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Buster Posey and Fernando Rodney win Comeback Player of the Year awards

Oct 19, 2012, 11:01 AM EDT


Award season is upon us.

MLB just announced that Giants catcher Buster Posey and Rays reliever Fernando Rodney are the Comeback Player of the Year winners, as voted on by writers.

Posey missed most of last season after breaking his ankle in a home plate collision, but returned to play 146 games while hitting .336 to win the NL batting title and will get strong support for MVP.

Rodney came back from being terrible rather than an injury, but his story is perhaps even more remarkable. Last season he was demoted to mop-up man in the Angels’ bullpen thanks to a 4.50 ERA and more walks than strikeouts in 32 innings. And this year, at age 35, all he did was top Dennis Eckersley to set the all-time record for lowest ERA by a pitcher with 50 or more innings at 0.60.

Last season’s Comeback Player of the Year winners were Jacoby Ellsbury and Lance Berkman, both of whom had rough enough follow-up seasons that they could win the award again in 2013.

  1. Lukehart80 - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    I can’t argue too much with Rodney’s selection after his incredible season, but it’s worth pointing out that Alex Rios also bounced back in a big way from a bad 2011.

    • Jeremy T - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      As did Adam Dunn

      • pdowdy83 - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:26 AM

        Dunn barely hit .200 and the only reason he didn’t break Reynold’s strike out record is because Ventura sat him the last game of the season. Yes his power returned but the White Sox aren’t paying him big bucks for an ,800 OPS. I think they were hoping for more than a .333 OBP too.

  2. tcostant - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Where did Adam LaRoche finish?

  3. pdowdy83 - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    I was hoping Adam Laroche would get some love with this award but I completely forgot Buster Posey missed most of last season and since he is a leading candidate for the MVP award in the NL I can’t argue with him winning this one.

  4. Chris K - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Wait…the Comeback Player of the Year award is presented by Viagra?

    • joelgold - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      Thinking the same thing. Can’t they give the award without an inappropriate sponsor? Although they did come back up after being down…..

    • cur68 - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      That’s hilarious. Reminds me of some calculators we had in Australia. The Viagra rep visited our unit once as a guest of one of the neonatologists (viagra has some very useful applications for lowering pulmonary pressure: which, incidentally, was the use for which it was being developed, but then all the old guys started getting stiffys and the next thing ya know…). Anyhow, he left a box of Viagra Brand calculators. You push a little button on the side and the cover flipped open and folded around back and lifted the calculator up off the table making it easier to see the screen and punch buttons. Viagra Brand Calculations were very popular.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 19, 2012 at 3:16 PM

        So Viagra (as an ED medicine)…wasn’t even the purpse of it’s developement?
        So with Viagra…you very much DO….”douple dip.”
        1) It lowers your pulmonary pressure.
        2) It gives you major wood

        Double Dip.

      • cur68 - Oct 19, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        Well, one of the side effects of Viagra is dizziness. That dizziness is the drop in blood pressure effect. So you might have a stiffy but might also be too dizzy and/or unconscious to do anything with it.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 19, 2012 at 4:09 PM

        How was Australia? Live there long?

      • Chris K - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:02 PM

        I would’ve typed 80085 on the Viagra calculator and giggled like a 25 year old.

      • cur68 - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:04 PM

        Who’s to say I did not?

  5. scatterbrian - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Rodney had a fantastic season, but did he come back from exactly? He’s never been especially good. Neat that he had 37 saves in 2009, but his ERA and BB/9 were over 4 that year. Rios would have been a better pick.

    • myopinionisrighterthanyours - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      What did Rodney come back from? Um, sucking. And turning in the best year ever for a reliever. Dude’s going to get Cy Young votes.

      • scatterbrian - Oct 19, 2012 at 4:57 PM

        I guess I have a different idea of what comeback player of the year means. I always assumed it was either a) a player coming back from a major injury, or b) a formerly very good to great player returning to form after a year or two of being awful. The definition of comeback is “a return to a former higher rank, popularity, position, prosperity, etc.”

        Rodney sounds more like a breakout player or late bloomer, not comeback player. But I guess people really loves saves…

  6. braddavery - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    This award is pathetic. The fact that they give it to players coming off an injury that sidelined them for almost an entire season is idiotic. This award should meant for players who had down seasons and then “came back”, not for players who “came back” from injuries. ANYONE can come back from an injury.

    • Jeremy Fox - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      Not anyone can come back from an injury–plenty of guys have their careers derailed by injuries. It’s the same with down seasons–some guys bounce back from them, some guys don’t. Not sure what the problem is here.

      • braddavery - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:57 PM

        The award is meant for players who have “re-emerged on the baseball field during a given season.” Re-emerged on the baseball field implies that there was a drop-off in production ON THE FIELD. He was fantastic, got hurt, and was still fantastic when he returned. That deserves an award? Sure. “Hey, you got yourself hurt. Here’s an award for still being good when you were healthy again.”

      • myopinionisrighterthanyours - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:29 PM


        You realize when somebody is out hurt, their production is ZERO, right? So it still fits in the definition. Not everyone comes back from being hurt and picks up right where they left off.

    • myopinionisrighterthanyours - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM

      P.S., Last year Jacoby Ellbury won it for the AL after being HURT and only playing 18 games the year before. This is not new, people.

      • braddavery - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        No one said it was “new”. I felt the same way last season when Ellsbury won it.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 19, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      I understand where you are coming from Brad. I just don’t feel the need to rage about it.
      I mean…in either scenario…the award winner did “comeback.”

      • braddavery - Oct 19, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        Rage? Really? Gotta love the internet, where context-free psychoanalysis is all the “rage”. lol

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 19, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      “Rage? Really? Gotta love the internet, where context-free psychoanalysis is all the “rage”. lol”
      I apologize Brad. That was really meant to come across “tongue-in-cheek.”
      A few of us HBT regulars have had a running joke for about a week involving the word “rage.”
      Personally, I am trying to use it as much as possible through the rest of the season.
      No offense intended. I mean that. It was a joke. “Rage” on dude.

      • natstowngreg - Oct 19, 2012 at 5:07 PM

        Rage is all the rage.

      • braddavery - Oct 19, 2012 at 5:16 PM

        No problem. About the award, I think it is more about players like Ryan Vogelsong who “came back” harder than any other player last season, IMO. Melky Cabrera and Alex Gordon also come to mind… although Melky was obviously juicing, but not many thought that last season. Giving it to great players who got hurt and, turns out are still great, is just stupid and pointless to me. Yes, they “came back” from injury. But who gives a rat’s ass. Adam Dunn “came back” from talking about RETIREMENT due to having one of the worst seasons in baseball history last season. He went from a .569 OPS in 2011 to .800 in 2012. THAT is a “come back”.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 19, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      I think you make a great point. I really do.
      If someone is a stud…get’s hurt…is out for a long time…if they make a full recovery they are still the same stud.

  7. 13arod - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    there should be 2 for each league because adam dunn deserves one too

    • scatterbrian - Oct 19, 2012 at 5:26 PM

      actually now that I think about it, Peavy would have been a good selection

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