Last night around dinner time the BBWAA announced the "finalists" for their major awards (I missed this because I fell deep into a grading black hole around 11 AM yesterday and didn't emerge until around 9 PM) and to the surprise of no one, Andrew McCutchen is an MVP finalist and Clint Hurdle is a Manager of the Year finalist.
If I'm not mistaken, McCutchen was also an MVP finalist last year (I think last year was the first year they named finalists and McCutchen finished third, soooo …), but the difference is that last year it was a foregone conclusion that Buster Posey would win and this year it seems like a foregone conclusion that the award is his to lose. Honestly, I think we can say the same thing about Hurdle at this point. He's up against Don Mattingly and Fredi Gonzalez. Obviously, I'll talk more about these awards when they're announced (that's next week; managers are the early part of the week and MVP goes last), but I figured it's worth nothing for now.
There are lesser awards being given out already, of course. McCutchen won the NL's "Most Outstanding Player" award over the weekend, which is given out by the players, and Francisco Liriano won the NL Comeback Player of the Year award. I've mentioned this a couple of times before, but I find the notion of Liriano winning Comeback player awards pretty humorous because the only thing he came back from was being terrible at baseball and missing a small amount of time to a weird injury sustained trying to surprise his kids on Christmas morning in the early part of the year.
But the Pirates were good in 2013 and the Pirates were one of baseball's best stories and when you're a good team and a good story, your players win awards. I'll take it.