Monday, October 26, 2009

Official TSKB 2009 Year End Awards

No, Kanye. Beyonce is not getting the MVP award. I know her music video was great, but she doesn't play baseball. Welcome to the 2009 TSOKB Awards ceremony. This year Simon is helping me hand out the hardware. Let's get started.

Matt: Thank you for joining me this year, Simon.

Simon: It's a pleasure. Let's get this started.

2009 KBO MVP

M : There's one man whose contribution really jumped out at me this year. KIA 3rd baseman Kim Sang-hyeon lead the league with 36 homers and 127 RBIs. He came in 5th with a 1.011 OPS and was the key kog in the Tigers lineup. Lotte DH Hong Seong-heun(.371/.435/.533) and Doosan left fielder Kim Hyeon-su(.357/.448/.589) should get some votes, but this year's choice is clear. It's Sang-hyeon's award.

S : MVP will have to come from the Tigers. Kim Sang-hyeon is the top hitter, but team stats show the Tigers ended the season dead last in team batting average (0.267), hits (1191), and at bats (4455). While KIA was 3rd in home runs and they did win the Korean Series with a home run (156), but it seems that they did not win the regular season grind with their offense.

On the other hand, KIA was second in team ERA (3.92), first in team wins (81), second in runs allowed (581), and second in earned runs (522). KIA, the best team in the 2009 KBO season, won with defense. So, the most valuable player on this team will have to be a pitcher. Aquilino Lopez lead KIA's pitching staff in wins (14), innings pitched (190.3), strikeouts (83), and ERA (3.12). He did the most to keep KIA's defensive averages down and thus allowed KIA to win both the regular season and the playoffs while KIA's offense comparatively struggled.
Aquilino Lopez: 2009 MVP.

2009 KBO LVP (The Kim Jae-geol Award)

M : I think Lotte SS Park Ki-hyuk gets it this year. In 299 AB's, he posted a .541 OPS. He struck out 61 times and only walked 29. He did manage 7 stolen bases, but he was caught 6 times. He was also prone to the occasional fielding boner.

S : Park Ki-hyuk never did anything to help his team in the many Lotte games I saw this season. You'd only give this award to starters and regular players. Of all the starters and regular players I saw this season, a pylon could have done a better job at shortstop in Busan this year.

2009 KBO 사이영 Award(Pitcher of the Year)

M : The unwritten rules are as follows. 1. Only give it to a Non-Korean if he does something amazing(i.e. Danny Rios winning 22 games while injecting whale placenta into his eyes in 2007). 2. Give it to the best guy under 22 who will be throwing 80 mph in 3 years. 3. Give it to someone who actually deserves it. Injuries to starting pitchers left the field muddled. SK ace Kim Gwang-hyun was well on his way to his 2nd straight MVP award, but a broken hand after a Kim Hyeon-su line drive ended his season in August. I'm giving it to KIA relief pitcher Yoo Dong-hoon. Yoo recorded 22 saves and 10 holds while posting a 0.53 ERA and 0.74 WHIP in 57 appearances. After dominating in middle relief, Yoo won the closer job and Yoon Seok-min was allowed to continue burning out his arm in the rotation. KIA pheeeenom Han Ki-joo is bitterly sipping soju and muttering, "It should've been me...It should've been me." I think KIA's two non-Korean starting pitchers, Aquilino "Senor Smoke" Lopez and Rick "Guts" Guttormson probably get some MVP votes, but the best pitcher of 2009 was clearly Yoo Dong-hoon.

