BBA Selects Kimbrel, Valverde For Goose Gossage Award

October 16, 2011–In earlier voting this postseason by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel won the Willie Mays Award for top rookie handily while the American League race for that award was much tighter.  With the Goose Gossage Award, handed out to the best reliever, Kimbrel got to see how the other half lives, at least somewhat.Kimbrel beat Milwaukee’s John Axford by 13 points in the votes submitted by the National League voters of the Alliance, accumulating 78 points and garnering 12 first place votes.  Axford, on the other hand, received 65 points on the strength of seven first place selections.  Kimbrel’s bullpen teammate Johnny Venters was a very distant third with nine total points.

The race in the American League was a little more anti-climatic as Detroit closer Jose Valverde gained 13 first place votes on his way to a league-leading 74 point total.  Two New York Yankees followed him in the voting, with Mariano Rivera receiving four first place votes and 56 total points while David Robertson gained 39 points for third.

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

American League
Jose Valverde, Detroit (13) 74
Mariano Rivera, New York (4) 56
David Robertson, New York (3) 39
Jonathan Papelbon, Boston (1) 21
Koji Uehara, Texas (1) 6
Alfredo Acevas, Boston (1) 5
Neftali Feliz, Texas 2
Greg Holland, Kansas City 2
Chris Perez, Cleveland 2
Brandon League, Seattle 1
Vinnie Pestano, Cleveland 1

National League
Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta (12) 78
John Axford, Milwaukee (7) 65
Johnny Venters, Atlanta (1) 9
Joel Hanrahan, Pittsburgh 8
JJ Putz, Arizona 7
Sean Marshall, Chicago 6
Heath Bell, San Diego 3
Tyler Clippard, Washington 3
Sergio Romo, San Francisco 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 5-3-1 point scale for first through third 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
Baltimore Sports and Life (Baltimore)
Baseball Is My Boyfriend (Texas)*
Baseball North (Toronto)
Boston Red Thoughts (Boston)*
Contract Year (Oakland)*
The Flagrant Fan (General)
Kings of Kauffman (Kansas City)*
Lady At The Bat (New York)
Misc. Baseball (History)
Motor City Bengals (Detroit)
North Dakota Twins Fan (Minnesota)
The Rays Rant (Tampa Bay)
Seattle Mariners Musings (Seattle)
Seedlings To Stars (Other)
Some Thoughts On Baseball (Toronto)
Tigers Amateur Analysis (Detroit)
The Tribe Daily (Cleveland)*
Twins On Twins (Minnesota)

National League
Appy Astros (Houston)
Blog Red Machine (Cincinnati)
Cincinnati Reds Blog (Cincinnati)
Dugger Sports (Philadelphia)
The Eddie Kranepool Society (New York)*
The Flagrant Fan (General)
Misc. Baseball (History)
On The Outside Corner (St. Louis)
Phils Baseball (Philadelphia)
Prose and Ivy (Chicago)*
Raise The Jolly Roger (Pittsburgh)
RJ’s Fro (San Diego)
Rockies Woman (Colorado)
22 Gigantes (San Francisco)
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)
Websoulsurfer (San Diego)
Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke? (Pittsburgh)

Prior Winners: 2010: Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay; Brian Wilson, San Francisco

The official website of the BBA is located at baseballbloggersalliance.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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