Justin Verlander Unanimous Selection for AL Walter Johnson Award by BBA

You can debate whether Justin Verlander should win the “best player in the league” award.  There was no debate on if he’d win the “best pitcher” version.

The Detroit Tiger ace was an unanimous selection for the Walter Johnson Award, given out by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.  Verlander was the top name on all 21 ballots, easily outdistancing Los Angeles of Anaheim starter Jered Weaver.  Weaver was a distant second, 80 points behind Verlander.  New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia came in third.

On the National League side, results were a little bit closer.  Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw beat out Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay 137-112.  Kershaw received 15 first place nods, while Halladay garnered eight.  Halladay’s teammate, Cliff Lee, finished in the show position.

The complete voting results are as follows (first place votes in parenthesis):

American League
Justin Verlander, Detroit (21) 147
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles of Anaheim 67
CC Sabathia, New York 58
James Shields, Tampa Bay 40
Dan Haren, Los Angeles of Anaheim 20
CJ Wilson, Texas 9
Josh Beckett, Boston 6
Ricky Romero, Toronto 5
Felix Hernandez, Seattle 2
Doug Fister, Detroit 1
Brandon McCarthy, Oakland 1
David Price, Tampa Bay 1

National League
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles (15) 137
Roy Halladay, Philadelphia (8) 112
Cliff Lee, Philadelphia 69
Ian Kennedy, Arizona 38
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia 9
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco 7
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco 7
Matt Cain, San Francisco 3
Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta 3
Dillon Gee, New York 2
Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco 2
Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati 1
Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta 1

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 316 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.

The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.

Chapters generally followed one of two methods when casting their ballot.  Either representatives of the chapter were given the ballots for voting or a “group ballot” was posted, accounting for both of their votes.

Notably, though the Alliance’s awards come out well before their official counterparts, the BBA selections have matched those of the Baseball Writers of America in all but two instances in the past two years.  This, of course, does not include the Goose Gossage Award that is exclusive to the BBA.

Ballots are posted on the respective blogs and for this award, were tabulated on a 7-4-3-2-1 point scale for first through fith place. In the interest of transparency, links are given below for the ballots. Chapter affiliation is in parenthesis.  Those chapters that decided on the group method are noted with an asterisk.

American League
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)
Baltimore Sports and Life (Baltimore)
Boston Red Thoughts (Boston)*
Camden Crazies (Baltimore)
Contract Year (Oakland)*
Detroit Tigers Scorecard Blog (Detroit)
500 Level Fan (Toronto)
The Flagrant Fan (General)
Infield Fly (Toronto)
Lady At The Bat (New York)
Misc. Baseball (History)
North Dakota Twins Fan (Minnesota)
Old English D (Detroit)
The Rays Rant (Tampa Bay)
Seattle Mariners Musings (Seattle)
Seedlings To Stars (Other)
The Tribe Daily (Cleveland)*
Twins Trivia (Minnesota)

National League
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)
Appy Astros (Houston)
Bernie’s Crew (Milwaukee)*
Blog Red Machine (Cincinnati)
Cincinnati Reds Blog (Cincinnati)
C70 At The Bat (St. Louis)
Dugger Sports (Philadelphia)
The Eddie Kranepool Society (New York)
The Flagrant Fan (General)
Misc. Baseball (History)
North Side Notch (Pittsburgh)
Padres Trail (San Diego)
Phils Baseball (Philadelphia)
Pitchers Hit Eighth (St. Louis)
Prose and Ivy (Chicago)*
Raise The Jolly Roger (Pittsburgh)
Rockies Woman (Colorado)
22 Gigantes (San Francisco)
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)

Prior Winners: 2010: Felix Hernadez, Seattle; Roy Halladay, Philadelphia
2009: Zack Greinke, Kansas City; Tim Lincecum, San Francisco

The official website of the BBA is located atbaseballbloggersalliance.wordpress.com. The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba.  For more information, contact Daniel Shoptaw at founder@baseballbloggersalliance.com.

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