Election Tuesday is right around the corner. It's a time when people's votes really matter.
Same goes for MLB.com's "This Year in Baseball Awards."
Decided to give it a try and click on who I felt were deserving in 11 categories.
Hitter: Josh Hamilton, Texas. St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols may be the most feared hitter in the National League, but Hamilton deserves the title in the American League.
Despite missing a month of the regular season, Hamilton batted .359 with 32 home runs and a slugging percentage of .633.
Rookie: Buster Posey, San Francisco. Some pundits may argue that Posey doesn't qualify because he did not play a full season. I don't buy into that logic. Even though he didn't join the Giants' parent club until late May, Posey finished with 67 RBIs while hitting .305.
Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward possesses that all-star quality, but I give the nod to Posey with the way he handled one of the most dominant pitching staffs in the major leagues.
Starter: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia. Almost turned into a coin flip between Halladay and Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez. Both pitched 250 innings and had earned-run averages below 2.50, but Halladay produced in the win column with 21 victories as opposed to 13 for Hernandez.
Both should earn Cy Young honors for their respective leagues.
Closer: Brian Wilson, San Francisco. A strong case could be made for San Diego Padres pitcher Heath Bell. But judging by what Wilson has done during the postseason (registering four saves and one win while throwing 9 2/3 scoreless innings), go with the shoe-polished beard.
During the regular season, Wilson converted 48 of 53 save opportunities, which translates into a better ratio than New York Yankees' Mariano Rivera.
Setup: Mike Adams, San Diego. Bell's 47 saves were created in large part to Adams, who had an ERA of 1.76 after making a career-high 70 appearances.
Texas Rangers' Joaquin Benoit and Los Angeles Dodgers' Hong-Chih Kuo produced similar numbers, but the edge goes to Adams.
Defense: Placido Polanco, Philadelphia. Tough to vote against someone playing a new position such as the hot corner and making only five errors.
Another third baseman, Washington Nationals Ryan Zimmerman was steady as usual and deserves some mention.
X-factor: Omar Infante, Atlanta. This is a category for the unsung hero. Infante batted .321 while playing five different positions. His versatility earned him a spot in the All-Star Game as a utility player.
Breakout: Trevor Cahill, Oakland. Imagine starting the season in the minor leagues and ending up with 18 wins and a 2.97 ERA at the major league level. That's Cahill's story.
If Cahill is the No. 1 choice then Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista is No. 1A. Bautista led the majors with 54 home runs almost as many as he hit combined in his first four seasons.
Dependable: Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle. Mr. Reliable. Mr. Consistency. At the beginning of every season, you can pencil in 200 or more hits for the Mariners outfielder. After all, he has surpassed that benchmark each of his first nine seasons in the major leagues.
Two other strong candidates for this award were Houston Astros pitcher Brett Myers, who pitched a minimum of six innings in all but one of his 33 starts and Halladay, who pitched nine complete games and reminded the older generation what it was like to go the distance on the mound.
Executive: Ruben Amaro Jr., Philadelphia. The acquisition of Halladay and Polanco in the offseason, along with the trade for pitcher Roy Oswalt made Amaro look like a genius as the Phillies wrapped up their fourth straight N.L. East Division title.
Manager: Joe Madden, Tampa Bay. The sentimental choice would be Atlanta Braves' Bobby Cox. But I remained impartial and selected Maddon for taking basically the same team which finished third in the A.L. East a year ago and posting the best record in the junior circuit.
San Diego Padres' Bud Black had a lock on the award until his ballclub faltered down the stretch.
Contact Kerry Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org