Thursday, November 15, 2018

IBWAA SELECTS DEGROM, SNELL IN CY VOTE

IBWAA SELECTS DEGROM, SNELL IN CY VOTE
 
Los Angeles – The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) announced the winners in its Cy Young category Wednesday, with the Tampa Bay Rays’ Blake Snell winning the group’s American League prize, and Jacob deGrom, of the New York Mets, being selected in the National League vote.
 
This is the tenth annual election for the IBWAA in the Cy category.
 
Election results are as follows:
 
AL Cy Young:
 
1st Place:                  Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays – 731 points
2nd Place:                 
Justin Verlander, Houston Astros – 462
3rd Place:                  
Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox – 336
4th Place:                 Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians – 298
5th Place:                 Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros – 150
 
NL Cy Young:
 
1st Place:                  Jacob deGrom, New York Mets – 828 points
2nd Place:                 
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals – 564 
3rd Place
:                  Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies – 389
4th Place:                 Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rockies – 155
5th Place:                 Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks – 92
 
Ballot tabulations by Brian Wittig & Associates, using the Borda Method.
 
The IBWAA was established July 4, 2009 to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as a digital alternative to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). Voting for full season awards takes place in September of each year, with selections being announced in November. The IBWAA also holds a Hall of Fame election in December of each year, with results being announced the following January.
 
Among others, IBWAA members include Jim Bowden, Pedro Moura, Ken Rosenthal and Eno Sarris, The Athletic; Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports; Craig Calcaterra, NBC Sports Hardball Talk; Bill Chuck, Billy-Ball.com; Chris De Luca, Chicago Sun-Times; Jon Heyman, Fancred; Tyler Kepner, New York Times; Danny Knobler, Bleacher Report; Kevin Kennedy; Kostya Kennedy, Sports Illustrated; Brian Kenny, MLBN; Will Leitch, New York Magazine; Bruce Markusen, Hardball Times; Ross Newhan; Dayn Perry and Matt Snyder, CBSSports.com; Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Times; J.P. Hoornstra Los Angeles Daily News; Tracy Ringolsby, MLB.com; David Schoenfield, ESPN.com; and Bill Arnold.
 
Association membership is open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a $75 lifetime fee. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available. Members must be 18 years of age to apply.

For more information please visit 
www.ibwaa.com.

Contact:
 
Howard Cole
Founding Director, IBWAA
baseballsavvy@aol.com

IBWAA SELECTS BETTS, YELICH IN MVP VOTE

IBWAA SELECTS BETTS, YELICH IN MVP VOTE
 
Los Angeles – The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) announced the winners in its Most Valuable Player category Thursday, with the Boston Red Sox’ Mookie Betts winning the group’s American League award, and Christian Yelich, of the Milwaukee Brewers, being selected in the National League.
 
This is the tenth annual election for the IBWAA in the manager category.
 
Election results are as follows:
 
AL MVP
 
1st Place:                  Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox – 1647 points
2nd Place:                 
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 1142
3rd Place
:                 
 Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians – 840
4th Place:                 JD Martinez, Boston Red Sox – 786
5th Place:                  Alex Bregman, Houston Astros – 719
6th Place:                  Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians – 637
7th Place:                  Matt Chapman, Oakland Athletics – 498 
8th Place:                  Kris Davis, Oakland Athletics – 214
9th Place:                 Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays – 146
10th Place:                Jose Altuve, Houston Astros – 119
 
NL MVP
 
1st Place:                  Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers – 1529 points
2nd Place:                 
Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs – 949 
3rd Place
:                  Jacob deGrom, New York Mets – 746
4th Place:                  Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves – 664
5th Place:                  Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies – 602
6th Place:                  Lorenzo Cain, Milwaukee Brewers – 549
7th Place:                  Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals – 436
8th Place:                  Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks – 426
9th Place:                  Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies – 285
10th Place:                Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals – 284
 
Ballot tabulations by Brian Wittig & Associates, using the Borda Method.
 
The IBWAA was established July 4, 2009 to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as a digital alternative to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). Voting for full season awards takes place in September of each year, with selections being announced in November. The IBWAA also holds a Hall of Fame election in December of each year, with results being announced the following January.
 
