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Inside Baseball

Down The Line

September 24, 2006|TIM BROWN

Three Days in ... San Francisco

It is as fitting a place as any to end, well or poorly for the Dodgers, for whom the Giants occasionally have played the foil or the sap, and they for the Giants.

So, in the names of Thomson and Morgan, of Finley and Dressen, and now of Bonds and Kent, if by some good fortune this falls there, they'll do it again.

The good news for the Dodgers: They've won 10 of 16 games against the Giants.

The bad news: Odalis Perez won two of them.

The good news for the Giants: Barry Bonds isn't rock-paper-scissoring Greg Anderson for the top bunk.

The bad news: He's batting .158 with one home run in 38 at-bats against the Dodgers.

The probables: Friday -- TBA vs. Matt Cain. Saturday -- Greg Maddux vs. Jason Schmidt. Sunday -- Derek Lowe vs. Matt Morris.

The Awards

NL MVP: Albert Pujols, Cardinals. Average with runners in scoring position: .397; with two out and runners in scoring position: .452.

Runner-up: Ryan Howard, Phillies. Home runs in first 250 games: Howard 80, Bonds 38.

AL MVP: Derek Jeter, Yankees. Career year when the Yankees needed it most.

Runner-up: David Ortiz, Red Sox. The Red Sox's fade cost him.

NL Cy Young: Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks. A few more innings, one more win than ...

Runner-up: Chris Carpenter, Cardinals. Second consecutive season with an earned-run average under 3.00.

AL Cy Young: Johan Santana, Twins. Leads in wins, ERA, strikeouts, innings.

Runner-up: Roy Halladay, Blue Jays. Second in ERA, third in wins, second in innings in another shortened season.

NL rookie of the year: Dan Uggla, Marlins. Had the numbers (.285, 26 homers, 89 RBIs, 103 runs) and up-the-middle defense.

Runner-up: Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals. With David Wright, the next great third baseman.

AL rookie of the year: Justin Verlander, Tigers. Reliable, incredible stuff, 16 wins.

Runner-up: Francisco Liriano, Twins. A remarkable 144 strikeouts in 121 innings.

NL manager of the year: Joe Girardi, Marlins. Wonder whose cap he'll wear to the awards ceremony.

Runner-up: Willie Randolph, Mets. Big stars, big production, but starting rotation brought nightly angst.

AL manager of the year: Jim Leyland, Tigers. Most Tigers wins in 19 years, at least.

Runner-up: Ron Gardenhire, Twins. They are 65-29 since early June.

NL comeback player of the year: Nomar Garciaparra, Dodgers. Didn't miss a fastball for two months and still finds one once in a while.

Runner-up: Scott Rolen, Cardinals. Healthy-ish again and pushing 100 RBIs.

AL comeback player of the year: Frank Thomas. Thirty-eight years old, 38 homers, 107 RBIs.

Runner-up: Jim Thome. Thirty-six years old, 41 homers, 102 RBIs.

One More Thing From ... Frank Robinson

This could be it for Robinson, who, at 71, has received no assurance from Nationals management that he'll return for a sixth season. He says he'd like a three-year extension, which seems highly improbable.

Robinson, who wore his first big league uniform in 1956 with the Reds, hit 586 home runs, was twice a league MVP and in 1966, his first season with the Orioles, won a triple crown.

He has managed in 17 seasons, some of them well, including 1989, when he was AL manager of the year in Baltimore. He told the Washington Post this week he'd like to know, one way or the other, as the Nationals open a season-ending, six-game homestand Tuesday.

"If it's time to go, at least I want to be able to say goodbye," he said. "I would like to be able to say, to the fans, goodbye -- and thanks."

-- TIM BROWN

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