White Sox ‘Abreu and Braves’ Freeman win MVP Awards

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NEW YORK – Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman easily won the NL MVP award on Thursday, capping a trying year that has seen him become so sick with COVID-19 that he begged “please don’t take me.” “Chicago White Sox slugger José Abreu won the AL MVP, an award for propelling his team to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Freeman got 28 of the first 30 ballots from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts got the other two firsts to finish second and third for San Diego Manny machado was third.

In a pandemic-affected Spring World Series training season, perhaps it was fitting that the last major prize of the year went to someone infected with the virus.

Three weeks before the delayed opening day in late July, Freeman’s body temperature spiked to 104.5 degrees and he lost his sense of taste and smell. At one point, he recalls, he said a little prayer because “I wasn’t ready.”

“I got off to such a slow start,” Freeman said on the MLB network after Dale Murphy, the NL’s two-time MVP with the Braves, announced the winner. “I just didn’t know when I would get my legs back.

Freeman, 31, quickly regained his balance, hitting .341 with 13 homers and 53 RBIs while playing all 60 games. A powerful left-handed hitter with the ability to pulverize the ball all over the field, he led the majors hitting 23 doubles and scoring 51 points.

Reinforced by the four-time All-Star, the Braves won the NL East and clinched a victory after reaching the World Series for the first time since 1999.

Freeman is the sixth different player in Braves franchise history to be the NL MVP. Chipper Jones recently took the honor in 1999 – Freeman wears a tattered Braves T-shirt under his uniform handed down to him by Jones.

Betts were looking to join Frank Robinson as the only players to win the MVP in both leagues. The 28-year-old outfielder won the AL honor in 2018 while leading Boston to the World Series title.

Traded by the Red Sox to Los Angeles earlier this year, Betts hit .292 with 16 home runs and 39 RBIs and was the catalyst for the Dodgers’ run to their first championship since 1988.

Machado hit .304 with 16 home runs and 47 RBIs as San Diego made his first playoff appearance since 2006. Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was fourth in the vote and Washington outfielder Juan Soto was fifth.

Cleveland third baseman José Ramírez finished second in AL MVP and Yankees infielder votes DJ LeMahieu was third.

Abreu led the majors with 60 RBIs and 148 total goals, and led the AL with 76 hits and a slugging percentage of 0.617. He played in all 60 games during the virus-cut short season as Chicago won a wild card spot.

Abreu, 33, hit .317 with 19 home runs, connecting six times in a three-game streak against the Cubs in late August. That long-ball barrage at Wrigley Field was part of his 22-game streak, the majors longest this year.

Abreu was the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year and is a three-time All-Star. He became the fourth different White Sox player to win the AL MVP, joining Frank Thomas (1993-94), Dick Allen (1972) and Nellie Fox (1959).

Abreu was the third player of Cuban origin to be MVP, along with Jose Canseco and Zoilo Versalles.

It was the first time since Ryan Howard and Justin morneau that a pair of first baseman won the MVPs.

Freeman received a bonus of $ 185,185 and Abreu received $ 37,037 for winning prorated contract bonuses due to the shortened season.

AL Cy Young Award Winner Shane Bieber of Cleveland was fourth and Angels outfielder Mike Trout was fifth. Three-time AL MVP, Trout had finished in the top four every season since being AL Rookie of the Year in 2012.

This will be the first time in over 75 years that the MVP trophies do not bear the name and likeness of Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the first commissioner of baseball.

In an Associated Press article at the end of June, former MVPs Barry Larkin, Terry Pendleton and Mike Schmidt said they preferred to remove Landis’ name from future plaques due to concerns about his handling of players. black.

BBWAA members voted overwhelmingly in October to remove any mention of Landis from the MVP trophy and the award will not be nominated for anyone this year. The organization will discuss in 2021 whether to nominate him for someone else, with former Negro Leagues star Josh Gibson and Robinson among those mentioned as possibilities.

Landis became commissioner in 1920 and no black played in the majors during his reign which ended with his death in 1944. Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947.

Landis’ legacy is “always a complicated story” which includes “documented racism,” official MLB historian John Thorn said.

In 1931, Landis gave the BBWAA control over the selection and presentation of MVPs. During the 1944 World Series, the group decided to add Landis’s name to the plaque. His name had appeared on all MVP plaques since then and featured more prominently than the winners of the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award.



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