Among others, IBWAA members include Jim Bowden, Pedro Moura, Ken Rosenthal and Eno Sarris, The Athletic; Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports; Craig Calcaterra, NBC Sports Hardball Talk; Bill Chuck, Billy-Ball.com; Chris De Luca, Chicago Sun-Times; Jon Heyman, Fancred; Tyler Kepner, New York Times; Danny Knobler, Bleacher Report; Kevin Kennedy; Kostya Kennedy, Sports Illustrated; Brian Kenny, MLBN; Will Leitch, New York Magazine; Bruce Markusen, Hardball Times; Ross Newhan; Dayn Perry and Matt Snyder, CBSSports.com; Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Times; J.P. Hoornstra Los Angeles Daily News; Tracy Ringolsby, MLB.com; David Schoenfield, ESPN.com; and Bill Arnold.
 
Association membership is open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a $75 lifetime fee. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available. Members must be 18 years of age to apply.

For more information please visit 
www.ibwaa.com.

Contact:
 
Howard Cole
Founding Director, IBWAA
baseballsavvy@aol.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

IBWAA SELECTS MELVIN, SNITKER IN MANAGER OF THE YEAR VOTE

IBWAA SELECTS MELVIN, SNITKER IN MANAGER OF THE YEAR VOTE
 
Los Angeles – The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) announced the winners in its manager category Tuesday, with the Oakland Athletics’ Bob Melvin winning the 2018 IBWAA American League Manager of the Year award, and Brian Snitker, of the Atlanta Braves, being selected as the 2018 IBWAA National League Manager of the Year winner.
 
This is the tenth annual election for the IBWAA in the manager category.
 
Election results are as follows:
 
AL Manager:
 
1st Place:                  Bob Melvin, Oakland Athletics – 479 points
2nd Place:                 
Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays – 297
3rd Place:                  
Alex Cora, Boston Red Sox – 285
 
NL Manager:
 
1st Place:                  Brian Snitker Atlanta Braves – 502 points
2nd Place:                 
Craig Counsell, Milwaukee Brewers – 311
3rd Place
:                  Bud Black, Colorado Rockies – 153
 
Ballot tabulations by Brian Wittig & Associates, using the Borda Method.
 
The IBWAA was established July 4, 2009 to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as a digital alternative to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). Voting for full season awards takes place in September of each year, with selections being announced in November. The IBWAA also holds a Hall of Fame election in December of each year, with results being announced the following January.
 
Among others, IBWAA members include Jim Bowden, Pedro Moura, Ken Rosenthal and Eno Sarris, The Athletic; Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports; Craig Calcaterra, NBC Sports Hardball Talk; Bill Chuck, Billy-Ball.com; Chris De Luca, Chicago Sun-Times; Jon Heyman, Fancred; Tyler Kepner, New York Times; Danny Knobler, Bleacher Report; Kevin Kennedy; Kostya Kennedy, Sports Illustrated; Brian Kenny, MLBN; Will Leitch, New York Magazine; Bruce Markusen, Hardball Times; Ross Newhan; Dayn Perry and Matt Snyder, CBSSports.com; Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Times; J.P. Hoornstra Los Angeles Daily News; Tracy Ringolsby, MLB.com; David Schoenfield, ESPN.com; and Bill Arnold.
 
Association membership is open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a $75 lifetime fee. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available. Members must be 18 years of age to apply.

For more information please visit 
www.ibwaa.com.

Contact:
 
Howard Cole
Founding Director, IBWAA
baseballsavvy@aol.com

Shoeless Joe Remains a Scapegoat


Shoeless Joe Remains a Scapegoat




With the recent announcement of a new class of inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the skeletons in the closet come front and center once again.
      Pete Rose and  and "Shoeless Joe" are becoming baseball's odd couple - both ineligible for the Hall of Fame because of a lifetime ban, two of just 15 ever issued by the commissioner of baseball. No person ever permanently banned has ever been reinstated.
       Most sports fans know a lot about Pete Rose: however, their knowledge about Jackson is sketchy, sometimes inaccurate. So for the record - the facts. 
        Joseph Jefferson Wofford Jackson was born to a poor family on July 16, 1889 in Greenville, South Carolina. School was never a part of his life for at the age of six he was already working in the cotton mills as a cleanup boy.
          By the time he was 13 he was laboring a dozen hours a day along with his father and brother. His sole escape from the back-breaking work, the din and dust of the mill, took place out in the grassy fields playing baseball. He was a natural right from the start, good enough to be noticed and recruited to play for the mill team organized by the company. 


