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First things first: I recognize that the headline of this piece is not wholly accurate. We’ve actually moved past the midway mark as we make our way to the All-Star break next week. Still, it seems like as good a time as any to check in with our Clubhouse Leaders.

As we expected, things have started to shake themselves out as far as the MLB season is concerned. Per usual, we’re looking at plenty of familiar names in contention for the various season awards, but we’ve also got a couple of surprises sprinkled into the mix.

There’s been a fair amount of shakeup in the time since we did our first quarter check-in, with some prominent names falling off a bit and some new faces forcing their way into the conversation. Such is the joy of baseball – when you’ve got 162 games to play, the ebb and flow is going to be significant.

Still, 80 or 90 games is a pretty solid sample size; we’re starting to get a sense of how many of these seasons are going to shake out. That isn’t to say we know what’s going to happen – there’s always uncertainty. Heck, we’ve got six different leaders out of six here. That’s why we play the games.

This is Clubhouse Leaders.

(Statistics current through July 10)

Published in Sports

We’re back! Welcome, loyal readers, to the first Clubhouse Leaders of the 2022 MLB season!

As per usual, we will be checking in regularly on the major league baseball season in an effort to determine who is in the driver’s seat with regard to the year’s major individual awards. And ALSO per usual, we fully anticipate that at least some of the contenders we mention this week will have fallen by the wayside come season’s end, just as we expect that one or two players come out of nowhere to seize the top spot going forward.

Every team has crossed the 40-game threshhold, meaning that we are ready to evaluate their award-worthiness at the one-quarter mark. Again, one strong stretch does not an award-winner make – we’ll have to wait and see how things play out going forward.

But for now? Let’s take some swings.

This is Clubhouse Leaders.

(All statistics current through May 22.)

Published in Sports

Achieving excellence in the athletic arena is incredibly difficult. And with each rung one advances on the ladder, that difficulty increases exponentially. So to be recognized as the best at what you do at the athletic pinnacle is impressive indeed.

Now, a single outstanding season is not enough to place you among the immortals. Indeed, the history of every professional sport is littered with singularly transcendent stat lines by people who would never again reach those heights.

Take MLB’s Cy Young Award. To be named the Cy Young winner is to be placed among the very best to ever take the mound. For some, the award is a box checked on the way to Cooperstown. And yet … there are also many Cy Young winners whose careers prove that elite season to be the outlier rather than the norm.

In Doug Wedge’s “Pinnacle on the Mound: Cy Young Winners Talk Baseball” (Rowman & Littlefield, $32), we get a closer look at some of the men who won baseball’s preeminent pitching award. There are conversations with 10 Cy Young winners whose historic seasons span over half-a-century, devoted to shining a light on the particularities that allowed these hurlers to be, for one season at least, the very best in the game.

Published in Sports

We’re almost to the All-Star break and teams are approaching and/or have crossed the halfway point of the long MLB season. While we tend to think of the All-Star Game as the midway point in a given season, the truth is that we’re there now.

And things have changed a little.

As per usual, there has been some movement with regard to our MLB Awards leaderboard. There are a couple of holdovers, but as always, things change. Take a look and see where we stand.

This is Clubhouse Leaders.

Published in Sports

We’re back! Welcome, loyal readers, to 2021' first installment of Clubhouse Leaders!

This year’s debut is a little later than usual – team’s will be a lot closer to 50 or so games played rather than 40 by the time you read this – but that just means that there’s a little more data to evaluate when we go over the choices.

As always, we anticipate that the final tally may well be considerably different than what we’re looking at early one, but hey – that’s part of the fun! In this strange year, as MLB continues to work through the various obstacles presented by the ongoing pandemic, it’s tough to say who will rise to the top.

Let’s take a look at who’s looking good early on, shall we?

(All stats current as of May 23.)

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 23 September 2020 12:17

MLB award races in 2020’s home stretch

Hard to believe that the 2020 MLB season has reached its end. As of press time, there are just a scant handful of games left in the strangest season we’ve ever seen. But before we reach the 60(ish) game mark and the season’s conclusion – and before we venture into the also-unprecedented 16-game playoff field – I thought it might be fun to check in with our season awards predictor.

Those who follow our baseball coverage here at The Maine Edge are aware of our usual Clubhouse Leaders feature, where we do quarterly predictions regarding the various MLB season awards – Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and MVP. However, given this year’s circumstances, we mixed it up a little (a quarterly breakdown would have meant a story every 15 games or so – a bit much, right?).

We made our predictions at the start of the season and now, as we approach its end, we’re going to revisit and revise those picks. Let’s see how close I got, shall we? And how close I will get?

(Note: All statistics current as of Sept. 20)

Published in Sports
Thursday, 30 July 2020 12:56

MLB Awards Predictions 2020

So baseball is back, albeit in a whole new way.

Major League Baseball in 2020 will be unlike any season that we’ve ever seen. Instead of a leisurely 162 games unfolding over six months, we’re getting a 60-game sprint taking place in just over two months. The National League has the DH for the first time and MLB is experimenting with new extra innings rules involving the addition of runners. Oh, and 16 teams will make the playoffs.

So yeah. Different.

With the ever-looming threat of the coronavirus, it’s hard to say what will happen over the course of the season; just because they’ve started is no guarantee that they will finish.

For the most part, no one knows anything when it comes to sports prognostication. But this year, we ESPECIALLY don’t know anything. You might think that that would discourage me from making any sort of predictions, but you would be wrong. While I won’t be doing my annual season preview, I am going to offer up my picks for the winners of MLB’s major awards this year.

Feel free to hold me to these, but just remember – I have no idea what I’m doing.

Published in Sports

And here we are. Another MLB regular season has come to an end. The playoffs are in full swing, with the handful of remaining teams doing everything within their power to make it to the World Series.

However, the league’s individual honors aren’t predicated on playoff performance. These awards are for the regular season. And while there was a fair amount of up-and-down over the course of the year, a lot of these names are ones that aren’t the least bit surprising. There are arguments to be made – there always are – but I’m comfortable with the selections that I’ve made. As always with this sort of thing, your mileage may vary.

Here we go: 2019’s final Clubhouse Leaders.

Published in Sports

And down the stretch they come.

We’re in mid-August and entering the home stretch of the Major League Baseball season. By the time you read this, teams will have roughly 40 games left until playoff time. It looks like there are some foregone conclusions, but also a few hard-fought races – particularly for some of the squads battling it out for wild card spots.

The competition for MLB’s individual awards looks a little different. We have a little bit of turnover from midseason, but it has mostly been holdover chalk; some of our picks at the halfway mark have really solidified their positions. While we’ve got a couple of two- or three-man races, it’ll really take some leaps for anyone else to crowd their way in. But hey – six weeks is a LONG time. And a lot can happen. We’ll just have to see how it plays out.

This is Clubhouse Leaders.

(Note: All statistics through Aug. 12.)

Published in Sports

While we tend to treat the All-Star Game as the midway point of the MLB season, the reality is that the actual halfway point is right now. As of press time, all major league teams have reached the 80-game mark, leaving us with fully 50% of the 2019 campaign in the books.

And things have definitely changed.

All of the first-quarter picks have fallen by the wayside; there has been a lot of turnover at the top. That said, a couple of players have continued along their paths toward postseason hardware, only to be overtaken by players that managed to somehow find yet another gear, launching them into the stratosphere and making us genuinely question what their ceilings might actually be (looking at you, Mike Trout).

Ladies and gentlemen, your Clubhouse Leaders.

Published in Sports
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