Renaming All the End of Year Awards
I've discussed creating a new award for rookie pitchers. How else should this change the voting process?
The Christy Mathewson and Mark Fidrych Awards:
If you haven't read- or if you missed- my last two posts in this series, you can check them out here:
The New Rookie of the Year Awards & Voting:
In this alternate universe where the above awards exist and are voted on, their implementation would come in with a change in how the voting processes would take place.
Currently, all rookie players are eligible for votes for the Rooke of the Year award. However, I would argue that with the implementation of these two new awards- strictly for rookie pitchers- it should be made that the traditional Rookie of the Year award should be strictly for position players.
In the case that another player in the future follows the Shohei Ohtani path and excels at both pitching and hitting in their rookie seasons, they would be eligible for both awards. However, the award voting should have that players pitching and hitting accomplishments be considered separately.
I would also use this opportunity to rename the traditional Rookie of the Year award. Currently the award for both leagues is named for Jackie Robinson, however I would change it that the American League Rookie of the Year award would be named for Larry Doby.
Currently, the Larry Doby Award is given to the MVP of the Future's Game during All-Star Weekend. Changing the name of the AL Rookie of the Year award would require a change in name to that award. I'd love to hear your suggestions about who it should be named after.
So, now we have 4 Rookie of the Year Awards, named for the following players:
The Larry Doby American League Rookie Hitter of the Year
The Jackie Robinson National League Rookie Hitter of the Year
The Mark Fidrych American League Rookie Pitcher of the Year
The Christy Mathewson National League Rookie Pitcher of the Year
Renaming All the Awards:
In the current game of baseball, this trend of naming awards differently in each league is not a new idea that I just came up with. This same system is used for the reliever of the year award, where it is named for Mariano Rivera in the AL and for Trevor Hoffman in the NL.
So, how about we go through and rename all the major awards and give them league distinctions?
We'll start with the Cy Young Award.
Who was the best pitcher in American League history?
(*Technically it's Roger Clemens, but I think we can all agree that naming an award after a man suspected of using steroids would be a bad look.)
And for the National League?
...so this must mean there is no more Cy Young award.
Except, that's where you are wrong. I'm calling an audible here and suggesting a crazy new concept: make an All-MLB award. That would become the Cy Young Award (he spent about half his career in the AL and NL). That award would be voted on immediately after the season to crown the best pitcher in the entire MLB by the World Series. Then, they'd be disqualified for either of the league-specific awards.
It's an idea.
For the MVP- now that it is no longer known as the Kennesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Award- in the AL, name it after Ted Williams.
For the NL MVP, name it after Willie Mays.**
(**The World Series MVP award is currently named after Willie Mays, but I think we can all agree that him being the namesake of the NL MVP is a much higher honor. A rename could be made for one of the three players who won multiple: Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, or Reggie Jackson.)
For the MLB MVP, name it after Babe Ruth.***
(***There already is a Babe Ruth Award for the best postseason performer, but it's such a forgotten award, that should be renamed as well. Maybe for Derek Jeter?)
If we're going to follow this same trend, we could also name an All-MLB award for rookie hitters. If it was me looking to create the award, I'd venture that naming it after Ichiro Suzuki (one of two players to win the Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season) would be a good move.
And likewise for rookie pitchers. Maybe this could be the spot for Fernando Valenzuela? (Or, name the All-MLB rookie pitcher award after Mathewson and the NL-specific award for Valenzuela. Either option would sit well with me, and after dwelling on it further, I do think Mathewson is a better name for the All-MLB rookie pitcher.)
Does the Manager of the Year award need new names? Heck, why not?
For the AL name it after Joe McCarthy.
For the NL name it after John McGraw.
I don't think there needs to be an all-MLB managerial award, however. If you feel differently, convince me I'm wrong and tell me why I should name it after Connie Mack.
There are many other awards in baseball, but getting into those is both an exercise of futility and a way to make this post excruciating to read and follow. I'm comfortable leaving my list and logic and ideas as they are. Maybe this is a topic that can be revisited someday, but for now I'm happy where I am.
All the Awards and Name Suggestions:
All-MLB MVP (aka: Hitters): Babe Ruth
AL MVP: Ted Williams
NL MVP: Willie Mays
All-MLB Pitcher of the Year: Cy Young
AL Pitcher of the Year: Walter Johnson
NL Pitcher of the Year: Greg Maddux
All-MLB Rookie Hitter of the Year: Ichiro Suzuki
AL Rookie Hitter of the Year: Larry Doby
NL Rookie Hitter of the Year: Jackie Robinson
All-MLB Rookie Pitcher of the Year: Christy Mathewson
AL Rookie Pitcher of the Year: Mark Fidrych
NL Rookie Pitcher of the Year: Fernando Valenzuela
(All-MLB Manager of the Year: Connie Mack)
AL Manager of the Year: Joe McCarthy
NL Manager of the Year: John McGraw