         One hot summer day Jackson played the outfield wearing a new pair of shoes. They pinched his feet, so he took them off and played in his stocking feet. A sportswriter who saw what he did dubbed him "Shoeless Joe." The name stuck even though that was the only time Jackson is reported to have played 'shoeless.'
          He despised the name for he felt it reinforced his country-bumpkin origins, the fact that he could not read nor write.
         Perhaps that was why when he played for the Chicago White Sox after stints with the Philadelphia Athletics and Cleveland Indians, he wore alligator and patent leather shoes - the more expensive the better. It was if he was announcing to the world: "I am not a Shoeless Joe. I do wear shoes. And they cost a lot of money!"
          He was the greatest ball player ever from South Carolina, one of the top players of all time. His lifetime batting average was .356, topped only by Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby.
    Four times he batted over .370. Babe Ruth copied his swing claiming Jackson was the greatest hitter he ever saw. Ruth, Cobb, and Casey Stengel all placed him on their all-time, all star team. He was such a remarkable fielder that his glove was called "the place where triples go to die."
      In the National Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown one can find Jackson's shoes. His life size photograph is there. But he is not there even though others with far less credentials and far more soiled reputations are. Shoeless Joe had to leave the game in disgrace, one of the members of the "Black Sox" accused of throwing the 1919 World Series. 

        He was asked under oath at trial:
        "Did you do anything to throw those games?"
        "No sir," was his response.
         “Any game in the series?"
          "Not a one," Jackson answered. "I didn't have an error or make no misplay."
           In fact, Shoeless Joe was under-stating his accomplishments which included the only series home run, the highest batting average, the collecting of a record dozen hits, while committing no errors.
       It took the jury a single ballot to acquit all eight accused players of the charges against them. But the very next day baseball's first commissioner - Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis - issued a verdict of his own. He banned all eight players from baseball for life.
     Landis was brought into organized baseball in the fall of 1920 with a lifetime contract and a mandate to clean up the game using whatever methods he saw fit. He had the reputation of being a vindictive judge, a hanging judge - and he was all of that.
      Every baseball commissioner since Landis has refused to act on Shoeless Joe's behalf. 

     Commissioner Faye Vincent said: "I can't uncipher or decipher what took place back then. I have no intention of taking formal action."
     Commissioner Bart Giammatti said: "I do not wish to play God with history. The Jackson case is best left to historical debate and analysis. I am not for re-instatement."
    All Commissioners have kept to the “company line.”

    Public pressure keeps increasing year by year. But the ban still remains. It is a story that won't go away, like a riddle inside a jigsaw puzzle inside an enigma. It is a story about a great baseball injustice - - - a talented player caught at a crossroad in American history who became a victim, a scapegoat so that the sport of baseball could offer up a cleaner image.

About

Harvey

Frommer

One of the most prolific and respected sports journalists and oral historians in the United States, author of the autobiographies of legends Nolan Ryan, Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman, Dr. Harvey Frommer is an expert on “Shoeless Joe” having written the best-selling and definitive book on him from which some of the material for this article was taken.
A professor for more than two decades in the MALS program at Dartmouth College, Frommer was dubbed “Dartmouth’s Mr. Baseball” by their alumni magazine. He’s also the founder of www.HarveyFrommerSports.com. Mint, signed, discounted Frommer books including (Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball) are available from the site.

BOOKENDS: The Story of Baseball in 100 Photographs (Time Inc. Books, $30.00, 224 pages) is an overreaching effort as  its title proclaims. It is impossible to tell the story of the national pastime in 100 pictures and a bit more than 200 pages. Many of the images are moving, even iconic, even though many are familiar.The usual subjects are here from Mickey Mantle on the front cover to Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, Bryce Harper, etc. If you are into baseball photo books this might be the one for you.  



Monday, November 12, 2018

IBWAA SELECTS OHTANI, ACUNA IN ROOKIE OF THE YEAR VOTE

IBWAA SELECTS OHTANI, ACUNA IN ROOKIE OF THE YEAR VOTE
 
Los Angeles – The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) announced the winners in its rookie category Monday, with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s  Shohie Ohtani winning the 2018 IBWAA American League Rookie of the Year award, and Ronald Acuna Jr., of the Atlanta Braves, being selected as the 2018 IBWAA National League Rookie of the Year winner.
 
This is the tenth annual election for the IBWAA in the rookie category.
 
Election results are as follows:
 
AL Rookie:
 
1st Place:                  Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 451 points
2nd Place:                 
Miguel Andujar, New York Yankees – 375
3rd Place:                  
Gleyber TorresNew York Yankees – 176
 
NL Rookie:
 
1st Place:                  Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves – 570 points
2nd Place:                 
Juan Soto, Washington Nationals – 378
3rd Place
:                  Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers – 77
 
Ballot tabulations by Brian Wittig & Associates, using the Borda Method.
 
