MLB Network will televise BBWAA awards

This is a little bit of old news by now, but MLB Network is going to air the announcements for the BBWAA's postseason awards starting next week. Earlier this week, they aired a show announcing the "finalists" (IE, the top three or five in the voting), and broadcast the announcement of the Silver Slugger award winners on Thursday, much like ESPN did with the Gold Gloves last week.

The broadcast of the finalists announcement was underwhelming. Greg Amsinger and Harold Reynolds handled the MLB Network broadcast, and did so in typical fashion. They essentially ran down the finalists for each award, in alphabetical order, and discussed each one briefly after saying their name. Then, after all finalists were announced, Amsinger baited Reynolds into answering "who do you think got snubbed?" Keep in mind, this isn't snubbed for the actual award…this is snubs to be a finalist. For example, in the American League Cy Young announcement, the three finalists were reigning winner and MVP Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, and David Price, three deserving candidates. Of course, Reynolds went on a rant about how Fernando Rodney should be a finalist. He doesn't think he should be the winner, but a finalist… which essentially means nothing. 

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Because of how the BBWAA tabulates ballots (a 5-4-3-2-1 system for Cy Young, for example), the difference between the third and fourth place finishers could be as little as one point. Of course, the third place finisher would get lauded as a finalist, while the fourth place finisher would be ignored, despite a miniscule difference in the actual voting.

College football does the same thing with the Heisman trophy, announcing five (or three, or four, or six, but usually five) finalists for the awards ceremony in Manhattan after the voting has concluded. But with the Heisman, the result is usually not up in the air going into the awards ceremony. There are Heisman voting polls released by most major sports networks (including Bloguin) on a weekly basis. They do things right with the other major awards, starting out with a preseason watch list before paring that list down to a bunch of semifinalists, and then the finalists. 

MLB is merely jumping onto the bandwagon that the NHL started and the NFL mimicked this spring with live awards ceremonies for the postseason awards. Of course, MLB is stretching things out by doing a studio show for each award as opposed to one giant awards show, which is little more than offseason filler. The concept of "finalists" for awards being announced after the actual voting is unnecessary, but MLB is now just joining in on the fun.

About Joe Lucia

Joe is the managing editor of The Outside Corner and a contributing author at Awful Announcing. He lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and is stuck somewhere between tolerating and hating Pittsburgh and Philadelphia sports.

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