Man of the Year finalists named
Hunter, Inge, Jones, Posada, Pujols and Tulowitzki gets nods
Thousands of fans taking part in online balloting selected Torii Hunter, Brandon Inge, Chipper Jones, Jorge Posada, Albert Pujols and Troy Tulowitzki as the finalists from their respective divisions for the 2010 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award.
The Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, named for the legendary baseball union leader, goes to the player who most inspires others to higher levels of achievement through their on-field performances and contributions to their communities.
The six finalists, selected in voting that took place Sept. 8-12, now go on the ballot on which players will select the Marvin Miller Man of the Year as well as the 2010 Players Choice Award winner in other categories in voting on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
The Players Choice Awards also honor the outstanding player, rookie, pitcher and comeback player in each league, as well as the overall Player of the Year. Winners in all categories designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Since 1992, the Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-field and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing $3 million to charities around the world.
Curtis Granderson, then with the Tigers, was the recipient of the 2009 Man of the Year Award. Past winners of the award, also include this year's finalists, Torii Hunter and Albert Pujols, as well as Michael Young, Mike Sweeney, Jim Thome, John Smoltz, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Eric Davis and Paul Molitor.
Pelfrey, Wright pay their respects: Mike Pelfrey joined teammate David Wright and Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon at the Ladder Company 10/Engine Company 10 firehouse on Liberty Street, adjacent to Ground Zero, on Friday on the eve of the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
"At the time, I don't think you really understand the full magnitude of what happened," Pelfrey, who was a student at Heights High School in Wichita, Kan., on the day of the attacks, told the New York Daily News. "You see it on TV -- it's pretty crazy. Now we're right across the street. These are the real heroes, the people that made everything happen."
Stanton takes homers lead among rookies: With two home runs on Sunday, Mike Stanton became the Major League leader in homers among rookies this season. The Marlins outfielder has 20 homers in 291 at-bats.
"It's mind boggling to see what he can do at the age of 20," teammate Dan Uggla told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel."This kid is going to be a 40-50-home-run-a-year type guy. We've all seen what kind of damage he can do when he gets hot like this."
Stanton hit 21 homers in the Minors this season before getting promoted, giving him 41 blasts in 2010.
Ervin Santana putting up wins: Ervin Santana, sitting at 16-9 with a 4.00 ERA, is quietly having an outstanding season. How quiet? Teammate Torii Hunter was caught off guard when he found out Santana's win total this year.
"He's got 16 wins?" Hunter asked the Los Angeles Times. "How many starts does he have left, three? He could end up with 19 wins? Are you kidding me? Honestly, that's impressive."
Cramer to make long-awaited debut: The A's promoted 30-year-old left-hander Bobby Cramer from Triple-A and planned to start him in Monday's game in Kansas City.
It was to be the first Major League appearance for Cramer, who began his professional career in 2003 and was out of organized ball altogether in 2005 and 2006. He spent most of this season pitching in Mexico.
"It's been a long time coming for me," Cramer told the Oakland Tribune of his upcoming Major League debut.
Colvin not heading to first base quite yet: Tyler Colvin hasn't played first base since he was a sophomore at Clemson, but he's taking some groundballs there just in case he's needed.
"Things are going well," manager Mike Quade told MLB.com, "and I'm not interested in pulling the trigger on that. I'd like him to keep working there. I teased him yesterday and said, 'You never know, pal. Be ready.' We don't have the need that I thought we might when Derrek [Lee] left."
Butler sets team record with single: Billy Butler singled in the eighth inning on Saturday, and in doing so broke Willie Wilson's team record for most consecutive series with at least one hit. Butler has now hit in 97 straight series for the Royals.
"Hopefully I can continue to do it," Butler told MLB.com. "I think the only real thing to take out of it is consistency. I try to be as consistent as possible."
Franklin brings knuckleball out of mothballs: Ryan Franklin has added another pitch to his arsenal -- a knuckle ball. Well, kind of new, that is.
"I've been throwing that thing my whole life," Franklin, who threw the pitch about six or seven times out of 37 pitches on Saturday, told MLB.com. "It was like my second pitch from [when I was in] pee-wee -- forever. My dad always said, 'Hey, how come you never throw that knuckleball?' but I never threw it probably until my third year in Seattle. And then I threw it one time."
Moss got an early look at Chapman's heat: Brandon Moss doesn't have many fond memories of facing Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman and his 103-mph fastball earlier this season at the Triple-A level.
"The first time I faced him, he threw 98 mph -- and the ball went behind me," Moss told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, grinning. "After that, I was done for that at-bat. I struck out. Next at-bat against him, I struck out. The one after that, I struck out."
He did get to face him one last time, though.
"The last time I faced him, I hit a grounder to second base," said Moss. "It was a moral victory."
Uehara sticks to same routine as closer: Firmly in place as the closer in Baltimore, Koji Uehara says his day-to-day way of doing things has not changed from when he wasn't working the back end of games.
"I'm making sure that I'm prepared every day, and I'm doing pretty much the same routine," Uehara told the Baltimore Sun. "Whenever they want me to be out there, I'll go."
Pence sizes up pitchers to collect stolen bases: Hunter Pence needs only two more stolen bases to become the ninth player in Houston franchise history to reach 20 steals and 20 home runs in one season. The last player to reach the milestone for the Astros was Carlos Beltran in 2004.
"I have to be smart," Pence told MLB.com. "I'm right on the cusp of being just fast enough. I know the times the pitcher has to be [to the plate] for me to get a bag, and they understand if they pick and get the ball home quick enough, I'm not going to be able to steal on you. That's the bottom line."
Drabek to follow father's footsteps with start: Kyle Drabek, the son of former All-Star pitcher Doug Drabek, is expected to make his Major League debut for the Blue Jays on Wednesday in Baltimore.
"I phoned about 10:30 a.m. my time," New Hampshire manager Luis Rivera told the Toronto Sun. "So 9:30 Houston time, I woke him up. He didn't say a whole lot, but I know he was happy."
Drabek, who had been pitching for Double-A New Hampshire, was among the prospects Toronto received from Philadelphia in the preseason Roy Halladay trade.
Andrus hits the 30-steal mark again: With a steal of second base in the sixth inning of Saturday's game against the Yankees, Elvis Andrus became the first Rangers player to steal 30 bases in consecutive seasons since Tom Goodwin in 1998-99.
"I'm still learning a lot," Andrus told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I could be better this year with my stolen bases. Now I'm starting to understand a little bit that I don't have to steal every time I get on base. That's something that [coach] Gary Pettis has been talking to me about the whole season."
McLouth's adjustments are paying off: Nate McLouth's trip to the Minors in late July proved to be beneficial. McLouth made adjustments to his swing in Triple-A and has been hot since being recalled.
"He made a nice adjustment when he came down," Gwinnett hitting coach Jamie Dismuke told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "His stride was a little long and he shortened up, stayed back on his backside, and he's driving the ball much better."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.