The IBWAA was established July 4, 2009 to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as a digital alternative to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). Voting for full season awards takes place in September of each year, with selections being announced in November. The IBWAA also holds a Hall of Fame election in December of each year, with results being announced the following January.
 
Among others, IBWAA members include Jim Bowden, Pedro Moura, Ken Rosenthal and Eno Sarris, The Athletic; Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports; Craig Calcaterra, NBC Sports Hardball Talk; Bill Chuck, Billy-Ball.com; Chris De Luca, Chicago Sun-Times; Jon Heyman, Fancred; Tyler Kepner, New York Times; Danny Knobler, Bleacher Report; Kevin Kennedy; Kostya Kennedy, Sports Illustrated; Brian Kenny, MLBN; Will Leitch, New York Magazine; Bruce Markusen, Hardball Times; Ross Newhan; Dayn Perry and Matt Snyder, CBSSports.com; Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Times; J.P. Hoornstra Los Angeles Daily News; Tracy Ringolsby, MLB.com; David Schoenfield, ESPN.com; and Bill Arnold.
 
Association membership is open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a $75 lifetime fee. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available. Members must be 18 years of age to apply.

For more information please visit 
www.ibwaa.com.

Contact:
 
Howard Cole
Founding Director, IBWAA
baseballsavvy@aol.com

Babe Ruth Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom Award

Babe Ruth Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom Award


My name is  Linda Ruth Tosetti, and II am granddaughter of Babe Ruth, newly named Presidential Medal Of Freedom recipient.  I want everyone to know  for 37 years I and I wrote letters seeking the honor, as I got to the idea from my mother, Dorothy Ruth Pirone, his blood daughter.   My mother one morning said "Call the White House, I think your grandfather deserves the Medal of Freedom."  As always a dutiful daughter,  I did just that and got an address.  I looked for Senators and Congressmen that might  help us achieve the goal.  We wrote hundreds of letters from President Reagan and all the way to now.   Always getting form letters back from the White House that he was being considered.  On one it said file is full!   A friend of mine, his very young son years ago said if he got to the White House he would help to get medal for Babe.  Well the small boy grew up and works in the Washington D.C.!  He helped the cause a lot. 

I promised my mom on her deathbed in 1989 that I wouldn't give up.  I am so grateful  To  President Trump,  I am speechless. Thank you does not sound like enough.  You helped me fulfill a BIG promise to my mother.   My husband Andrew, who supported me all the way.  To all supporters that have helped me along the way, thank you. 

My grandfather quoted the following;  “You can not beat a man who never gives up."  It fits here.  I will tell you this I believe, my mom's laughing in heaven and saying "we did it" and that a proud and humble Babe would say, "Thanks Prez”

IBWAA SELECTS HADER, DIAZ IN RELIEF PITCHER AWARDS VOTE

IBWAA SELECTS HADER, DIAZ IN RELIEF PITCHER AWARDS VOTE
 
Los Angeles – The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) announced the winners in its relief pitcher category Sunday, with the Milwaukee Brewers’ Josh Hader winning the 2018 IBWAA Hoyt Wilhelm National League Relief Pitcher of the Year Award and Edwin Diaz, of the Seattle Mariners, being selected as the 2018 IBWAA Rollie Fingers American League Relief Pitcher of the Year.
 
The relief pitcher awards were established in 2010. Election results are as follows:
 
NL Reief Pitcher:
 
1st Place:                  Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers – 326 points
2nd Place:                 Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers 
s – 162
3rd Place:                  
Jeremy Jeffress, Milwaukee Brewers – 148
 
AL Relief Pitcher:
 
1st Place:                  Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners – 465 points
2nd Place:                 
Blake Treinen, Oakland Athletics – 458 
3rd Place
:                  Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox – 128
 
Ballot tabulations by Brian Wittig & Associates, using the Borda Method.
 
The IBWAA was established July 4, 2009 to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as a digital alternative to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). Voting for full season awards takes place in September of each year, with selections being announced in November. The IBWAA also holds a Hall of Fame election in December of each year, with results being announced the following January.
 