S : This must go to a starting pitcher. I believe relief pitchers come into games and pitch only an inning or two have inherited what the starting pitchers created. They are helpers and assistants rather than the person in control. Ryu Hyun-jin won 13 games for the very weak Hanhwa Eagles team this year. Other top pitchers like Kim Gwang-hyun and Lopez above posted similar win totals pitching for top level teams. Kim Gwang-hyun had a spectacular ERA (2.80) and winning percentage (0.857). But he only pitched 138.3 innings compared to almost 200 innings pitched by the other top pitchers. Plus he pitched for the very defensively strong SK team. A team that put up good defensive numbers without him pitching a lot of innings due to injury. Ryu, again pitching for the hapless Eagles, won 13 games out of the teams total 46 wins. That is 28% of Hanhwa's wins. (In comparison, Kim was responsible for 15% of SK's wins). Ryu's 3.57 ERA doesn't shine, but he pitched for a team that was dead last in many defensive categories. His league leading 188 strikeouts helped Hanhwa become the 2nd in team strikeouts in the league (He was responsible for 21% of team strikeouts). He also finished 2nd in the league in innings pitched (189.3) and 3rd in hits given up (180). Succeeding with the Eagles makes it all the more special and he deserves to be recognized as the best pitcher in the 2009 KBO season.

2009 KBO Cy Yuck

M : I really thought Hanhwa starting pitcher Kim Hyeok-min would earn this one, but I can't give it to him. By the end of the year, I actually felt bad watching poor Kim take the mound. He had the shit kicked out of him all season. By the time August came, it was getting depressing. Anyone else and they would have developed a drinking problem. Kim posted a 7.87 ERA and 1.92 WHIP in 116 2/3 innings. He lead the league in losses with 14. You're probably asking, "Matt, that sounds pretty fucking awful. This guy isn't the worst pitcher from 2009?" Well, dear reader, I'll tell you. Look no farther than Bae Yong-su and his 1-12 record. Bae went from awful starting pitcher to bullpen disaster by June. He ended the year with a 7.26 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP. Not so bad? Well, he gave up 18 homers in 75 2/3 innings. As depressing as Kim was, Bae is even sadder. Bae was once a key kog in the Samsung Championship Machine. During the 2006 pennant race, Bae blew out his arm, missed all of 2007 thanks to surgery and rehab and now he's about a year away from selling insurance.

S : Rick Bauer of the Twins swaggered off the plane with his California coolness and was sent back where he flew in from with his 3 starts, 2 innings pitched, and 78.65 earned run average in Korean baseball (exaggerated.. but if you saw him pitch, you wouldn't think I was exaggerating). I kind of feel sorry for the guy but.. nobody will remember him next year (I don't think nobody remembers him this year).

M : I will never forget the Rick Bauer experience.

2009 KBO Rookie of the Year

M : This was a promising field that burned out early and limped to the finish. I think KIA Tigers 2nd baseman Ahn Chi-hong probably wins the award, but I can't give it to him. He played a competent 2nd base, but he only hit .230 for most of the season and struck out a TON. I'm going with Doosan Bears spark plug Jeong Su-bin. Jeong was a bundle of energy wrapped in a Bears uni. He was a solid late inning defensive replacement and pinch runner for most of the season. When starting center fielder Lee Jong-wook missed time due to injury, Jeong stepped in and did a solid job. His .264/.340/.390 slash line isn't impressive, but he scored 47 runs and stole 13 bases in 231 AB's. Somehow, he also hit 3 homers.

S : I wasn't really that impressed with any of the rookies. I'm leaving this blank on my ballot.


Sim'on 2057 said...

GREAT season in a GREAT league.. anyone reading this, keep checking this blog in the off-season because I plan on translating different pieces on Korean baseball, history, culture, whatever.. it helps me learn the stuff as well as letting anyone interested understand.. I'm not sure what Matt himself does with the blog in the off-season, I will talk to him about that..

Kevin said...

Rick Bauer is always like that...and then always shock.

Anonymous said...

LOTTE's Park Gi-hyeok was indeed brutal at the plate this year. But he is a fine shortstop. They didn't make him the national team's shortstop in the WBC for nothing. The guy can field.


LastnameKim said...

It's about time somebody talked about how much Ki Hyeok Park sucked. I don't mean to be harsh on the guy, but I still hold a grudge against him for hitting so poorly in the WBC this year. Every time he came to bat, it was a guaranteed out or double play. HORRIBLE ball player. Being a decent ballplayer is not just about fielding LEAST get a hit or two once in a while to help your team when they need...jeez he sucked.