As we get ready for the second half of the MLB season to begin, we want to present our Top Ten Furnace Awards (TTFA) for random accomplisments. And the winners are:
1. N.L. MVP- Andrew McClutchen-Pirates; .362-18 HR-60 RBI-58 Runs-14 SB. Joey Votto-Reds came in a close second; .348 14 HR 50 runs 48 RBI 8SB. Neither team wins without them.
2. A.L. MVP- Mike Trout- .341-12 HR-40 RBI-57 Runs-26 SB. Trout is the 1st Angels player with at least 10 HRs and 25 SB at the All Star break.
3. Most improved player N.L.- R.A. Dickey; 12-1- 2.40 ERA- 0.93 WHIP-123 K’s- 26 BB.
4. Most improved player A.L.- Melky Cabrera-119 hits leads the majors!
5. Most intersting Team Stat- N.Y. Mets have a bonafide MVP and Cy Young award candidate in Wright and Dickey.
6. The dumbest comment made by anyone in baseball- Tony LaRussa- “I chose Matt Cain to start the All Star game because of his excellent career.” I can’t believe he came out of retirement to make this ridiculous statement about a pitcher whose career record is 78-76!
7. Most improved team in MLB- Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates lead the majors in runs scored in June. They start the second half in sole possession of 1st place in the N.L. Central; 11 games over .500 for the first time in 20 years! *Considerable consideration for the N.Y. Mets who were picked to finish 2012 no better than last place in N.L. East, ended the 1st half 6 games over .500 (46-40) ; 1/2 game out of Wild Card race.
8. Most disappointing player in the 1st half- Albert Pujols; .268-14HR-51 RBI-44 Runs-6 SB. Had 2 HR and 5 RBI in final two weeks of 1st half.
9. Most under-achieving team- Philadelphia Phillies. They have lost 10 of their last 11 and start the second half of the season 13 games under .500 (37-50).
10a. Most amazing stat by a player this season- Cubs SP Ryan Dempster has not given up an earned run in 27 innings, dating back to June 5th.
10b.- Most amazing stat by an active player-career – Chipper Jones. He has a career batting average of .304 as a lefty and .304 as a righty. Mr. Consistency!