Last week, in a post about Felix Hernandez not being nominated by his MLB brethren for the Players Choice Award as outstanding American League pitcher, I typed the following paragraph, which I should have known would come back to bite me:
There’s only one award I”ll go out on a limb and say is 100 percent certain: Aaron Boone for NL Comeback Player of the Year. Boone underwent open heart surgery in March and was back on the Astros in September for 10 games. He went 0-for-13, but so what? Just the fact he made it back from open-heart surgery should make him a shoo-in.
Well, the comeback awards were announced today, and the NL Award went to…drumroll, please…Chris Carpenter. I guess I should have said 99 percent certain. Carpenter, limited to just four starts the previous two years because of arm injuries, ended up as a strong Cy Young candidate for the Cardinals, so I guess he’s a worthy recipient. I obviously over-estimated the impact of heart surgery, but I suppose commenter Maseman99 was correct when he wrote:
No offense to Aaron Boone but I personally feel you should have to DO something in order to win the comeback player of the year. Anyone can go 0-13 and that might very well argue that you should NOT have come back so soon.
If Nolan Ryan came back now and went 0-10 with a 19.86 ERA would he get the award?
Just a thought.
Next time I have a thought, I’ll just keep it to myself.
(By the way, the AL Comeback Player of the Year was Toronto’s Aaron Hill, beating out Seattle’s Russell Branyan (who didn’t really come back from anything) and Scott Podsednik. And the top rookies, announced Monday, were J.A. Happ of the Phillies in the National League (over Florida’s Chris Coghlan, who would have been my choice, and Tommy Hanson of the Braves, who will probably have the best career of the three), and Chicago’s Gordon Beckham in the American League (over Elvis Andrus and Jeff Niemann). My choice? Andrew Bailey of the A’s.
The top pitchers will be revealed Wednesday.