The St. Louis Cardinals added outfielder Marcel Ozuna to strengthen their lineup, while the Milwaukee Brewers really boosted their outfields by signing free agent Lorenzo Cain and trading Christian Yellich. In the NL Central division, however, the Chicago Cubs are the team to beat.
Almost everyone felt the same way going into last season, when the North Siders broke camp as defending World Series champions for the first time in more than a hundred years. Chicago narrowly won the division in 2017, but the season was for the most part a disappointment with the Cubs being dominated by the Dodgers in the playoffs.
However, according to a member of the American Baseball Writers Association, the Cubs must have had a great season. When the organization placed its picks for the 2017 top awards, one writer inexplicably voted for clearly unworthy members of the Cubs.
While the BBWA will never reveal the identity of the writer to the public, it would be a good bet that he resides in Windy City. How else could your voting decisions be explained?
Miami outfielder Giancarlo, traded to the New York Yankees during the offseason, edged out Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto on the National League MVP pick. Stanton led all of baseball with 59 home runs, and Votto finished in the top five in home runs and batting average.
Those two players certainly deserved to receive all of the first-place votes for MVP from the Baseball Writers Association of America, the organization that was given the honor of selecting the winner of that prestigious honor. However, one of the writers chose neither Stanton nor Votto, nor worthy outside candidates like batting champion Charlie Blackmon or Runs Batted In frontman Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies.
Instead, this obviously biased writer wasted his MVP vote on Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs, who justifiably won the award in 2016. Last year, however, was a disappointing season for both him and the Cubs. .
Bryant failed to finish in the top ten in any of the major offensive categories, making it into that range in the minor component of walks. The only stat he led in was the dubious distinction of having made the most mistakes, his total of eighteen outscoring every other third baseman in the league.
Bryant certainly wasn’t the only reason the Cubs didn’t defend their pennant last season, as his manager naturally must bear some of the blame. Joe Maddon, who had guided Chicago to the World Series Championship the previous season, simply couldn’t put Chicago on the right track to repeat that feat in 2017.
However, one of the BWWA members somehow found Madden worthy enough to win the Manager of the Year award, despite his team failing to do well and winning six fewer games. Fortunately, all the other members of the BWWA did not vote for Maddon, and they deservedly gave the award to Tory Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks and second place went to Dave Roberts, pennant winner, Los Angeles Dodgers.