Two BBWAA members representing each club vote for each award. So there are two NL MVP voters from the Baltimore-Washington chapter, two NL Cy Young voters, two NL Rookie of the Year voters and two NL Manager of the Year voters. (Because we have two teams in our chapter, we also get two voters a piece for each of the AL awards.)
In my 10 years as a BBWAA member, I've voted at least once for each of the awards, and I again had a vote for one of them this year. All votes had to be submitted by the end of play Sunday, and since the results aren't announced until mid-November, I'm sworn to secrecy and can't reveal who I voted for.
Here, though, are my picks for all eight BBWAA awards. You'll just have to wait another month to find out which one actually counted...
NL MVP: JOEY VOTTO
The Reds' 26-year-old first baseman did it all this year, smacking 37 homers, driving in 113 runs, batting .324 and leading the league in on-base percentage (.424), slugging (.600) and OPS (1.024). Throw in the fact he did it for the NL Central champs, anchoring Cincinnati's lineup all season, and he gets the nod over a deep field of candidates that perhaps featured four other players deserving of consideration: Carlos Gonzalez, Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.
The vote: 1-Joey Votto, 2-Carlos Gonzalez, 3-Albert Pujols, 4-Adrian Gonzalez, 5-Troy Tulowitzki, 6-Roy Halladay, 7-Matt Holliday, 8-Ryan Zimmerman, 9-Aubrey Huff, 10-Martin Prado.
Yes, he missed most of September with two broken ribs, but Hamilton had already done the job through the season's first five months. He was spectacular for the Rangers at the plate and in the field, helping them pad such a huge lead in the AL West that his services weren't needed down the stretch. Hamilton led the league in batting (.359), slugging (.633) and OPS (1.044), and since he did it for a division winner, he gets the nod over Miguel Cabrera of the .500 Tigers.
The vote: 1-Josh Hamilton, 2-Miguel Cabrera, 3-Robinson Cano, 4-Jose Bautista, 5-Evan Longoria, 6-Joe Mauer, 7-Adrian Beltre, 8-Paul Konerko, 9-Shin-Soo Choo, 10-Carl Crawford.
There was a point in midseason when it appeared Ubaldo Jimenez had already wrapped this up. But the Rockies ace faded over the season's second half, to the point he may not even finish in the top three. Halladay, meanwhile, was exactly what the Phillies wanted when they acquired him: A dominant ace who wants to go the distance every time he gets the ball. His 250 2/3 innings pitched were the most in the majors since Livan Hernandez went 255 in 2004. His 2.44 ERA and 219-to-30 strikeout-to-walk ratio weren't too shabby, either.
The vote: 1-Roy Halladay, 2-Adam Wainwright, 3-Josh Johnson.
A couple of years ago, King Felix wouldn't have even gotten consideration for the Cy Young. How can you reward a guy with a 13-12 record? Thankfully, we've come a long way in the last few years, understanding a pitcher's record is by no means the best indicator of his performance. In every category that matters, Hernandez was the best. He led the AL with a 2.27 ERA, 249 2/3 innings pitched, 6.993 hits per nine innings and barely finished second to Jered Weaver with 232 strikeouts. And get this: He had 16 starts this year in which he went at least seven innings and allowed one earned run or less.
The vote: 1-Felix Hernandez, 2-David Price, 3-CC Sabathia
This is a tough one, because Jason Heyward played for the Braves the entire season and was a key to their reaching the postseason. But Posey, who wasn't called up until late-May, had an even more dramatic impact on the Giants' fortunes. His arrival coincided with their surge, helping them make up a 6 1/2-game deficit on the Padres to win the NL West. You can't go wrong with either guy, but I'm taking Posey by a nose over Heyward.
The vote: 1-Buster Posey, 2-Jason Heyward, 3-Jaime Garcia
Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson also had a really nice season as a rookie, but Feliz locked down the closer's job in Texas and was instrumental in the Rangers' division title. He saved 40 games, allowed a ridiculously low 5.6 hits per nine innings and posted a 71-to-18 strikeout-to-walk ratio. If the Rangers are going to make a deep run this month, Feliz has to be a big part of it.
The vote: 1-Neftali Feliz, 2-Austin Jackson, 3-Wade Davis
How many of you predicted the Padres would be in the pennant race until the season's final day? Liars. No one figured the team with the sport's lowest payroll would come within sniffing distance of the .500 mark, let alone 90 wins. Bobby Cox had a fabulous run during his final season in the dugout, and he'll still be there this week for the Division Series. But how can you not give this one to Black?
The vote: 1-Bud Black, 2-Bobby Cox, 3-Bruce Bochy
Did you know Gardenhire has been Twins manager for nine years now? And did you know during that tenure he's only finished with a losing record once? He's won six division titles, guiding a franchise that until it moved into Target Field this season never had a significant payroll. And he's never won Manager of the Year. It's time for that to change.
The vote: 1-Ron Gardenhire, 2-Terry Francona, 3-Ron Washington