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Vote: “NYBD Person of the Year”

By Mike Silva ~ December 18th, 2011. Filed under: NYBD Man of the Year.

The NYBD “Person of the Year” is the man, woman, or idea that ‘for better or worse,’ has most influenced New York baseball in the preceding year.” You, my readers and listeners, will vote over the next two weeks, and I will announce the winner on this site on New Year’s Day. You have until 11:59 PM Eastern on December 31st to cast your vote.

The Wilpons - Back in February, Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz announced the search for a minority owner. It was the first public admission they were unable to handle the day to day finances of the team. During the year, there were the failed negotiations with David Einhorn, a loan from MLB they have yet to pay, and revelations of about $1.5 billion in total debt. The Mets payroll has shrunk $40 million dollars, and they failed to compete for the services of Jose Reyes. Despite their struggles, Commissioner Bud Selig continues to support the Wilpons during their darkest hour. Clearly, the future of New York’s National League franchise is in the balance.

Derek Jeter – We knew The Captain would collect his 3,000th his in 2011, but the way in which he accomplished the feat was out of a movie script. Jeter struggled during the second half of 2010, hitting a .265 with just 2 home runs. He continued to struggle through most of the first half of 2011, even spending time on the disabled list. On July 9th, just two hits away from the magic number 3,000, Jeter singled in the first inning off Tampa’s David Price. Then in the third, he would homer on a 3-2 pitch for the historic hit. Jeter would finish the game 5 for 5, collecting the game winning single in the 8th inning. The charmed day would end happily, as the fan who caught the home run would return it to Jeter during the postgame. From that day forward, Jeter returned to his normal self offensively, as he hit .338 for the rest of the season.

Brian Cashman - On the last year of his contract, rumors swirled that he could possibly be on the way out. Rumors of Cashman possibly being a fit in Chicago, Baltimore, or Los Angeles swirled during the middle of the year. Critics were down on Cashman after failing to deal for Cliff Lee at the 2010 deadline, and losing out on Lee to Philadelphia during free agency. The only significant transaction came when ownership stepped in and gave Rafael Soriano a 3-year deal to setup Mariano Rivera. Cashman was vociferous about his displeasure, this just a month after he took on Derek Jeter publically during contract negotiations.

As it turned out, Cashman was integral to the 2011 season. The Yankees finished with the best record in the American League thanks to the acquisitions of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. He also plucked key contributors Luis Ayala, Cory Wade, and Eric Chavez off the scrap heap. He also didn’t panic at the deadline and overpay for Ubaldo Jimenez, who was less than impressive after arriving in Cleveland.

Cashman was rewarded with a 3-year deal after the season. Since he was given total control of the Yankees operation in 2005, he’s built up the farm system to the point where the Yankees were able to go the entire 2011 season without making a deal. Homegrown pitchers Ivan Nova and David Robertson stepped up to become major contributors to the team. Top prospect Jesus Montero will be asked to play a key role offensively in 2012.

The Yankees have entered a new era of fiscal responsibility and a focus on development under the direction of Cashman.

The Carlos Beltran Saga - In March, Carlos Beltran was hobbling around Port St. Lucie. On the last year of a 7 year/$119 million dollar deal, the Mets were hoping he would stay healthy enough to contribute, and possibly allow them to deal him for financial relief come mid-season. Most predicted that Beltran was finished, and if he could play a couple of times a week the Mets would be lucky. Instead, Beltran put together a comeback year, producing at historic levels. He was so valuable the Giants blinked at Sandy Alderson’s demands and traded their top prospect, RHP Zack Wheeler, for his services.  He would finish 2011 with a .300 batting average, 22 HRs, and 84 RBI.  The most surprising stat was the 142 games played.

Jose Reyes – the oft-injured Mets shortstop put together arguably the best season of his career. Reyes won the batting title on the last day of the season with a .337 average. It was not without controversy, as Reyes took himself out of the game after a first inning bunt single. His contract negotiations were a topic of conversation throughout the year, and ended in him signing with the Florida Marlins during the Winter Meetings. Reyes finishes his Mets career as the all-time  leader in stolen bases, runs, and triples. There is no denying the Mets will miss Reyes, as they won 52% of their games when he was in the lineup. He will be remembered as a spark plug, and his energetic play made him a fan favorite.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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1 Response to Vote: “NYBD Person of the Year”

  1. Piazza

    The others on this list may have affected NY baseball in some way or another, but the Wilpons’ are the only ones ruining it, so my vote goes to them.

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