Tim Hudson, Francisco Liriano Recognized As Comeback Players Of The Year

The popularity and significance of the award have blossomed even since it abandoned its old name of Players Who Were Good And Then Shitty And Now Aren't Shitty Anymore. Says main.pravda.com:

Starting pitchers Francisco Liriano of the Twins and Tim Hudson of the Braves were named the 2010 Comeback Players of the Year for the American League and National League, respectively, chosen by MLB.com's 30 club beat reporters. Both will have significant roles as their teams compete in the Division Series.

As much as we like to rip on award voting results, no matter who ends up winning, it seems to me like these are two pretty good picks. Consider the AL. Runners-up Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton also would've been good picks, and what you've got here are three guys who weren't very good in 2009, and then in 2010 played like some of the most valuable players in baseball. You could argue the real shame is that only one of them could be recognized. Though I'm biased in Beltre's favor, Liriano just led the league in xFIP, something I'm certain the MLB beat reporters kept in mind.

As for the NL, apparently it came down to Hudson vs. R.A. Dickey. As interesting a story as he was, Dickey would not have been a good choice, because Dickey had never before been good. This isn't the Breakout Player of the Year. The word "comeback" implies a re-emergence, and that's why I'm not arguing for Colby Lewis in the AL. Previous incarnations of Colby Lewis all sucked. The same goes for R.A. Dickey.

Kelly Johnson and Billy Wagner (Braves!) would've made sense, too, but Hudson's fine.

What I'd really like to see in 2011 is the development of an opposite award - the 2011 Comeback To Earth Player of the Year. Clay Buchholz, Jose Bautista, and Paul Konerko serve as early AL favorites, while glancing at the NL...it seems like everybody in the National League played pretty much exactly as they were supposed to. So the NL wouldn't get an award.

Something interesting is trying to figure out who's in the best position to win CPotY in 2011, based on their 2010 performance or non-performance. Is there any way the AL's winner won't be Justin Morneau? The NL's award could go to the Cardinals.

For your obligatory Mariners angle, other candidates for the 2011 Comeback Players of the Year include every non-Felix member of the team who has ever not sucked. Sleeper: Eric Byrnes.

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