Believe it or not, the Cubs' Ryne Sandberg isn't my choice for National League MVP (even though I'm rooting for Chicago to win the Series). Here are my choices for baseball's top awards:
National League MVP: Keith Hernandez, Mets. Sandberg had better stats, but Hernandez, who hit .311 with 94 RBIs and the league's third-best on-base percentage (.409), also had outstanding numbers. Furthermore, his defense at first base was brilliant, and he was the heart and soul of the surprising Mets.
National League Cy Young: Rick Sutcliffe, Cubs. If I could have any pitcher in baseball to start the seventh game of the World Series, I'd pick Sutcliffe.
National League Manager of the Year: Davey Johnson, Mets. His biggest accomplishment was convincing the Mets, who had finished fifth or sixth every year since 1977, that they could contend. Try it sometime and see how tough it is. Jim Frey did a fine job with the Cubs, but he was dealing with veterans who had learned about winning in other towns.
American League MVP: Dan Quisenberry, Royals. Minnesota's Kent Hrbek was the only non-pitcher considered. Eddie Murray had the best year of his career, but the Orioles finished 19 games out. Quiz won six games and saved 44; he was involved in 59% of his team's wins.
American League Cy Young: Willie Hernandez, Tigers. He had 33 save opportunities and he cashed in 32 of them, and the only one he missed came last Friday. Hernandez finishes second to Quiz in this one-man MVP vote because the Tigers would have been in the hunt in the American League East without him.
American League Manager of the Year: Dick Howser, Royals. He survived key injuries—for example, in mid-August his first- and second-string shortstops went on the DL within three days—and the suspension of Willie Wilson. Howser never let K.C. panic or quit.
He Kept Both Sides In The Game:
Juan Samuel, the Phillies' second baseman, set a major league rookie record with 72 steals. He also had 15 homers, 35 doubles, 19 triples, 69 RBIs and 105 runs.
On the other hand, he set a major league rookie record with 168 strikeouts, he walked only 28 times, and he led major league second basemen with 33 errors. He was the biggest reason why the Phillies turned only 110 double plays this season, last in the National League.