By Dave Roloff Published Oct 01, 2005 at 5:51 AM

{image1}Going into the final weekend of the regular Major League Baseball season, it is worth stopping to realize that this may be the greatest finish to a season since the advent of divisional play in 1969. Four teams in the American League are playing each other in a weird version of musical chairs. One thing is for sure: one team will not have a postseason chair when the music stops on Sunday night.

With that in mind, I would like to hand out my postseason awards. This is slightly more difficult than normal, because some of these races may actually be decided by dramatic events this weekend.

It is important to note that the Milwaukee Brewers are eligible for team awards since the first time there was a President Bush. The Brewers are poised to end one of the ugliest losing droughts in any sport. They have played well down the stretch to overcome injuries, a losing mentality and the dreaded curse of the Brewerbino. Therefore, not only are some Brewers eligible for the league awards, the team will have their own winner in each category.


American League: This is probably the closest race of them all and like previously stated it may come down to who hits the division winning home run on Sunday. Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz are neck and neck as far as stats go. Both are leading their teams down the stretch and both also have their flaws.

A-Rod doesn't necessarily need to carry his team -- he is surrounded by Sheffield, Matsui, Jeter and a resurgent Jason Giambi. Ortiz is a DH. If some believe a pitcher should be allowed to win the MVP, then how about a guy that doesn't play defense?

Winner: David Ortiz -- despite my feeling about A-Rod dominating both sides of the game, nobody has been more clutch over the past months than Ortiz.

National League: This is another tight race. Albert Pujols and Andruw Jones are also in a dead heat coming down the stretch. Jones has hit 50 plus home runs and virtually put the Braves on his back en route to their 14th straight division crown.

But Pujols is the most dominant hitter in the game. He would already have multiple MVPs if it weren't for a guy named Bonds. He also shouldn't be punished for his team running away with the division. Also many believe that Pujols has the protection that Jones lacked, but with the injuries to Scott Rolen and Reggie Sanders (and Jim Edmonds having a very un-Edmonds like year) -- Pujols carried the cards.

While Jones wins points for being a gold glove center fielder, Pujols has made himself into a solid defensive first baseman.

Winner: Albert Pujols

Milwaukee Brewers: For the first time in years this is actually a discussion. In the past there has been either only one player deserved of the award or someone would have to win it by default of futility. This year there are many worthy candidates but Carlos Lee stands out. He hit .286 with 37 HRs and 113 RBIs. He has played a decent left field and most important, day in and day out, he solidifies the middle of the Brewers' order making the players around him better.

Winner: Carlos Lee

Cy Young

American League: This race has fallen apart. They should actually give both Cy Youngs to the National League so Chris Carpenter and Dontrelle Willis get their due. In the real world someone in the AL gets the trophy. Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland got off to fast starts. Bartolo Colon has finished well reaching the 20 win plateau, but I am going to go with Mariano Rivera. He is only third in the AL with 43 saves, but opponents are hitting .178 off of him and he kept the Yankees afloat.

Winner: Mariano Rivera

National League: This has been Chris Carpenter's award from mid-May and he has done nothing to relinquish it. Dontrelle Willis has made a nice run, but it wasn't enough to carry his team into the playoffs. Carpenter is 21-5 with a 2.83 ERA -- numbers that are easily worthy of the Cy Young.

Winner: Chris Carpenter

Milwaukee Brewers: Over the past few years this has been an award that would have been dominated by Ben Sheets regardless of his numbers. This year there are two candidates that are more than worthy. Closer Derrick Turnbow has come out of nowhere to post 36 saves along with seven wins while compiling a 1.79 ERA. He will have had his hand in over half of the Brewers wins.

Chris Capuano also has had a breakout year by posting 18-11 record and becoming the first pitcher to win 17 games since Jamie Navarro in 1992. Capuano has been blessed with outstanding run support, but his abilities handling the bat and fielding have kept him in games that other pitchers would gain no-decisions.

Winner: Derrick Turnbow -- a rock star has been born.

