I don't want to bump Bishoff's interview too far down, so the awards have been moved to after the jump.
Team MVP: Carlos Pena
Carlos racked up his first of three awards by winning the MVP poll in a deciding fashion: 77% of the votes went the slugger's way with James Shields (8%) and Carl Crawford (6%) finishing second and third. Pena hit .282/.411/.627 with 46 bombs and 121 runs batted in for the Rays while finishing 9th in the MVP voting and winning the Silver Slugger for American League first basemen.
Pitcher of the Year Award: James Shields
Despite Scott Kazmir's excellent second half James Shields ran away with the Pitcher of the Year voting with 59% of the votes, Kazmir finished second with 37%, and closer Al Reyes with 3%. Shields had a breakout year, throwing over 200 innings and boasting an ERA improvement of .099 points from his rookie year.
The Roberto Hernandez Award: Al Reyes
Al Reyes was really the only choice here - my personal favorites aside - Reyes was the ultimate gamer, despite subpar company in the pen Reyes still closed the door 26 times.
Rookie of the Year Award: Delmon Young
Not a Ray anymore, but he was the best rookie last year for the Rays, edging out Andrew Sonnanstine and others - although note that Akinori Iwamura wasn't listed.
Best Transaction and Biggest Surprise Awards: Carlos Pena
Not much of a surprise on the winner of the two awards. Carlos hammered as well all know. Greg Norton's knees should be replaced free of charge by the team.
Best Prospect Award: 3B Evan Longoria
Again is this shocking to anyone? Longoria may not start the year as the Rays' third baseman, but we all hope that whenever his career starts in Tampa it'll last well past the next six years.
Best Moment: Kazmir shutting out the Sox
Simple formula: Kazmir + Red Sox = Great performance most of the time. Kazmir seems to be a lot like Erik Bedard: gets pumped for the big teams but loses focus against the smaller teams.
Best Broadcaster Award: Dewayne Staats (Rays Television)
Not much to say here other than that the Rays are blessed with a ton of radio and television talent, and that Dewayne Staats is the most accomplished and classiest of them all, let me play the role of Todd Kalas and throw it to Dewayne:
I love this game and have been blessed to broadcast it for all these years.
I really can't wait to hear that man's voice again.
Paul C. Smith Award: Marc Topkin (St. Pete Times)
Easily the longest standing Rays' writer I'm pretty sure when Topkin chooses to retire the then DRB staff will have to re-name the award the Smith-Topkin award. Marc Lancaster gave Topkin a helluva run near the end, but just fell shy.
The David Bloom Award: R.J. Anderson (DRaysBay & Beyond the Boxscore)
I was planning on Patrick doing this post - honestly I'm not sure what's going on there- but this makes it a bit more awkward. I'll just let a comment from this thread be my "acceptance speech":
January 11th, 2008 at 12:42 pm
RJ is relentless. If Joe Maddon takes a dump, you can be certain he will have a post about it 5 minutes later. Nobody will care, but he never takes that chance.
I voted for Jake, he's got more good stuff coming up in the next week, without him this site is nothing, and well that's pretty much it. I'll just say thanks to the people who voted for me and thanks to those who didn't - if Jake has learned anything by now about me it's that I am relentless when motivated - so look for a ton of Joe Maddon crap posts in 2008.