Among others, IBWAA members include Jim Bowden, Pedro Moura, Ken Rosenthal and Eno Sarris, The Athletic; Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports; Craig Calcaterra, NBC Sports Hardball Talk; Bill Chuck, Billy-Ball.com; Chris De Luca, Chicago Sun-Times; Jon Heyman, Fancred; Tyler Kepner, New York Times; Danny Knobler, Bleacher Report; Kevin Kennedy; Kostya Kennedy, Sports Illustrated; Brian Kenny, MLBN; Will Leitch, New York Magazine; Bruce Markusen, Hardball Times; Ross Newhan; Dayn Perry and Matt Snyder, CBSSports.com; Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Times; J.P. Hoornstra Los Angeles Daily News; Tracy Ringolsby, MLB.com; David Schoenfield, ESPN.com; and Bill Arnold.
 
Association membership is open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a $75 lifetime fee. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available. Members must be 18 years of age to apply.

For more information please visit 
www.ibwaa.com.

Contact:
 
Howard Cole
Founding Director, IBWAA
baseballsavvy@aol.com

Monday, November 5, 2018

PRESS RELEASE - THE STORY OF BASEBALL: IN 100 PHOTOGRAPHS

TY COBB ON THE BASE PATHS. CROSLEY FIELD UNDER THE LIGHTS. ROBERTO CLEMENTE IN PORTRAIT.
HAMMERIN’ HANK’S MOMENT. A HOT DOG CART AT EBBETS. BRYCE HARPER’S DEEP INTENSITY.
 
THESE ARE THE IMAGES THAT CELEBRATE OUR NATIONAL PASTIME
THIS IS
THE STORY OF BASEBALL:
IN 100 PHOTOGRAPHS
 
 
Just in time for the holidays and as professional baseball nears its 150th anniversary, Sports Illustrated presents a collection of the most compelling and revealing images from baseball’s past and present. THE STORY OF BASEBALL: In 100 Photographs, Introduction by Kostya Kennedy (Time Inc. Books, November 6, 2018) is an extraordinary collection of images and descriptions that will be pored over, celebrated and treasured. Immortal players and important moments captured in time…for all time.
 
An emotional Lou Gehrig pauses at the mike searching for words during his “luckiest man” ceremony in 1939; a slender and powerful Ted Williams turns on a pitch; Hank Greenberg takes his stance less than two months after Pearl Harbor with the Army Air Corps; Roger Maris, with his cleats up and a cigarette in hand, deals with the strain of chasing Babe Ruth’s ghost in the locker room in 1961; Stan Musial at his locker before his final game. 
 
Some of the photos in THE STORY OF BASEBALL: In 100 Photographs are the classic images of the game, historical or momentous, seared into our minds over the decades—Pete Rose’ hurtling into home plate; the group photo of that first Hall of Fame class in 1939; Willie Mays making his over-the-shoulder catch. They exist like old friends clear and familiar. Others are rarer and offer insight into the game. Dwight Eisenhower, ball in-hand, and Fidel Castro in mid-wind-up in similar photos remind us of our commonalities through baseball; the photo of Juan Marichal raising his bat in anger in 1965 reminds us of the game’s intensity, as the photo of the Cardinals’ Gashouse Gang cutting up for the cameras in 1937 reminds us of its eternal playfulness.
 
Rickey. Sandy. Mickey. Willie. Ozzie. Jackie. Reggie. The Griffeys. Readers can even revisit the classic SI tale of Sidd Finch.
 
THE STORY OF BASEBALL: In 100 Photographs also features classic images like:
  • A hot dog stand at Ebbets Field in 1920
  • The Negro Leagues’ Pittsburgh Crawfords on the road in the mid-1930s
  • Joe Medwick knocked out by a pitched ball in 1940
  • A streetball game in post-war New York City
  • The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • The great Satchel Paige in repose at Municipal Stadium in 1948
  • A dejected Ralph Branca after the “Shot Heard Round the World” in 1951
  • A impossibly young Vin Scully honing his craft in the press box in the mid 1960s
  • Tommy John and his iconic elbow
  • Wade Boggs and Don Mattingly hang on Ted Williams’ every word at a lunch in the ‘80s
  • Cal Ripken Jr.’s celebration after becoming baseball’s Iron Man in 1995
  • A shot taken inside Fenway’s Green Monster
  • Michael Jordan attempting to translate his greatness to the diamond
  • An intimate photo of two of the most influential GMs in baseball’s modern era: Theo Epstein and Billy Beane
 
THE STORY OF BASEBALL: In 100 Photographs has been artfully curated and crafted, as every section covers so much ground in adding to the narrative. Whether it’s a shot of the Mariners’ lanky lefty Randy Johnson from below, Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field from above, or the Dodgers’ ace Fernando Valenzuela pitching with his eyes raised toward the skies, the book is a comprehensive masterpiece and a gift to all baseball fans.
 
