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INSIDE PITCH
Henry Hecht
October 14, 1985
If only all the decisions were as easy as the choice of the NL Cy Young Award winner and the AL MVP. But choose we must, so here goes:
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October 14, 1985

Inside Pitch

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BALL PARK FIGURES

In April SI went out on a limb and ranked all 26 teams. We thought the Blue Jays would be the best club, and they finished with the second-best winning percentage. On the other hand, we had the Cardinals, who did wind up with the best record, only 15th. For some reason, the Angels were our choice for third-worst team and the Cubs for third best. Oh well, here are the teams ranked according to final winning percentage, along with our predictions:

RANK

TEAM

PCT.

SI

1

Cardinals

.623

15

2

Blue Jays

.615

1

3

Mets

.605

5

4

Yankees

.602

7

5

Dodgers

.586

14

6

Royals

.562

9

7

Angels

.556

24

8

Reds

.553

18

9

White Sox

.525

12

10

Tigers

.522

2

Expos

.522

21

12

Orioles

.516

6

13

Astros

.512

16

Padres

.512

4

15

Red Sox

.500

8

16

Cubs

.478

3

17

A's

.475

20

Twins

.475

13

19

Phillies

.463

11

20

Mariners

.457

23

21

Brewers

.441

22

22

Braves

.407

10

23

Rangers

.385

26

24

Giants

.383

25

25

Indians

.370

17

26

Pirates

.354

19

If only all the decisions were as easy as the choice of the NL Cy Young Award winner and the AL MVP. But choose we must, so here goes:

AL

MVP—Don Mattingly, Yankees. Besides the obvious—.324, 35 homers, his major league-leading 145 RBIs and 48 doubles—he's the first player in 31 years to drive in 140 runs while striking out fewer than 50 times.

CY YOUNG—Bret Saberhagen, Royals. A tough call over Ron Guidry. But Saberhagen (20-6) had a 2.89 ERA to a 3.27 for Guidry (22-6). And K.C. provided him with far less support (4.7 runs per nine innings) than the Yankees did Guidry (5.9).

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR—Ozzie Guillen, White Sox. The shortstop hit .273, but, more important, he made a mere 12 errors in 150 games, remarkable for a 21-year-old.

MANAGER OF THE YEAR—Gene Mauch, Angels. His team didn't win, but his genius kept them near the top all year.

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR—Darrell Evans, Tigers. He had only 16 homers and 63 RBIs last year and started '85 poorly. But he finished with 40 homers and 94 RBIs to make him the oldest (38) home run champ in AL history, the first player to hit 40 home runs in both leagues, and the first Tiger lefthanded home run king since Ty Cobb (1909).

NL

MVP—Willie McGee, Cardinals. He did it with his bat (.353. 26 doubles, 18 triples, 10 homers, 82 RBIs, 114 runs), his feet (56 steals) and his glove (he should be a cinch for a Gold Glove). Pedro Guerrero was heroic for the Dodgers, but he missed 26 games.

CY YOUNG—Dwight Gooden, Mets. Not only did he go 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA, eight shutouts and a majors-leading 268 strikeouts, but he also could have had nine more wins had the Mets given him more support at the plate and in the pen. What if he gets better?

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