In between a disappointing playoff appearance and spring training for the A’s, awards such as the Cy Young, MVP, Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers are handed out to deserving recipients (as is the case sometimes). While fans count down the days until the team steps back on a field donning the green and gold, the hopes for their teams’ respective players and coaches to be recognized for their performances are also awaited.
After Josh Reddick, going for his second consecutive, and Yoenis Cespedes weren’t awarded with Gold Gloves, as most had expected, the finalists for Manager of the Year were announced for the National League and American League. In the AL, the 2012 MoY Bob Melvin was again representing the A’s, and while his case of leading a team to 90-plus wins with one of the lowest payrolls in the league is thrown into the forefront, there’s no denying the other finalists (Terry Francona, Cleveland; John Farrell, Boston) are very deserving, if not more deserving in Farrell’s case.
So, what are the A’s left with? After Bartolo Colon wasn’t named as a finalist for Cy Young, fans had to hope that shortstop Jed Lowrie would be recognized for his stellar offensive season in the form of a Silver Slugger. But after the MLB announced on Twitter earlier this afternoon that shortstop J.J. Hardy had won the award for his position, Lowrie was without a Silver Slugger, and A’s fans were without a silver-lining for the competitive, yet unfulfilling, 2013 season.
In my opinion, Lowrie should have been the clear-cut favorite, but perhaps a little east-coast bias led to the decision. Lowrie’s remarkable stats for 2013 were, for the most part, unexpected, but definitely fun to watch. After being sent to Oakland in an offseason trade, Lowrie silenced critics, who renounced him for his lack of consistency and overall capability to stay healthy, while accumulating 15 home runs and 75 runs batted in over the course of 154 games. Prior to 2013, Lowrie hadn’t played in more than 100 games in a season in his entire major league career. Lowrie also boasted a .290/.344/.446 triple-slash according to Baseball Reference. Not too shabby.
So, what were Hardy’s numbers you ask? Why, let me tell you.
Although the AL’s 2013 All Star Hardy easily had the advantage in HRs (25), he only had one more RBI than Lowrie (76) and was clearly behind Lowrie in averages, recording a .263/.306/.433 line over 159 games. So, while I can see Hardy’s home runs jumping out at you, it’s tough to use any other evidence to make a case for the Baltimore Orioles shortstop.
Especially if you delve into some more stats, such as doubles, where Lowrie clearly exceeded Hardy’s 27 with a ridiculous 45. Lowrie also had two triples, while Hardy had none. So overall, Lowrie’s extra-base-hits surpassed Hardy’s 62 to 52.
Clearly, the decision to me was the incorrect one, but what do you think?