This is THE STORY OF BASEBALL: In 100 Photographs.
 
 
About Kostya Kennedy
Kostya Kennedy, the book’s editor and introduction writer, is the author of the New York Times best-sellers, 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports and Pete Rose: An American Dilemma. Both books earned the Casey Award as the best baseball book of its respective year. A former Assistant Managing Editor and Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated, Kennedy is now an Editorial Director at Meredith Corporation.
 
At Sports Illustrated Kennedy covered baseball and numerous other sports and ran SI’s special issue division. He has edited several Sports Illustrated books including the 2015 best-seller, Super Bowl Gold: 50 Years of the Big Game. A graduate of Columbia’s School of Journalism, from which he received a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship, he has taught at Columbia and at NYU’s Tisch Institute for Global Sport. His most recent book is 2016’s Lasting Impact.
 
 
 
THE STORY OF BASEBALL: In 100 Photographs
Authors: The Editors at Sports Illustrated
Introduction: Kostya Kennedy
Time Inc. Books / November 13, 2018
Hardcover / 224 Pages / $30.00
ISBN 13 978-1547800018

PRESS RELEASE - THE BEST MLB FIELDERS AT HIS POSITION IN 2018

For Immediate Release: October 29, 2018
For further information on The Fielding Bible Awards or The Bill James Handbook 2019, contact Greg Pierce at 800.397.2282 or gfapierce@aol.com
 
 
 
THE BEST MLB FIELDERS
AT HIS POSITION IN 2018
 
***
 
Presenting the Ten Winners
of the Thirteenth Annual
Fielding Bible Awards
 
 
First-Timers Win Half of the
Fielding Bible Awards for 2018
 
Five newbies joined five repeat winners today in being recognized for their defensive excellence during the 2018 Major League Baseball season. The Fielding Bible Awards, recognized as being tougher to win than a Gold Glove because only one award is given for each position in Major League Baseball, were announced by John Dewan, co-author of The Fielding Bible and long-time collaborator with Bill James in the development of statistical analysis in baseball known as Sabermetrics. “In my opinion, what we have done in the sabermetric community in the last few years is raise fielding to a level of importance on the ballfield equal to hitting and pitching,” says Dewan.
 
Andrelton Simmons of the Angels has more Fielding Bible Awards than the five new faces in this year’s list of the 10 top fielders in 2018. Simmons (SS) garnered his sixth consecutive Fielding Bible Award, while Alex Gordon of the Royals (LF) returned after a three-year hiatus with his fourth Fielding Bible win. Mookie Betts of the Red Sox (RF) and Javier Baez of the Cubs (Multi-Position) each gathered up his third award in a row, and Lorenzo Cain of the Brewers (CF) received his second after having won the Multi-Position award in 2014.
 
But the five first-time winners are the story this year: the corner infield duo of Athletics—Matt Olson (1B) and Matt Chapman (3B)—and the battery of Diamondbacks—Jeff Mathis (C) and Zack Greinke (P)—as well as the slick Kolton Wong of the Cardinals (2B) proved that fielding prowess among elite major league players is highly competitive and can improve from season to season and throughout a career.
 
 
The awards are determined by a panel of 12 baseball experts, who rank the top-10 players at each defensive position (including the multi-position players left out of Gold Glove voting) a on a scale from one to 10—a similar scoring technique to the Major League Baseball MVP voting. A first-place vote gets 10 points, second place gets nine points, third place gets eight points, etc. Total up the points for each player, and the player with the most points wins the award. A perfect score is 120. The judges’ names and votes are published each year, offering the reader complete transparency on the voting. These are published in The Bill James Handbook 2019, which is available (as it is each year) on November 1 and contains the life-time stats of all players who appeared in the majors in 2018.
 
Here are the 10 Fielding Bible Award winners for the 2018 season, with comments by Dewan after each. “In our judges opinion,” explained Dewan, “these were simply the best fielders at their positions last year in major league ball.”
 
 
First Base – Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics
 
“Olson helps his teammates more than he helps himself. He was the best in baseball, scooping 44 difficult throws from his fellow infielders. The next best first baseman had 31 scoops. Olson is not the most athletic first baseman, but he is the most consistent. His range is not as wide as some others, but when it comes to handling balls that are defined as ‘straight-on’ by Baseball Info Solutions, he was the best with nine more plays than an average first baseman. He led all first basemen in baseball saving 14 runs for the A's defensively.”
 
