Baseball Bloggers Alliance in its first year as we attempted to recognize MLB players in a way the Baseball Writers Association of America does.
The BBWAA wasn't too pleased with the fact that we named the awards the same as theirs, so this year the BBA's awards recognize greats of the game.
As President of the Cleveland Chapter, I will be posting the collective votes from the Indians chapter and together it will count as both of Cleveland's votes. The other blogs within the Cleveland chapter are The B-List, Indians Prospect Insider, and Deep Left Field.
Next up is the Goose Gossage Award, given to the American League's best relief pitcher. C-F-P! C-F-P!
3. Joakim Soria, KC
The Royals won 63 games this season... Joakim Soria saved 43 of those wins. Imagine if they had someone who couldn't get the job done 43 out of 46 times.
2. Mariano Rivera, NYY
It is so hard to pick three of the AL's best relievers and not include the greatest of all time especially when his WHIP and ERA numbers are so low.
1. Rafael Soriano, TB
The Tampa reliever had a banner year for one of the AL's best teams. 45 saves led the American League, he had a WHIP lower than just about any other closer and he gave up just 12 earned runs in 62 innings. 12 earned runs!
Chris Perez had one fantastic year, but I don't think it was good enough for top three in the AL among relievers. I was personally tempted to include someone like Daniel Bard, due to fact that he was flat out just one of the best all around relievers in the game, regardless of role, but how do you leave out someone like Rivera?
Back to Perez though. His 1.71 ERA is second lowest among American League relievers with at least 60 innings pitched. Only Tampa's Joaquin Benoit had a lower ERA with 1.34. His 1.08 WHIP ranks behind Rivera, Soria, Soriano, Benoit, Neftali Feliz, Darren O'Day, Scott Downs, and Matt Thornton.
There was no one better in the second half than Chris FN Perez though. He was 16-for-17 in save opportunities and his 0.63 ERA was lowest among any real closer or anyone who even earned more than one save. He was dominant. Only Papelbon and Koji Uehara struck out more hitters and they had more innings pitched.
I could talk about our other relievers, but why bother when CFP is so damn good?