Next two weeks are awards season

The parade of awards starts up this week, including tonight with the MLB Players Choice Awards, shown in an 8pm 6pm special on MLB Network. Justin Verlander, last year’s Player of the Year, isn’t even a finalist for Pitcher of the Year this time, losing out to David Price, Chris Sale and Jered Weaver. However, Miguel Cabrera is an outstanding favorite to give the Tigers their second straight Player of the Year winner.

Voting was conducted among Major League players in the final week or two of the season. The Sporting News bases its awards off player voting, and Cabrera won Player of the Year in that group last week.

After that, the next honors come Thursday with the Silver Slugger awards. Cabrera will obviously be a favorite at third. Prince Fielder, who won an NL Silver Slugger at first base last year, could take the AL version home. Austin Jackson’s chances in center field could be interesting, but Adam Jones and Mike Trout would seem to have an edge there.

The heart of the awards season comes next week, when the Baseball Writers Association of America chimes in with its annual honors — Rookie of the Year on Monday, Manager of the Year on Tuesday, Cy Young on Wednesday, MVP on Thursday. Those, too, will be shown on MLB Network starting at 6pm.

The Tigers don’t have a serious rookie candidate (not that anybody does in comparison to Mike Trout), and while Jim Leyland might get a Manager of the Year vote or two, he isn’t going to beat out Bob Melvin, Robin Ventura and Buck Showalter. But Wednesday and Thursday will obviously be interesting.

For all the debate over how Verlander’s season compared to his MVP campaign last year, there’s still serious reason to believe it was good enough to win him a second straight Cy Young award and make him just the 17th two-time winner in the award’s history.

As for the Cabrera/Trout MVP debate, it has another week and a half to go before wrapping up next Thursday.

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