Mancuso: “The Babe” Won Over Andujar

“Another factor that works against Andujar is a “NY bias.” Yes, it does exist among out of town voters. There are some who will not back Andujar because he played for the Yankees.”

That my friends was from my colleague Howie Karpin’s column that was published on Karpin speculated that “NY bias” could be a factor if Miguel Andujar should lose out to Shohei Ohtani for AL Rookie of the Year. Whether there was “NY bias” or not, Andujar lost out. One hopes that Jacob deGrom of the Mets does not have a similar outcome Wednesday evening when the NL Cy Young Award winner is announced.

Not likely. Simply put that 1.70 ERA speaks for itself when it comes to Jacob deGrom.

Again this is strictly an opinion but there is the sense of a bias against the New York Yankees that could have impacted Miguel Andujar’s chance to win the Award.

The won-loss record (10-9) could work against deGrom, but it could also work for him. deGrom received a lot of publicity for his great pitching with very little run support. If the Mets “ace” is not the first and unanimous choice, then you question the criteria for these postseason awards.

With that, we have a controversy with MLB postseason awards. Miguel Andujar looked like a near lock to take top honors. It would’ve marked the first time in Yankee history that they had back-to-back AL Rookie of The Year winners. Perhaps Aaron Judge last year was a certainty. Certainly Miguel Andujar, a catalyst in leading the Yankees to 100 wins, had the numbers but finished second to the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani.

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America, who dictate the vote, saw it another way. Ohtani was the Majors’ first two-way star in a century and comparisons to Babe Ruth were inevitable. The writers fell in love with a novelty but Andujar’s season was way more impactful on his team.

Ohtani’s work on the pitching mound, and this is not taking away from his accomplishments, did not have Cy Young numbers with a 3.31 ERA, 63 strikeouts and 51 ⅔ innings pitched. The fact that he even took the mound for games is a credit to him but it created a “false sense” of greatness.

It was all about being lured into the “what a nice story” comparisons to Babe Ruth. The 10 pitching outings that “enhance” Ohtani’s overall performance is totally unfair to Miguel Andujar. Apparently the 47 doubles (a Yankee rookie record) with 27 home runs, the first third baseman in Major League history to accomplish that in his rookie campaign were not enough for Miguel Andujar.

The credentials were not enough for Miguel Andujar. No, because this became a vote with the name Babe Ruth as the competition and denied a New York Yankee player a second straight AL Rookie of the Year award.

Forget about those numbers. WAR and analytics, apparently that also played a role in the vote. At NYsportsday, those who covered Andujar, almost on a daily basis, do not get the opportunity to vote without membership in the Baseball Writers’ Association, but there are National writers that saw this another way.

They saw Babe Ruth comparisons. Again, that has to be factored in, but unlike a political election, there can’t be a recount. The criteria, and how members vote, is a matter of discretion.

An unofficial vote, from those who don’t get that opportunity, favored Miguel Andujar as the choice.

What matters more is the impact Miguel Andujar had for the Yankees. The future is good with him. The defensive lapses at third base aside for now, the youngster will continue to grow his game and be an eventual All-Star.

As one of those media members that cover the NY baseball scene, you hope that the vote tomorrow night is the right one. It says Jacob deGrom, but you never know because this is New York. It’s one incidence where the Mets are equal with the Yankees.

Comment: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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