Previous Winners:
2017    Paul Goldschmidt      
2016    Anthony Rizzo
2015    Paul Goldschmidt      
2014    Adrian Gonzalez        
2013    Paul Goldschmidt      
2012    Mark Teixeira             
2011    Albert Pujols
2010    Daric Barton
2009    Albert Pujols
2008    Albert Pujols
2007    Albert Pujols
2006    Albert Pujols
 
 
Second Base – Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals
 
“The little man got his revenge in 2018. After 6'4" DJ LeMahieu beat out runner-up 5'6" Jose Altuve in 2017, the 5'9" Wong edged LeMahieu in the second-closest vote of the 2018 Fielding Bible Awards. Only five points separated the two in the voting, with Wong getting 111 points to 106 for LeMahieu. Wong had 19 Defensive Runs Saved in 2018, the most among second basemen. He excels going to his left handling batted balls in the hole between first and second, as good or better than anyone in baseball. On top of that, he did very well going the other way with an 89% success rate on plays he attempted to backhand in 2018.”
 
Previous Winners:
2017    DJ LeMahieu              
2016    Dustin Pedroia           
2015    Ian Kinsler                  
2014    Dustin Pedroia           
2013    Dustin Pedroia           
2012    Darwin Barney
2011    Dustin Pedroia
2010    Chase Utley
2009    Aaron Hill
2008    Brandon Phillips
2007    Aaron Hill
2006    Orlando Hudson
 
 
Third Base – Matt Chapman, Oakland Athletics
 
“While he was helped on occasion by the scoops of fellow Fielding Bible Award winner Matt Olson, Chapman saved the most runs defensively in all of baseball at any position in 2018 (29 Defensive Runs Saved). His arm is a cannon. He was clocked throwing 98 as a pitching prospect and the speed is still there. It allows him to make plays down the line that no one else can. No third baseman was better on balls hit to his right. Chapman throws his body all over the field to make plays. He had 36 plays where he dove, slid or jumped to make the play. Yolmer Sanchez was a not-close second among third basemen with 25.”
 
Previous Winners:
2017    Nolan Arenado           
2016    Nolan Arenado           
2015    Nolan Arenado           
2014    Josh Donaldson          
2013    Manny Machado        
2012    Adrian Beltre             
2011    Adrian Beltre
2010    Evan Longoria
2009    Ryan Zimmerman
2008    Adrian Beltre
2007    Pedro Feliz
2006    Adrian Beltre
 
 
Shortstop – Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels
 
“Six straight Fielding Bible Awards says it all for Mr. Defense. That's the most consecutive awards in the history of the awards; no one else has won more than four in a row. Simmons tied Nick Ahmed for the lead among shortstops with 21 Defensive Runs Saved. Simmons posted positive range numbers on balls hit to his left, right, and straight-on, doing so in all three in the same season for the second time in his career: +8 plays (compared to the average shortstop) on balls in the hole, +12 on balls to his left, and +5 on balls hit straight on.”
 
Previous Winners:
2017    Andrelton Simmons  
2016    Andrelton Simmons  
2015    Andrelton Simmons  
2014    Andrelton Simmons  
2013    Andrelton Simmons  
2012    Brendan Ryan
2011    Troy Tulowitzki
2010    Troy Tulowitzki
2009    Jack Wilson
2008    Jimmy Rollins
2007    Troy Tulowitzki
2006    Adam Everett
 
 
Left Field – Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
 
“Like Brett Gardner last year, Gordon had some time off from being recognized as the best left-field defender in baseball. He won three straight Fielding Bible Awards between 2012 and 2014, and now wins his fourth overall in 2018. As a former third baseman, he's always had a strong arm for a left fielder. He showed it again this year saving six runs defensively with his arm among his MLB-leading 16 left-field DRS overall. He had seven outfield Kills (direct throws to a base to nab a runner). He averaged three Good Fielding Plays per 100 innings; no other regular left fielder averaged even two.”
 
