Baseball Bloggers Alliance Awards announced – Prose and Ivy named Cubs Chapter President

For those of you who also write an MLBlog, you know how powerful the baseball blogger community can be and how active they are with regards to all headlines related to the great game of baseball.  For those of you who tweet during games and have started a Twitter account to discuss your favorite baseball team, you can appreciate the network of baseball fans that exists across the country and how much fun it can be when they unite to discuss the latest news regarding your #1 team.  For those of us lucky enough to have the opportunity to work together as baseball bloggers, looking to raise the bar when it comes to baseball blogging, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) has been an amazing experience and a fantastic outlet for baseball bloggers across the globe.  With members that are fans of all AL and NL teams as well as authors of general baseball sites, the group is overflowing with knowledgable, passionate baseball fans thrilled to type away and share their thoughts with you regarding the daily happenings surrounding the MLB.

I am excited to say that I have been named the President of the Cubs Chapter for the BBA and look forward to incorporating news from the Chapter in postings and updates here on the site.  One of the fun things the group has done in raising it’s level of participation and recognition mirroring the impact the BBWAA has on the game, is name award winners at the end of every season.  As a chapter, myself and the other Cubs blogs will decide who we feel deserves to win the award and we will vote accordingly.  While the exact nature by which we decide who our Chapter will vote for has not been locked in as of yet, I’m guessing it will be completely by committee and by a majority vote.  
Here is a copy of the press release going out from the BBA regarding this year’s awards.  Feel free to leave your thoughts regarding the awards in the comment section!  Go Cubs Go!
Baseball Bloggers Alliance Announces New Award Names

Changes reflect appreciation for history of the game

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) recently announced the renaming of
their annual postseason awards to comply with the wishes of the Baseball
Writers Association of America (BBWAA), thereby avoiding confusion between
the two organizations.  This allowed the BBA an opportunity to recognize
some of the legendary greats of the game, naming their highest honors after
them.

Earlier in the year, the BBA reached an agreement with former Yankee
reliever Goose Gossage to name our newest award, recognizing the best relief
pitcher in each league, after him, said Daniel Shoptaw, founder and
president of the Alliance.  It only seemed fitting, then, that we rename
the rest of our awards after other legends of the game.

The five awards are given to a player in each league: The Connie Mack Award,
given to the top manager; the Willie Mays Award, for the top rookie; the
Goose Gossage award, mentioned above; the Walter Johnson Award, which would
be analogous to the BBWAA's Cy Young Award; and the Stan Musial Award,
awarded to the most valuable player in each league.

According to Shoptaw, These names are synonymous with quality, achievement,
and dedication.  These names have not only stood the test of time, but have
been strengthened by it.

The schedule for the announcement of these awards is as follows:

Connie Mack Award: October 14
Willie Mays Award: October 18
Goose Gossage Award: October 21
Walter Johnson Award: October 25
Stan Musial Award: October 28

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was founded in 2009 and numbers 222 blogs
covering all major league teams and various other aspects of baseball, as
well as blogs and sites that are affiliated as Friends of the BBA.  The
official website of the BBA is located at http://www.baseballbloggersalliance.com.

The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the
hashmark #bbba.  Members of the BBA may be heard at Blog Talk Radio every
Tuesday night with their call-in show, BBA Baseball
Talk http://www.blogtalkradio.com/baseball-bloggers-alliance,
which may also be downloaded as a podcast from iTunes.
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for PROSE LOGO.png

Byrd and Hawk Making Headlines

One of the major upsides I’ve heard so far to the Cubs signing Marlon Byrd as their new center fielder is that he’s a guy who comes with great character. Quality as a person through and through, the kind of guy the Cubs should be welcoming into a clubhouse that has seen it’s share of in fighting, finger pointing and broken Gatorade coolers in recent years.  I reached out to Texas fans on Twitter the other day to find out their POV of what we’re getting in Byrd and one of the responses I received read, “[Byrd is] an awesome team player who never quits!  He’s a player that will run out everything even if it’s a routine groundball.  He will make plays that will astound you in the outfield! I am sad to see him go.  He will be a player that I will watch and root for wherever he goes.”  Sounds like the kind of person we should be thrilled to have as a Cub in 2010.  Let’s hope he’s the kind of player we’d like as well.

Cubs hitting coach Jamarillo had Byrd for a few years and thinks very highly of him.  He has Byrd pencilled in as solid five hole guy in the Cubs batting lineup to start the season and mentioned he’s a great leader in the clubhouse and a great teacher.  Seeing that Byrd averaged .295 over the three years he worked with Jamarillo in Texas, it would appear that he understands the tools Jamarillo uses to teach so another solid leader improving our lineup from 1-9 couldn’t hurt.  We lost too many games last year due to an ineffective offense, run production way down from the year before.  Time to get back in form and match the success of ’07 and ’08 with division crowns.  Only this time, match that success with positive results in the playoffs (aka: don’t get swept by LA).

Sure Marlon’s last name obviously helps recall a guy like Andre Dawson whose nickname is the Hawk, but it’s the quality people see in his character that I’d like to focus on here.  Even Ryne Sandberg mentioned in his Hall of Fame acceptance speech that Dawson was once of the classiest teammates he ever had and that Dawson played the game the way the game was supposed to be played.  Sandberg said, “Andre Dawson, the Hawk.  No player in baseball history worked harder, suffered more, or did it better than Andre Dawson.  He’s the best I’ve ever seen.  I watched him win MVP for a last place team in 1987 and it was the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen in baseball.”  The intangibles should be focused on when it comes to voting players into the Hall of Fame in addition to their career stats.  Andre Dawson should be a no-brainer to be voted in this year seeing that he has been on the ballot for nine years now and is long overdue.  He brought speed, power, defense and character to the ballpark year in and year out…starting with his first year as a Cub where he agreed to a blank contract and let the Cubs decide how much they wanted to pay him after he’d already agreed.  He loved the game of baseball and loved being a Cub.  Time for the BBWAA to show some love back.

After doing some research I came across a copy of the Hall Of Fame ballot sent to voting members of the BBWAA:

2010 hof ballot.png 
And here is a copy of the information the voters were sent regarding Dawson’s career:
 2010 hof ballot player info.png
Nothing mentioned anywhere about the character of any of the players listed above.  I believe Dawson’s numbers speak for themselves.  If the voters aren’t sure and are on the fence about  the Hawk, they should listen to some of the greats that are already in the Hall of Fame.  They are speaking for Dawson as well and providing even more reasons the Hawk should be in the Hall.  Byrd should not be held to the standard of the Hawk in all fairness.  Then again, if he were to hold himself to the Hawk’s standard and Jaramillo’s theory of Byrd being a great teacher is accurate, that could have an amazing effect on the 2010 Cubs.  We won’t know how Byrd turns out for the Cubs for quite some time.  The Hawk on the other hand will hear his fate in a few days from now.  (You can keep an eye on how long he has to wait to hear the news with the countdown listed in the right hand column).  Hope to see you making your speech in Cooperstown this summer Andre.  Go Cubs Go!