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Michael Pineda And The Rookie Of The Year

I am so thankful that this picture can exist
I am so thankful that this picture can exist

The Baseball Writers' Association of America is set to kick off its official award announcements next Monday, beginning with the AL and NL Rookie of the Year awards. Used to be that we'd first find out about the winners on the BBWAA website, but now the first word's going to come from their Twitter account. The BBWAA has a Twitter account, and many of its members still care about pitcher wins. These times we live in, I tell you.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because SB Nation baseball bloggers did their own awards voting, and here are the AL RotY results:

Num Name 1st 2nd 3rd Total
1 Michael Pineda 9 4 3 60
2 Eric Hosmer 5 4 3 40
3 Jeremy Hellickson 4 5 4 39
4 Dustin Ackley 1 5 3 23
5 Ivan Nova 0 5 5 20
6 Alexi Ogando 2 1 0 13
7 Mark Trumbo 1 0 3 8
8 Desmond Jennings 1 0 2 7
9 Brett Lawrie 1 0 1 6

Congratulations to Michael Pineda for winning an award that does not exist. The AL Rookie of the Year award exists, but it is not awarded by SB Nation, or anybody affiliated with SB Nation. Michael Pineda's award is this blog post, which he can read at his leisure.

Alexi Ogando was not a rookie.

I bet when the Baseball Writers' Association of America first expanded from one to two people, the name change was really easy.

It's interesting to mentally compare these results to the official results we expect the BBWAA to deliver. Here, among a limited selection of baseball bloggers, Pineda is the easy winner. With the BBWAA, it's looking like it's going to be Hellickson or Nova, with Pineda and the position players a step behind. The BBWAA isn't dropping daily clues or anything, but just based on the history, I feel comfortable in my assumption. And I think it's going to be Hellickson or Nova because Hellickson had a 2.95 ERA, and Nova had a 16-4 record.

Pineda, of course, was a much better pitcher than Hellickson, and he was a much better pitcher than Nova. Assuming this ends up the way I think it'll end up, this'll be one of those times that it's really apparent how differently internet writers and print writers think. And if this doesn't end up the way I think it'll end up, then congratulations, Brian Dinkelman. I definitely didn't see that one coming.

As I understand it, the Rookie of the Year award is supposed to go to the league's best rookie. Consensus seems to be that "best" is some combination of performance and playing time. This is why Brett Lawrie doesn't show up at the top of many lists. But why should playing time be that important? Brett Lawrie came to the plate 171 times and hit .293/.373/.580. That is an outstanding performance. An outstanding performance over a limited sample, sure, but a more outstanding performance than any other AL rookie, as far as I can tell. Why shouldn't he get more consideration for the award? It isn't the AL's most valuable rookie. It's the AL's best rookie. There's room for interpretation. Man, there's room for interpretation with everything.

I'm having trouble finding the appropriate level of disappointment to feel and express if and when Pineda doesn't win the official award. I'm sure he will have been more deserving than whoever ends up winning, assuming it isn't Pineda, and that's a bummer. But it's an award, so who cares? But Pineda is a Mariner, and I root for the Mariners to win games, so why shouldn't I also root for the Mariners to win awards? But it's an award, so who cares? This award will have absolutely no bearing on the rest of Pineda's career. I guess you could argue that he's so psychologically fragile that not winning would crush him, but then you could argue the opposite and say that not winning would make him more driven. There are two baseless arguments that could be made by stupid people.

If, say, Hellickson or Nova win the award, I think I'll think "aw nuts." I feel like I should care more than that, but I also feel like I should not. In the unimportant world of professional baseball, there are more important things than this.