- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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Many fans are aware that I love baseball. Being a Tampa Bay Rays season-ticket holder, I attends around 40-45 games a season. I'm a big fan, though I am not like Karl Ravech, John Kruk, Bobby Valentine, Tim Kurkjian or Buster Olney of "Baseball Tonight."
Nonetheless, I still have opinions on the sport, and it's time to give my views by looking at the VBDI (Vitale Bald Dome Index). That's right, here are my midseason MLB awards:
• AL CY YOUNG -- David Price, Tampa Bay Rays. I give the nod to the Tampa Bay pitcher over Cliff Lee of the Mariners (for now) and Jon Lester. Price has been dominant for Tampa Bay, and he could be the All-Star starter. He was the top vote-getter from his peers.
• NL CY YOUNG -- Josh Johnson, Florida Marlins. It was tough to choose Johnson over the Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez and the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright. But Johnson has shown incredible consistency, compiling an ERA under two. A few weeks ago, Jimenez would have been a shoe-in, but he has an ERA over eight in his last three starts.
• AL MVP -- Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers. Hamilton and the Yankees' Robinson Cano have both been super so far. But the Rangers' slugger has hit for more power -- which is expected -- and I have been impressed with his batting average.
• NL MVP -- Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds. Albert Pujols and Milwaukee's Corey Hart were my runner-ups. How was Votto left off of the NL All-Star roster? Are you kidding me? Now he has to wait and see if he is added via the fan vote. Let's give him some love, baby! Hart has been super, as well, for the Brew Crew, but the Reds are in first place.
• AL MANAGER -- Terry Francona, Boston Red Sox. Texas' Ron Washington and the Twins' Ron Gardenhire are also doing a phenominal job with their ballclubs. Francona has Boston in the playoff hunt despite his team looking like a M*A*S*H unit with all of those injuries. Not many teams could lose the likes of Dustin Pedroia, Josh Beckett, Victor Martinez, Clay Buchholz and Jason Varitek, among others, and still be in the thick of things.
• NL MANAGER -- Bud Black, San Diego Padres. Cincinnati's Dusty Baker and the Braves' Bobby Cox have also put their teams in good positions to win. San Diego has a lot of young talent, but come on, how many people thought the Padres would be leading the NL West at this point? Black has done a terrific job getting the most out of his players. His team is fundamentally sound, wins close games and finds ways to score runs.
13hEthan Sherwood Strauss