 183 and walked 67 in 201-2/3 innings pitched. Closer Todd Jones finished runner-up with 10 second-place and one third-place votes. He made 38 saves in 44 chances (86.4 percent success) and had a 4.26 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. Left-handed middle reliever Bobby Seay placed third overall with two second-place and eight third-place votes. He had a 2.33 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. He struck out 38 and walked 15 in 46-1/3 innings pitched.

Granderson was also named breakout player of the year with nine of 16 first-place votes. Utilityman Ryan Raburn, called up from Triple-A Toledo in July, finished second in balloting with four first-place, four second-place and four third-place votes. He got on base at a .304 rate and slugged .507 (.847 OPS) while playing in 49 games. He had four home runs, 12 doubles, two triples and 27 RBI. Pitcher Jair Jurrjens, now a member of the Atlanta Braves organization after being included in a trade for shortstop Edgar Renteria, finished third in voting with one first-place vote, five second-place votes and five third-place votes. Jurrjens started seven games for the Tigers. His ERA was 4.70 to go with a 1.14 WHIP. He struck out 13 and walked 11 in 30-2/3 innings pitched. Receiving his first start Aug. 15, Jurrjens pitched a span of games from Aug. 21 to Sept. 16 where he gave up just one run per game.

The blogs that voted included:

Roar of the Tigers
Mack Avenue Tigers
Out of Bounds/Johnny Grubb
Wayne Fontes Experience
Daily Fungo
Detroit Tiger Tales
Bless You Boys
Leelanau Sports Guy
The Fanhouse
D Town Baseball
Take 75 North
Grandy Report
From the Copa
Detroit Tigers Weblog
Motown Sports Revival

My ballot is below…

Tiger player of the year

1). Mags
2). Granderson
3). Polanco

This was how most people saw it. Sheff and Granderson would’ve had a battle for second if not for the shoulder injury.

Tiger pitcher of the year

1). Verlander
2). Bobby Seay
3). Todd Jones

Jones finished second ahead of Seay. I couldn’t bring myself to vote that way. Seay had a much better season statistically. That a guy with an appropriate nickname like “rollercoaster” finishes second for “Tigers Pitcher of the Year” just goes to show how dire the pitching situation was for the Tigers in 2007. Seay certainly was a pleasant surprise.

Tiger breakout player of the year

1). Raburn
2). Durbin
3). (tie) Jurrjens
3). (tie) Bazardo

This award is a bit ambiguous and I think it’s meant to be that way. Granderson won hands down with a whopping nine first place votes (out of 16). He didn't receive a single second or third place vote from the seven voters who didn't vote him #1 so there is certainly many different interpretations going on with regards to how to define "breakout player." Granderson finished 3rd in the voting for the same award last season. I didn’t vote for Granderson this year and I didn’t vote for him last year. My interpretation of “breakout player” precluded Granderson from being on either of my ballots the last two years. So, I went with Raburn first. He was a pleasant surprise and certainly “broke out”. Durbin did more than anyone could have possibly imagined back at the start of spring training before Rogers went out. Jurrjens and Bazardo were a toss-up. I was the only voter who listed Bazardo but he quietly put together a season equally impressive--if not more impressive--than Jurrjens who finished second. Both did some OK things but that was about it. Twelve players received votes in this category including Paws who is the Tigers mascot.

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