The Chicago Cubs entered the 2016 campaign as heavy favorites to win the World Series. Led by their seasoned manager, they made another strong push and did not disappoint. Instead, united a city.
A few years ago, we knew just how special this Chicago Cubs team was going to be. From signing Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and trading for Anthony Rizzo. Multiple pieces for a successful team helped pave the way for what occurred last Wednesday.
Now, all of the credit goes to the Ricketts family who made things possible. However, Epstein, the genius, went out and acquired some young talent and Joe Maddon to bring them to the next level.
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Have you gotten used to the fact that the Cubs are World Series champions yet? Well, there is a good chance that this club will repeat in 2017. Not to mention, bring a few more trophy’s back to the North Side.
No more drought, only hardware, and talent. Which brings us to why we are here today. At the end of every season, the league recognizes specific individuals for their hard work.
Last year, Joe Maddon, Kris Bryant, and Jake Arrieta were among a few Cubs who brought home yearly awards. This time around, Chicago has the opportunity of bringing home the most awards in 2016.
N.L. BBWAA MVP
First up, you have the Most Valuable Player. As reported by MLB’s official Twitter handle, Kris Bryant, Daniel Murphy, and Corey Seager are the three finalists for the BBWAA. Bryant, an obvious choice, has the chance to join a short list of players who won Rookie of the Year and MVP honors in back-to-back seasons.
Bryant tore up the regular season, launching 39 homers, 102 RBI, 35 doubles, three triples, and 176 hits while slashing .292/.385/.554/.939. Rather impressive for his second year in the season and a World Series champion.
N.L. BBWAA Manager of the Year
Of course, skipper Joe Maddon has made the list, yet again. But this season, he has some stiff competition in Dusty Baker and Dave Roberts. Also reported by MLB’s Twitter account. Joe went from leading the Cubs to a 97-win season in 2015, to winning over 103 games and the World Series a year later.
Meanwhile, Dave Roberts, in his first year, helped the Los Angeles Dodgers win the N.L. West and reach the LCS. His club had a 2-1 lead but the Cubs fought back, winning the next three games to advance to the Fall Classic.
In all honesty, ending the drought is huge but you can’t ignore what Roberts did with the Dodgers.
No, Jake “The Snake” Arrieta is not on the list. However, Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks are both competing for the Cy Young. Both men participated in Game 7 of the World Series as Hendricks was penciled in as the starter.
Later on, in the game, Maddon pulled Hendricks and brought in Lester in a relief appearance. Thankfully, they were able to come away with the win. It’s hard to choose between the two but you have to give it to Hendricks.
Yes, Lester was lights out in the postseason for the Cubs, but Chicago’s young right-hander came out of nowhere. Finishing with a 16-8 record, 2.13 ERA (lowest in MLB), and 170/44 K/BB ratio, Hendricks outshined Clayton Kershaw.
Hall of Fame — Ford C. Frisk Award
Last, but not least, you have the Frisk Award. An award that issued to a broadcaster for their excellence. It just so happens that two Chicago broadcasters, Ken Harrelson aka Hawk and Pat Hughes are among the list of talented play-by-play men.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Gary Cohen (Mets), Jacques Doucet (Blue Jays), Bill King (Athletics), Mike Krukow (Giants), Ned Martin (Red Sox), and Dewayne Staats (Rays) made the cut.
Mr. Martin passed away at the age of 78 back in July of 2002. Most known for his catchphrase, “Mercy” — which has been used by The Hawk on the South Side. Like the previous lists, A strong list of men who deserve the award.
But you can’t help but put the odds in Pat’s favor as he called the final out of the World Series as a member of the Cubs radio team. Surely, his long-time partner, Ron Santo was right with him as Kris fired over to Anthony Rizzo for the third and final out.
“Chicago Cubs baseball is on the air!”
Best of luck to Pat. He definitely deserves the recognition.