Time to finish up the American League with the American League East where the Red Sox finally bring back bobblehead giveaways in 2014. While you’re here check out the AL Central and AL West bobblehead battles. As a reminder, each bobblehead will be rated 1-5 stars based on quality of subject, originality, number available, and overall awesomeness. Teams will be ranked by total stars, so the more giveaways (especially quality ones) the better.
Boston Red Sox (all fans in attendance)
Monday, April 7th, David Ortiz: You couldn’t ask for a better Red Sox player to start the bobblehead giveaways with. This would’ve been a perfect ***** if it had been of Ortiz raising his fist telling Boston to stay strong. Red Sox are going to rate highly giving these away to every fan. ****
Wednesday, April 30th, Dustin Pedroia: And if you were going to pick a 2nd player on the current Red Sox to immortalize on a bobblehead, it would be former AL MVP Dustin Pedroia. Better have real dirt stains! ***1/2
Tuesday, September 9th, Pedro Martinez: Come on Red Sox! No bobbling goodness in May, June, July, or August? For shame! You get some redemption with the best pitcher in Red Sox history and the man who asks “Who is Karim Garcia?” ***1/2
Total: 11 stars
New York Yankees (18,000 fans)
Thursday, June 19th, Mark Teixeira: Yankees bobbleheads in 2013 were a murderer’s row (unfortunately not the actual Murderer’s Row) with Derek Jeter, Hideki Matsui, Yogi Berra, and Mariano Rivera. This years crop? Not so much, starting off with the oft-injured Yankees first baseman. **
Wednesday, July 2nd, Lou Gehrig: I love this bobblehead and is by far the best one in the Yankees crop. It celebrates the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s “luckiest man” speech, it’s a must have, especially if you can get the Twins one to pair with it. ****1/2
Sunday, July 27th, Paul O’Neill: A solid Yankees player that has found a home in the YES broadcasts with the team, so he’ll be in attendance for this one. Don’t think there will be as much excitement for this one than Matsui last year. ** 1/2
Wednesday, August 20th, Joe Girardi: Has Yankees World Series rings as a player and as a manager and is worthy of a bobblehead, but I can’t get too excited for it. **
Total: 11 stars
Tampa Bay Rays (20,000 fans)
Saturday, April 5th, Wil Myers Rookie of the Year: I just like the way that this bobblehead looks. Props to the AL East for having larger giveaway numbers. ***
Friday, May 23rd, Alex Cobb Military Themed: I’m interested to see how this one ends up looking, but it sounds pretty solid. For now, though. ** 1/2
Saturday, September 6th, Evan Longoria 80’s Hair Band: Another Rays bobblehead that I need to see to believe. I want to have faith that this is going to be spectacular though. *** 1/2
Total: 9 stars
Toronto Blue Jays (20,000 fans)
Sunday, April 27th, R.A. Dickey: This Dickey bobblehead would’ve meant more if he had repeated his 2012 performance north of the border, but it’s a good effort and he deserves it. ** 1/2
Sunday, June 8th, Jose Reyes: I can basically say the same thing for Reyes that I said for Dickey, right? ** 1/2
Sunday, August 24th, Mark Buerhle: Let the 2013 Blue Jays disappointment bobblehead train continue! **
Total: 8 stars
Baltimore Orioles (Promotion schedule not posted as of 3/7)
What do you think is the best bobblehead collection in the AL East? Let us know in the comments!
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)
Jeremy already broke down the “N.L. West Midseason Awards”, so I’m going to have a go at the A.L. East.
Rookie of the Year
Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox
This was the spot reserved in the preseason for Matt Moore, but the Rays pitching “phenom” has been sub-par in 2012. Middlebrooks has been a pleasant surprise for Bosto since getting called up while Kevin Youkilis was hurt. He is 3rd among all rookies with 10 home runs and 3rd in OPS. Middlebrooks’ play was solid enough that it allowed for the Red Sox to deal Youkilis, though that might have happened anyway.
In the Running: Matt Moore, Rays, Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles
Cy Young Award
David Price, Rays
Price has without a doubt been the best starting pitcher in the A.L. East. He has the most wins (11), best ERA (2.82), best WHIP (1.20). Plus he’s 2nd in the division in strikeouts (1 behind teammate James Shields) and batting average against (behind Jason Hammel). There are a few players in range, but none are on Price’s level right now.
In the Running: Jason Hammel, Orioles, CC Sabathia, Yankees, Jim Johnson, Orioles, and Fernando Rodney, Rays
Most Valuable Player
Robinson Cano, Yankees
I had Cano 3rd in the entire league for A.L. MVP at this point in the season in my “Early MLB Awards”, but the competition in his own division is pretty tough. Cano and David Ortiz have strikingly similar numbers 22 homers, .312 AVG, 57 RBI, and 62 runs for Big Papi compared to 20 homers, .313 AVG, 51 RBI, and 57 runs for Cano. The big difference is the quality defense that Cano provides at second base while Ortiz rides the bench. Since June 1st, Cano has hit .346 with 12 home runs in 133 at-bats while the Yankees racked up a 25-10 record to propel New York to the top of the American League standings.
In the Running: David Ortiz, Red Sox, Adam Jones, Orioles, Curtis Granderson, Yankees, Jose Bautista, Blue Jays, Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays, David Price, Rays
Who would win your A.L. East awards at the All-Star Break?
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)