Comeback Player of the Year

American League: I am not sure if this counts as a comeback, but Jason Giambi has reinvented himself as the former MVP winner he once was. After not even being added to the Yankee playoff roster last year, Giambi has been one of the guys that has led the Yankee resurgence in the second half of the season. Nobody thought that Giambi was still capable of putting of these kind of numbers: .272, 31 HRs and 83 RBIs

Winner: Jason Giambi

National League: When Major League baseball created their All-Century team in 1999, it was Ken Griffey Jr. that was named to the team -- not Barry Bonds. Since then Junior has been a shadow of himself due to many leg injuries. This year Griffey bounced back to hit .301 with 35 HRs and 92 RBIs. It was also nice to see the occasional smile from Junior. It used to be his trademark.

Winner: Ken Griffey Jr.

Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers have been a factory for comebacks since Doug Melvin's arrival. This year was no different. Derrick Turnbow was a waiver wire pick-up. Rick Helling has resurrected his career to the point that he might get to pick his offer to pitch next year. Jeff Cirillo used a solid season in winter ball to get a chance to come back to Milwaukee, but the award has to go to Wes Helms.

Helms is limited action is hitting .301 with 4 HRs, but his numbers aren't the reason for the award. After being overweight last year and suffering through a knee injury, Helms has had a solid year in a pinch hitting role. Not once has he complained, not even after he was unmercifully booed on opening day (no home player gets booed during introductions). His days as a Brewer are most likely over, but his career isn't.

Winner: Wes Helms

Manager of the Year

American League: Ozzie Gullien -- The White Sox have dominated the AL Central throughout the season, but Gullien's best managing may have come by keeping the Sox afloat while the Indians have been charging.

National League: Bobby Cox -- 14 straight division championships. Not much else needs to be said.

Rookie of the Year

American League: Robinson Cano -- The Yankee resurgence began with the insertion of Cano at second base.

National League: Willy Taveras -- He very quietly leading the Astros to the NL wild card.

Other Brewers Awards

Most Improved Player: Bill Hall -- He has become a jack of all trades and may have won next year's third base job.

Most Improved Pitcher: Chris Capuano -- 18-11...not bad for a throw-in on the Richie Sexson deal.

Rookie of the Year: J.J. Hardy -- Proved he could hit by batting over .300 in the second half.

Best Power: Russell Branyan -- Even pitches he doesn't hit well fly out of the park.

Quickest Hands: Brady Clark -- Impossible to pitch him inside.

Best Clutch Hitter: Bill Hall -- Always seems to find a hole.

Best Hitting Pitcher: Chris Capuano -- Gave him at least three extra wins.

Best Fastball: Derrick Turnbow -- The real life Rick Vaughn.

Best Curveball: Ben Sheets -- Was un-hittable when healthy.

Best Change-up: Matt Wise - Hitters know its coming, but still can't hit it.

Strongest Arm: Bill Hall -- His throw from in the hole running away from first at Wrigley Field still boggles my mind.

Most Accurate Arm: Geoff Jenkins -- Always a leader in assists.

Best Hands: J.J. Hardy -- Makes difficult plays look very easy.

Best Hair: Derrick Turnbow -- No comment needed.

Worst Hair: Russell Branyan (shaved bald) -- His head looked like a light bulb.

Most Exciting Play: Prince Fielder 1st big league home run. A pinch hit walk-off blast to beat the Twins.

Dave was born and raised on the south side of Milwaukee. He is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh where he graduated in Business while playing four years of football. He is a sports junkie who, instead of therapy, just watches the Bucks and the Brewers. Dave is a season ticket holder for the Brewers, Bucks and Packers, as well as a football coach at Greendale High School. Dave still likes to think he still can play baseball but has moved on to the more pedestrian sports of bowling and golf. Dave is a Pisces and it depends on whom he is walking with to determine whether he likes long walks on the beach. Dave writes with an encyclopedic knowledge and a sarcastic flare. Mainly to insure his sanity.