Previous Winners:
2017    Brett Gardner             
2016    Starling Marte            
2015    Starling Marte            
2014    Alex Gordon               
2013    Alex Gordon               
2012    Alex Gordon               
2011    Brett Gardner
2010    Brett Gardner
2009    Carl Crawford
2008    Carl Crawford
2007    Eric Byrnes
2006    Carl Crawford
 
 
Center Field – Lorenzo Cain, Milwaukee Brewers
 
“If you want great outfield defense Cain is your man. He has always been a great defender, whether it's been in center field or in right field where he dominated defensively for the Royals for so many years. Cain's versatility was rewarded with a Multi-Position Fielding Bible Award in 2014. After playing center field exclusively for the last two years, Cain receives this Fielding Bible Award for center field in 2018. His game is going back and getting it—he was +13 on balls hit over his head in 2018. He led all center fielders with 20 Defensive Runs Saved. After struggling a bit holding and throwing out runners in 2017, he improved from -6 DRS with his arm in 2017 to +5 in 2018. No center fielder has won back-to-back Fielding Bible Awards—can Cain be the first in 2019?”
 
Previous Winners:
2017    Byron Buxton             
2016    Kevin Pillar                 
2015    Kevin Kiermaier         
2014    Juan Lagares              
2013    Carlos Gomez            
2012    Mike Trout                 
2011    Austin Jackson
2010    Michael Bourn
2009    Franklin Gutierrez
2008    Carlos Beltran
2007    Andruw Jones
2006    Carlos Beltran
 
 
Right Field – Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
 
“Back-to-back-to-back. And unanimous in both 2017 and 2018. Betts has taken every first-place vote for defense in right field for two years in a row in the Fielding Bible Awards, attaining the perfect score of 120 both years. When it's obvious it's obvious: Betts is the best. He has 83 Defensive Runs Saved over the last three years. Second best in right field is 35. Betts not only has a great arm, amazing speed, and tremendous range, he also gets a great first step on balls hit in any direction.”
 
Previous Winners:
2017    Mookie Betts             
2016    Mookie Betts             
2015    Jason Heyward          
2014    Jason Heyward          
2013    Gerardo Parra            
2012    Jason Heyward          
2011    Justin Upton
2010    Ichiro Suzuki
2009    Ichiro Suzuki
2008    Franklin Gutierrez
2007    Alex Rios
2006    Ichiro Suzuki
 
 
Catcher – Jeff Mathis, Arizona Diamondbacks
 
“Mathis only played just over 500 innings in 2018, but his 17 Defensive Runs Saved led all catchers by a wide margin (12 was second best). The announcer in a recent playoff game said "there should be a stat for that" when the catcher blocked a potential wild pitch to keep the runner for advancing. There is! It's called Catcher Blocks, and Mathis was the best in baseball in 2018 blocking 96.4% of difficult pitches (primarily pitches in the dirt) when one or more runners were on base or in a strikeout situation. Plus he is one of the best getting extra strikes framing pitches (ranking third with 1.6 extra strikes earned per 100 called pitches).”
 
Previous Winners:
2017    Martin Maldonado     
2016    Buster Posey              
2015    Buster Posey              
2014    Jonathan Lucroy         
2013    Yadier Molina
2012    Yadier Molina
2011    Matt Wieters
2010    Yadier Molina
2009    Yadier Molina
2008    Yadier Molina
2007    Yadier Molina
2006    Ivan Rodriguez
 
 
Pitcher – Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks
 
“Greinke has been deserving as an excellent defender for many years and he finally wins his first Fielding Bible Award in 2018. After every pitch Greinke lands in good position to make plays, staying ever alert. He is quick to both sides of the mound, and he can come in to field a short chopper and make a quick throw to first base. He tied for the most DRS among pitchers with seven. He was excellent holding runners, allowing only two stolen bases all year with five caught stealing.”
 
Previous Winners:
2017    Dallas Keuchel
2016    Dallas Keuchel
2015    Dallas Keuchel
2014    Dallas Keuchel
2013    R.A. Dickey                 
2012    Mark Buehrle             
2011    Mark Buehrle
2010    Mark Buehrle
2009    Mark Buehrle
2008    Kenny Rogers
2007    Johan Santana
2006    Greg Maddux
 
 
Multi-Position – Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
 
“When slick fielding shortstop Addison Russell went out with injury, then later a suspension, Javy Baez stepped over from his second base position without missing a beat for the Cubs. His defense is elite at both second base and shortstop. He also moves to third base and first base, whenever needed, with tremendous success. He saved five runs at second base, three at shortstop and two more at third base in 2018. He led all infielders (not counting first baseman) with 46 Good Fielding Plays in 2018. He is excellent turning double plays from both second base and shortstop. His ability to make tags on throws is legendary.”
 
Previous Winners (award began in 2014):
2017    Javier Baez     
2016    Javier Baez     
2015    Ender Inciarte
2014    Lorenzo Cain