Is this the most anticlimactic awards season in baseball history?

Leon Halip

The anti-climax was predictable. The three finalists for each of baseball's major awards were announced on Tuesday. Now we really know who is going to win. The lists of finalists:

NL MVP
Andrew McCutchen
Paul Goldschmidt
Yadier Molina

AL MVP
Miguel Cabrera
Mike Trout
Chris Davis

NL Cy Young
Clayton Kershaw
Jose Fernandez
Adam Wainwright

AL Cy Young
Max Scherzer
Yu Darvish
Hisashi Iwakuma

NL Rookie of the Year
Jose Fernandez
Yasiel Puig
Shelby Miller

AL Rookie of the Year
Wil Myers
Chris Archer
Jose Iglesias

The winners are italicized. Trust me. And I'm almost positive that I've listed the correct finishing orders, too. Did Bud Selig's assistant accidentally e-mail me the results when he or she was trying to attach a cease-and-desist letter for something completely unrelated? Not telling. But those are the winners, and if they're still taking money at the local sports book, go get yourself a new car with that information. (Note: They are not still taking money at the local sports book.)

This isn't going to happen again for a while. At least, it's extraordinarily unlikely to happen again soon. There are six major awards. There should always be a debate about one of them. There should always be two players close enough to make for some kind of debate.

There are two players who almost got that close. Wil Myers had a 2 WAR season according to Baseball-Reference.com. So did Chris Archer. But FanGraphs' version of the stat takes a win away from Archer. Not only that, but there's a perception, fair or not, that the Rays can make new young pitchers by pouring water on the old ones. Finding offense isn't so easy. It's Myers' award to lose. Which he won't.

The only way to make this interesting is to ask if this has happened before. Since the awards have been handed out, have there ever been six blowouts like this? I'm not going to list every hot debate in awards-voting history, but I'll list one for every year. When I find a contested award -- based on first-place votes and share of total vote -- I'll move on.

Year Award Debatable Players
2012 AL MVP Mike Trout v. Miguel Cabrera
2011 AL MVP Justin Verlander v. Jacoby Ellsbury
2010 NL ROY Buster Posey v. Jason Heyward
2009 NL CYA Tim Lincecum v. Adam Wainwright/Chris Carpenter
2008 NL MVP Albert Pujols v. Ryan Howard
2007 NL MVP Matt Holliday v. Jimmy Rollins
2006 AL MVP Justin Morneau v. Derek Jeter
2005 NL CYA Chris Carpenter v. Dontrelle Willis
2004 NL CYA Roger Clemens v. Randy Johnson
2003 NL CYA Eric Gagne v. Jason Schmidt
2002 AL CYA Barry Zito v. Pedro Martinez
2001 AL MVP Ichiro v. Jason Giambi
2000 NL MVP Jeff Kent v. Barry Bonds
1999 AL MVP Ivan Rodriguez v. Pedro Martinez
1998 NL CYA Tom Glavine v. Trevor Hoffman
1997 NL MVP Larry Walker v. Mike Piazza
1996 AL MVP Juan Gonzalez v. Alex Rodriguez
1995 AL MVP Mo Vaughn v. Albert Belle
1994 AL CYA David Cone v. Jimmy Key
1993 AL CYA Jack McDowell v. Randy Johnson
1992 AL CYA Dennis Eckersley v. non-relievers
1991 NL MVP Terry Pendleton v. Barry Bonds
1990 AL CYA Bob Welch v. Roger Clemens
1989 AL MVP Robin Yount v. Ruben Sierra/Cal Ripken
1988 NL ROY Chris Sabo v. Mark Grace
1987 NL MVP Andre Dawson v. Ozzie Smith
1986 AL ROY Jose Canseco v. Wally Joyner
1985 AL ROY Ozzie Guillen v. Teddy Higuera
1984 AL CYA Willie Hernandez v. Dan Quisenberry
1983 AL MVP Cal Ripken v. Eddie Murray
1982 NL MVP Dale Murphy v. Lonnie Smith
1981 NL CYA Fernando Valenzuela v. Tom Seaver
1980 AL CYA Steve Stone v. Mike Norris
1979 NL MVP Keith Hernandez v. Willie Stargell
1978 NL ROY Bob Horner v. Ozzie Smith
1977 AL ROY Eddie Murray v. Mitchell Page
1976 NL ROY Butch Metzger v. Pat Zachry
1975 NL ROY John Montefusco v. Gary Carter
1974 AL CYA Catfish Hunter v. Fergie Jenkins
1973 AL CYA Jim Palmer v. Nolan Ryan
1972 AL CYA Gaylord Perry v. Wilbur Wood
1971 NL CYA Fergie Jenkins v. Tom Seaver
1970 AL ROY Jim Perry v. Dave McNally
1969 NL MVP Willie McCovey v. Tom Seaver
1968 NL MVP Bob Gibson v. Pete Rose
1967 NL ROY Tom Seaver v. Dick Hughes
1966 NL MVP Roberto Clemente v. Sandy Koufax
1965 AL ROY Curt Blefary v. Marcelino Lopez
1964 Nothing! Ha!
1963 AL ROY Gary Peters v. Pete Ward
1962 NL MVP Maury Wills v. Willie Mays
1961 AL MVP Roger Maris v. Mickey Mantle
1960 AL MVP Roger Maris v. Mickey Mantle
1959 NL MVP Ernie Banks v. Eddie Mathews
1958 AL MVP Jackie Jensen v. Bob Turley
1957 AL MVP Mickey Mantle v. Ted Williams
1956 NL MVP Don Newcombe v. Sal Maglie
1955 NL MVP Roy Campanella v. Duke Snider
1954 AL MVP Yogi Berra v. Larry Doby
1953 Nothing! Ha!
1952 NL MVP Hank Sauer v. Robin Roberts
1951 AL ROY Gil McDougald v. Minnie Minoso
1950 AL ROY Walt Dropo v. Whitey Ford
1949 NL MVP Jackie Robinson v. Stan Musial


The years in bold weren't taut finishes, but there was still some debate. There was an obnoxious debate surrounding Pujols and Howard in 2008 -- hint: it revolved around standings and RBI -- but there was still a debate.

That leaves two debate-free seasons for awards: 1953 and 1964. And '53 almost doesn't count because the Cy Young was for both leagues. What you're feeling right now, that sharp pain in your argue gland, is almost unprecedented. We'll see how close Mike Trout or Yasiel Puig make it. Maybe it'll be closer than '64.

But it still won't be close. Will Chris Sale be fourth? Will Josh Donaldson be fourth? Hey, what happened to Carlos Gomez, is he fourth? Yeah, that's all we got. It's almost enough to make you miss the Trout/Cabrera wars of 2012. Almost.

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